Pneumatic Conveying of Cohesive Dairy Powder: Experiments and CFD-DEM Simulations


A.K. Olaleye, G. M. Walker, H. Van der Akker, O. Shardt




Powder Technology



We performed an experimental and numerical investigation of pneumatic conveying of cohesive dairy powder. The experiments with fat-filled milk powder (FFMP) fines with an average particle size of 94 μm were carried out in a 2-inch diameter stainless steel pipe consisting of two 2.5 m horizontal sections connected to a 0.65 m vertical section by two bends of 0.4 m radius each. In addition to measurements of pressure drop and powder deposition, an optical technique was used to measure the dynamics (probability densities) of local particle volume fractions as a function of operating conditions. Numerical simulations were performed with a commercial discrete element modelling (DEM) software, EDEM®, coupled with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, FLUENT®. The simulation results in terms of pressure drops and particle volume fractions were compared with the experimental data. A very satisfactory agreement was found. At low gas velocities, cohesive dairy powders easily re-agglomerate after the second 90o bend and then deposit at the bottom of the horizontal pipe. At higher gas velocities, results show intermittent dispersion of particles and less particle deposition is observed even at higher loading ratio.


cohesive dairy powder, Computational fluid dynamics, Discrete Element, Method, Pneumatic conveying

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