The study presents an experimental investigation into multistage fluidisation wherein the fluidisation column is sectioned using horizontal perforated plates. The variation in the pressure drop and the solids holding time is investigated in respect of the size, shape and density of the particles, the perforation diameter and the free area of the horizontal plate and the flow rates of the phases. The data are satisfactorily correlated in terms of the relative velocities of the phases, the Froude number, the ratio of particle to perforation diameter and particle to fluid density. The performance of the multistage fluidised bed with and without downcomers to the horizontal perforated plates is critically discussed. © 1983.