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Scott Moor, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Lafayette, will speak on “Solids Behaving like Liquids: Understanding and Modeling Fluidized Beds,” at 4:10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in room 103 Hugel Science Center.

Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by Lafayette’s Academic Research Committee (ARC).

“A packed bed of small, solid particles can be expanded to behave like a fluid by blowing a sufficient velocity of air up through the bed,” Moor explains. “The resulting ‘fluidized beds’ are used in a wide range of important processes, including the manufacture of gasoline, the destruction of highly toxic wastes, and the coating of particles. Developing models that can predict the detailed motion of the particles and air in the bed is an ongoing challenge. In this talk, I discuss the basic principles of fluid bed operation, present the basis of the modeling used, show the initial experiment results, and survey what we are doing with fluidized beds here at Lafayette.”

Moor’s lecture is one of six ARC faculty presentations this academic year. The remaining research forums will be held at the same time and place on the following dates: March 26, William D. Jemison, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; and April 23, James DeVault, associate professor of economics and business.

Geared for a broad audience, the talks are less technical than a presentation that would be given at a professional meeting. Lectures last 20 to 30 minutes and are followed by a question-and-answer and discussion session.

Moor is blowing air through tiny glass spheres that are just 150 microns in diameter. There are 500 microns is half a millimeter, meaning many thousands are in the 5-by-13-cm bed being used. The velocity of the air causes the particles to expand and move around “like ping-pong balls in lottery machines,” according to Moor. A computer is used to gather precise data on the positions of about 40,000 individual particles as they move, which will lead to predictions of how particles will behave in real world situations. “Only recently have computers been powerful enough to do that,” adds Moor.

The research will enable larger-scale production of equipment dealing with fluidized beds, without the expensive experimental work typically associated with it. Experiments are being carried out in cooperation with John Chen of Lehigh University and BaoHau Xu and Ai-Bing Yu of the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Moor co-authored a paper, “Visualization of Spray Dynamics in a Pilot Spray Dryer by Laser-Initiated Fluorescence,” which was published in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry – Research, in 1998. Since 1997, he has made presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education, the 11th Annual Conference on Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems, the Inhale Therapeutics lecture series, and Merck & Co.

Moor has been an assistant professor at Lafayette since 1995 and is a visiting scientist at Lehigh University. Prior positions have included lecturer in the San Francisco State University Division of Engineering and University of British Columbia Department of Chemical Engineering, and curriculum consultant for the Simon Fraser University School of Engineering Science.

Moor was self-employed as a chemical engineering consultant from 1982-1993 and was employed at Corning Glass Works from 1977-1981.

He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and M.A. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. in chemical engineering practice and B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been certified as a Registered Professional Engineer in chemical engineering by the State of California.

Categorized in: Academic News