An adhesive CFD‐DEM model for simulating nanoparticle agglomerate fluidization

Daoyin Liu, Berend G M van Wachem, Robert F. Mudde, Xiaoping Chen, J. Ruud van Ommen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticles are fluidized as agglomerates with hierarchical fractal structures. In this study, we model nanoparticle fluidization by assuming the simple agglomerates as the discrete element in an adhesive (Computational Fluid Dynamics—Discrete Element Modelling) CFD-DEM model. The simple agglomerates, which are the building blocks of the larger complex agglomerates, are represented by cohesive and plastic particles. It is shown that both the particle contact model and drag force interaction in the conventional CFD-DEM model need modification for properly simulating a fluidized bed of nanoparticle agglomerates. The model is tested for different cases, including the normal impact, angle of repose (AOR), and fluidization of nanoparticle agglomerates, represented by the particles with the equivalent material properties. It shows that increasing the particle adhesion increases the critical stick velocity, angle of repose, and leads from uniform fluidization to defluidization. The particle adhesion, bulk properties, and fluidization can be linked to each other by the current adhesive CFD-DEM model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2259-2270
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • adhesion
  • agglomerate
  • discrete element model
  • nanoparticle fluidization
  • plastic


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