Prilling is a finishing process in chemical and petrochemical industries for producing reasonably uniform spherical particles from molten solutions of chemicals such as urea or ammonium nitrate. In this process, the molten liquid is sprayed using a perforated rotating bucket to produce droplets, falling through a cooling medium (e.g. air) and solidifying into prills. The bucket is mounted on the top of the prilling tower.
The aim of this work is to obtain a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour of urea fluid in the bucket and its impact on the physical and mechanical properties of the final product such as size, strength, porosity, etc. The velocity field in the perforated rotating bucket is of the effects of the vital factors on the formation of droplets. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations will be carried out to assess the fluid flow behaviour in the bucket whereas the Design Modeller or other related software is used to prepare a three-dimensional geometrical model. The sensitivity analysis needs to be carried out to ensure the independence of the model to the mesh size for reliable simulation. Effects of fluid properties and the bucket geometry on the velocity field inside the bucket and the exit velocity of droplets should be determined. The final outcome will be the optimisation of the bucket to produce uniform size distribution of prills as the end product. This project is a cross-disciplinary work with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bradford where the principal supervisor is currently working.
Applications and expressions of interest are invited from prospective researchers with a good background of chemical or mechanical engineering or a closely related field.