381587 Simulations Predicting Mixing Behavior of Sweet Sorghum Particles in a Rotary Drum Bioreactor: A Comparison of DEM Simulations and Experimental Results

Monday, November 17, 2014: 2:16 PM
211 (Hilton Atlanta)
Zhixing Zhou, Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Abstract: A soft rod-shaped discrete particle model was used to simulate mixing behavior of sweet sorghum particles in a rotary drum bioreactor. In this paper, a suitable discrete particle model and contact model was found by studying the properties of sweet sorghum particles. The three dimensional simulations based on Discrete Element Method(DEM) were qualitatively and quantitatively sustained by mixing experiments using image analysis techniques. In order to describe extent of mixing of irregular sweet sorghum particles, a new ‘separation rate’ was used in this work. It was found that the simulations predicted the mixing behavior well under the conditions mentioned in this paper. Mixing rate of sweet sorghum particles increased with the decrease of filling degree and the increase of rotate speed in certain range in a rotary drum bioreactor. Baffles with certain length and numbers enhanced mixing. Soft rod-shaped discrete particle model and linear cohesion contact model were considered as effective tools for studying mixing of other solid substrate particles, not only sweet sorghum particles.

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