Experimental measurement of particle size distribution and voidage in an expanded bed adsorption system

N. A. Willoughby, R. Hjorth, N. J. Titchener-Hooker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an experimental analysis of matrix bead size distribution and voidage variations with axial height in an expanded bed adsorption system. Use of a specially constructed expanded bed with side ports has enabled sampling from within the expanded bed along the vertical axis. Particles removed from within the bed were measured for their size distributions. Residence time distribution studies were used to-estimate bed voidage. Measurements of axial and radial particle size distributions and axial voidage distribution have been made at different flow rates. Particle size was found to be radially constant, indicating constant stratification in the column. The particle size was found to decrease with increasing axial height. Voidage increased with axial height from a settled bed value of 0.39 to approaching unity for high liquid velocities and increased at a constant axial position with increased flowrate. This information provides key insight into bed stability and data for the improved modeling of this important unit operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-653
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2000


  • Expanded bed adsorption
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Particle size distribution
  • Voidage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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