Fluidization creates solids that scientists can easily transfer between reactors, have a uniform temperature, and have excellent heat transfer capabilities. This has made the process desirable for producing fossil fuels. Originally, it was developed to help with gasifying coal. Now, it is still used in the fossil fuels industry to convert petroleum into gasoline.
The use of fluidization is also popular for drying, calcining, and roasting minerals and metals. Additionally, it helps reduce the cost of producing various synthetic materials. For instance, fluidized beds are often used to create vinyl chloride, polyethylene, and polypropylene. Because of this process, many products, such as carbon nanotubes, can be manufactured on an industrial scale for a reasonable cost.
Chemical Looping Combustion
Chemical looping combustion is another application for fluidization. Carbon dioxide sequestration is now becoming a popular option for reducing carbon dioxide produced by power stations using fossil fuels on the environment. Regular combustion produces a byproduct gas that is primarily nitrogen and is not cost-efficient. However, chemical looping combustion uses metal oxides as an oxygen carrier. These particles react with a fluidized bed to produce solid metal pieces from the combustion process. It makes carbon dioxide sequestration significantly more efficient. Plus, scientists can reuse the solid metal pieces for this process at another time.
Due to the properties of the fluid-like solids, this process is also popular in engineering. For instance, it is popular for washing out granular filters used on projects.
Fluidization, or the process of making a static solid into a fluid-like substance, is useful for many industries. It is great for producing many materials cheaply and efficiently.