Discrete Element analysis of the discharge of biomass briquettes stored in bins


Á. Ramírez-Gómez, C. González-Montellano, E.Gallego, F.Ayuga, J.M. Fuentes


Amercan Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers


2013 ASABE Annual Meeting



For many agricultural granular materials, discharge rate issues in silos and hoppers are well known and analytical procedures exists to describe this process. However, this is not the case of some new materials – such us biomass briquettes – which are nowadays being stored and handled in bins and hoppers. In this paper, several DEM models have been carried out in this work to simulate the discharge process of biomass briquettes stored in a bin. Different discharge scenarios have been simulated by modifying the size of the hopper outlet and the inclination of the hopper walls. This paper presents new results enlarging and completing the first ones previously published. For each of the discharge scenarios the mean value and the fluctuation level of the discharge rate were obtained and the influence of the outlet size and hopper inclinations analysed. These results were also compared with classical analytical expressions, such as Beverloo’s equation, in order to investigate its validity for the case of elongated particles, such as biomass briquettes. Finally, some useful conclusions on the discharge rate of biomass briquettes stored in silos were presented.


biomass pellets, Discrete element method, Hopper discharge rate

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