Particle attrition at high temperature in an industrial fluidized bed at pilot plant, measurements and modeling

Syncrude Canada is one of the largest producer of synthetic crude oil for oilsands in the world, and the largest producer in Canada. Syncrude Canada uses the fluid coking process to upgrade bitumen. During the fluid coking process, coke is continuously transferred to the burner where air is used to burn some of the coke and raise the temperature of the particles, which are then returned to the reactor to supply the heat of reaction. To achieve optimum reactor performance, the particle size distribution of the coke must be maintained in a specific range. Therefore, steam is introduced at supersonic speed through attrition nozzles to attrit the coke particles. Achieving a high attrition rate of the particles with a lower steam consumption would reduce energy consumption, increase production, and enhance environmental performance. Although particle attrition in industrial fluidized beds occurs at temperatures well above ambient, most research results and attrition correlations are presented for room temperature operation. Therefore, the general objective of the proposed research is to study the fundamental mechanisms of particle attrition in a fluidized bed at high temperature, and the specific objective of this study is to improve attrition performance at realistic temperatures in a hot fluidized bed. A main objective of the internship is to apply the preliminary work conducted at a small scale in a university 

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Cedric Briens


Feng Li


Syncrude Canada Ltd.


Engineering - petrochemical


Oil and gas


Western University



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