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Heat Transfer Characteristics of Lithium Titanate Particles in Gas-Solid Packed Fluidized Beds

D. Mandal, D. Sathiyamoorthy, M. Vinjamur

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 62 / Number 1 / July 2012 / Pages 150-156

Blanket Materials Technology / Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Fusion Reactor Materials, Part A: Fusion Technology

Lithium titanate (Li2TiO3) is a potential ceramic material for generation of tritium, which is exploited as a fuel in fusion reactor. However, Li2TiO3 has poor thermal conductivity, due to which thermal management of this material during nuclear reaction is a bottleneck. If this material is used in the form of pebble packed in a column or vessel, namely Test Blanket Module (TBM), the effective thermal conductivity is further brought down due to interstitial voids in the packed bed and also due to point to point contact between spherical pebbles. It is therefore essential to develop a suitable technique to enhance heat transfer properties of a packed pebble bed of Li2TiO3. In the present studies, an attempt has been made to develop a packed fluidized bed wherein particulate Li2TiO3 will be allowed to fluidize in the interstitial void of large stationary pebbles, called packing. Experiments have been carried out on heat transfer from wall to bed in a 162.74-mm-diameter column. Stationary pebbles of Li2TiO3 of size 1 mm to 10 mm and fluidized Li2TiO3 particulate solids of size 231 m to 780 m in the interstitial voids were used. Bed wall temperature in the range of 200°C to 600°C and operating fluidizing gas velocity corresponding to 1-4 times minimum fluidization velocity of fluidized particulate solids in the voids, were used for 20 to 60 volume percent of fluidized particulate solid of Li2TiO3. It has been found that the effective thermal conductivity of packed fluidized bed increased close to the value of thermal conductivity of pure Li2TiO3 at an optimum fluidization velocity corresponding to 2-3 times minimum fluidization velocity depending on fluidized particle, size, its volume fraction and wall temperature.

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