Advanced Powder Technology, Vol.31, No.6, 2394-2411, 2020
Numerical investigations of acoustic agglomeration of liquid droplet using a coupled CFD-DEM model
Acoustic agglomeration is widely considered a potentially effective technology for application in artificial defogging and precipitation. A coupled three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Method (CFD-DEM) model was constructed to investigate the agglomeration performance of liquid droplets in the acoustic field. The acoustic field is calculated by solving the Linearized Navier-Stokes Equations (LNSEs) in the time domain, and the background flow is initially obtained using the Reynoldsaveraged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with a k-e turbulence model. The motion of the droplet aerosol follows Newton's second law with fluid-particle and particle-particle interactions, including collision, agglomeration, and fragmentation. The agglomeration performance of liquid droplets under highintensity acoustic waves was numerically investigated in terms of the effects of the acoustic properties as well as the droplet characteristics. The numerical results show that it is necessary to consider droplet fragmentation in the process of acoustic agglomeration under the action of high-speed jet. The sprayed droplets are more likely to collide and condense than those without a breakup model, which has rarely been reported in previous studies. Acoustic frequency has a significant effect on agglomeration behavior, with optimal frequencies of about 225 Hz, 150 Hz, and 125 Hz corresponding to droplets with mode diameters of 15.97 mu m, 25.85 mu m, and 42.88 mu m, respectively. However, despite the fact that most studies favoured large acoustic intensity for agglomeration performance, the agglomeration performance of aerosol particles is not always positively correlated with acoustic intensity, especially for large droplets. The optimal intensity of droplet with d(p) = 42.88 mu m is in the range of 120-130 dB, which is smaller than the maximum operation pressure of 150 dB used in this study. In addition, an effective approach to increase the agglomerate size is to extend the residence time that liquid droplets are exposed in the acoustic and flow field, especially because the typical acoustic intensity of actual operation is usually not that high. (C) 2020 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.