From Virtual to Physical: NETL's Multiphase Flow Analysis Laboratory

NETL’s research teams rely on the advanced capabilities presented by its world-class laboratory facilities. The Multiphase Flow Analysis Laboratory (MFAL) offers researchers unique opportunities for understanding complex multiphase flows encountered in energy applications.

The equipment available in the MFAL allows scientists to validate their multiphase flow computer models through real world experiments in actual conditions. One important apparatus is a circulating fluidized bed, a device used to study the hydrodynamics of solids and gases moving through several important flow regimes – from dilute riser to dense standpipe. The laboratory model is representative of commercial systems yet still allows researchers to study the details of the complex gas and particle flows encountered in this system.

It’s important to study this phenomenon because many energy systems hinge on the control of reacting gas-particle flows at high temperatures and pressures. Researchers want to find ways of designing and operating these systems for optimal performance. The MFAL facility also crosscuts many other research areas such as additive manufacturing for the creation of test prototypes. The breakthroughs enabled through this facility are changing the way energy conversion systems are designed, operated, and optimized, leading to a safer, cleaner, and more affordable energy future.