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Discrete Element Method Simulation of a Dilute Conveying System

Bing Du1, Ting(Tim) Han2, Nestor A. Vasquez3, and Joerg Theuerkauf2. (1) The Dow Chemical Company, 2301 N. Brazosport Blvd., Freeport, TX 77541, (2) Solids Processing, Engineering & Process Science, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX 77566, (3) R&D, The Dow Chemical Company, 1319 Bldg., Midland, MI 48667

In the chemical industry many conveying systems are used to move granular material in between different process steps. The most common types of pneumatic conveying modes are dilute and dense phase. This paper focuses on modeling of dilute phase conveying systems. For the simulations commercial software is used. A fluid flow solver is coupled with a Discrete Element Method solver enabling a 2 way coupling.

The presented results show the influence of particle properties e.g. the coefficient of restitution on the motion of the particles. The simulations focus on the motion of granular material in a straight pipe as well as in a pipe with a 90 degree bend. Besides the particle motion the pressure drop is investigated as a function of gas flow rate and the particle loading. Moreover, particle wall impact forces and frequencies are studied.

The numerical findings are validated with experimental results.