Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Fluidized Bed Reactors

As the chemical and fuel industries continue to improve efficiency for higher throughput processes, fluidized bed reactors have become a direct means for process intensification and new applications.  SwRI designs, constructs, and operates fluidized bed processes. Our expertise helps our clients develop, optimize, and troubleshoot their new and existing processes in the areas of coal, refinery, biomass, heavy crudes and chemicals.  Our one in pilot-scale system is available for proof of concept to improving scale-up information.


SwRI’s laboratory-scale CFB reactor system has the following specifications (dependent on circulating solid particle type):

  • Solid, liquid, or high-viscosity feedstocks
  • Steam, inert, or other fluidizing gas options
  • Reactor/riser superficial velocities from 4–1000 ft/s
  • Reactor/riser residence times of <0.01 to 6 seconds
  • Feed flow rates ranging from <1-200 ml/min
  • Temperature range up to 1200°F (649°C)
  • Pressure up to 30 psig (2 bar, 207 kPa)
  • Process control system for various modes of system automation
  • Process data acquisition system
  • Sampling and analytical capabilities for most needs

SwRI’s responsive staff can support your work for concept development, process selection, lab-scale and pilot-plant testing, optimization, and engineering package preparation. Using commercial process simulation programs, we can help with design reviews, process hazards assessments, and development of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID).

Circulating Fluidized Bed Applications

The CFB can be used for a wide variety of applications including:

  • Pyrolysis of biomass, plastics, residuum, heavy oils, and organics
  • Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) analog to produce test quantities of products
  • Co-processing of biomass and petroleum feedstocks
  • Catalytic pyrolysis
  • Gasification
  • Catalyst and feedstock evaluations