Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.179, 53-63, 2018
Assessment of different coarse graining strategies to simulate polydisperse gas-solids flow
Continuum methods require the additional development of solids stress closures for polydisperse powders based on complex kinetic theories that are non-trivial to develop, code, and numerically converge for the wide range of fluidization regimes from very dilute to dense/frictional flow limit. On the other hand, it is straightforward to model the flow of polydisperse granular materials by treating particles as discrete rigid bodies that are tracked following simple physical laws of motion. The coarsening of these discrete methods by lumping several particles in a parcel alleviates the significant computational cost associated with these discrete methods while introducing some inaccuracies in the numerical results. In this research, we explore two different coarse graining methods that can be applied to polydisperse powders, namely the same statistic weight method (SSW) and the same size parcel method (SSP), and assess their accuracy by comparison with the finest simulation results obtained with a discrete element method (DEM). For Geldart group B powders fluidized at a relative low superficial velocity, the numerical results indicate that the SSW is more accurate than the SSP method. For type A powders fluidized at relatively high velocity, these two methods predict similar results. Interestingly, up to four times increase in the speed of simulation of the SSP method was obtained because the original polydisperse powder is scaled to a mono-disperse system in terms of particle-particle collision. These results suggest that the SSP method is more favorable for the simulation of fluidized beds due to its accuracy and efficiency while the SSW method may be used for granular flow and dense fluidized bed systems where capturing the size segregation of particles due to collision is important. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.