Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Palghat A Ramachandran


Packed-beds are common to adsorption scrubbers, packed bed reactors, and trickle-bed reactors widely used across the petroleum, petrochemical, and chemical industries. The micro structure of these packed beds is generally very complex and has tremendous influence on heat, mass, and momentum transport phenomena on the micro and macro length scales within the bed. On a reactor scale, bed geometry strongly influences overall pressure drop, residence time distribution, and conversion of species through domain-fluid interactions. On the interstitial scale, particle boundary layer formation, fluid to particle mass transfer, and local mixing are controlled by turbulence and dissipation existing around packed particles. In the present research, a CFD model is developed using OpenFOAM: to directly resolve momentum and scalar transport in both laminar and turbulent flow-fields, where the interstitial velocity field is resolved using the Navier-Stokes equations: i.e. no pseudo-continuum based assumptions. A discussion detailing the process of generating the complex domain using a Monte-Carlo packing algorithm is provided, along with relevant details required to generate an arbitrary polyhedral mesh describing the packed-bed. Lastly, an algorithm coupling OpenFOAM with a linear system solver using the graphics processing unit: GPU) computing paradigm was developed and will be discussed in detail.


Permanent URL: