There is disclosed an apparatus for forming a fluidized bed of circulating particles. In an embodiment, the apparatus includes a bottom portion having a sidewall, the sidewall defining a curvilinear profile, and the bottom portion configured to contain a bed of particles; and a gas inlet configured to produce a column of gas to carry entrained particles therein. There is disclosed a method of forming a fluidized bed of circulating particles. In an embodiment, the method includes positioning particles within a bottom portion having a sidewall, the sidewall defining a curvilinear profile; producing a column of gas directed upwardly through a gas inlet; carrying entrained particles in the column of gas to produce a fountain of particles over the fluidized bed of circulating particles and subside in the particle bed until being directed inwardly into the column of gas within the curvilinear profile.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.