Growth and breakup of a wet agglomerate in a dry gas--solid fluidized bed

Christopher M. Boyce, Ali Ozel, Jari Kolehmainen, Sankaran Sundaresan, Craig A. McKnight, Michael Wormsbecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Using CFD-DEM simulations, a wet agglomerate of particles was placed in a void region of a dry vigorously fluidized bed to understand how wet agglomerates grow or breakup and how liquid spreads when agglomerates interact with dry fluidized particles. In the CFD-DEM model, cohesive and viscous forces arising from liquid bridges between particles were modeled, as well as a finite rate of liquid bridge filling. The liquid properties were varied between different simulations to vary Bond number (surface tension forces/gravitational forces) and Capillary number (viscous forces/surface tension forces) in the system. Resulting agglomerate behavior was divided into regimes of (i) the agglomerate breaking up, (ii) the agglomerate retaining its initial form, but not growing, and (iii) the agglomerate retaining its initial form and growing. Regimes were mapped based on Bo and Ca. Implications of agglomerate behavior on spreading of liquid to initially dry particles were investigated. This article identifies a new way to map agglomerate growth and breakup behavior based on Bo and Ca. In modeling both liquid forces and a finite rate of liquid transfer, it identifies the complex influence viscosity has on agglomeration by strengthening liquid bridges while slowing their formation. Viewing Ca as the ratio of bridge formation time to particle collision and separation time capture why agglomerates with high Ca struggle to grow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2520–2527
Number of pages8
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
Early online date2 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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