The gas–solid vortex reactor (GSVR) has enormous process intensification potential. However the huge gas consumption can be a serious disadvantage for the GSVR in some applications such as fast pyrolysis. In this work, we demonstrate a recent novel design, where a stator-rotor vortex chamber (STARVOC) is driven by the fluid’s kinetic energy, to decouple the solids bed rotation and gas. Gas-solid fluidization by using air and monosized aluminum balls was performed to investigate the hydrodynamics. A constructed fluidization flow regime map for a fixed solids loading of 100 g shows that the bed can only be fluidized for a rotation speed between 200 and 400 RPM. Below 200 RPM, particles settle down on the bottom plate and cannot form a stable bed due to inertia and friction. Above 400 RPM, the bed cannot be fluidized with superficial velocities up to 1.8 m/s (air flow rate of 90 Nm3/h). The bed thickness shows some non-uniformities, being smaller at the top of the bed than at the bottom counterpart. However by increasing the air flow rate or rotation speed the axial nonuniformity can be resolved. The bed pressure drop first increases with increasing gas flow rate and then levels off, showing similar characteristics as conventional fluidized beds. Theoretical pressure drops calculated from mathematical models such as Kao et al. model agree well with experimental measurements. Particle velocity discrepancies between the top and bottom particles reveal that the impact of gravity cannot be completely neglected. Design guidelines and possible applications for further development of STARVOC concept are proposed based on fundamental data provided in this work.

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