Minimum pickup velocity: The transition between nano-scale and micro-scale

Aditya Anantharaman, J. Ruud van Ommen, Jia Wei Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The transport of nano-scale particles has become increasingly important, but the knowledge base available is limited. This study aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the nano- and micro-scales for pneumatic conveying. A key parameter is the minimum pickup velocity (Upu), which is the minimum fluid velocity required to initiate motion in a particle originally at rest. The Upu values of nine alumina particles with particle diameters (dp) ranging from 5 to 110,000 nm were determined using the weight loss method, then compared against the established pickup Zones (analogous to the Geldart Groups). Results indicated that: (1) Upu varied non-monotonically with increasing dp, thus revealing the missing link between the nano- and micro-scales; (2) the intermediate particle diameters surprisingly did not agree with any pickup Zone; (3) Zone III (analogous to Geldart Group C) is inadequate for all the nano-scale particles, so new boundaries and a new Zone are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1519
Number of pages8
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • gas-solid pneumatic conveying
  • micro-scale
  • minimum pickup velocity
  • nano-scale
  • nanoparticle agglomerate


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