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Title: Quantifying the uncertainty of kinetic-theory predictions of clustering. Final Report covering 21 September 2011 - 20 September 2014

Previous work has indicated that inelastic grains undergoing homogeneous cooling may be unstable, giving rise to the formation of velocity vortices and particle clusters for sufficiently large systems. Such instabilities are observed in industrial coal and biomass gasifiers and are known to influence gas-solid contact area, mixing dynamics, and heat/mass transfer rates. However, the driving mechanisms that lead to vortices and clusters are not well understood. Discrete-particle simulations provide a well-established method for understanding such mechanisms but are not a feasible technique for predicting the behavior of large-scale systems. Kinetic-theory-based continuum models offer an effective means of describing such flows, and instabilities present a stringent test of such models due to the transient, three-dimensional nature of instabilities and the large range of time and length scales over which these mechanisms occur.This work begins with the study, via a combination of continuum models and discrete- particle simulations, of a relatively simple flow and includes additional complexities in a stepwise manner to assess various driving mechanisms. Comparisons with discrete-particle simulations, which offer detailed, well-established (but computationally limited) descriptions of particle flows, indicate the ability of continuum models to accurately incorporate each mechanism. Specifically, the critical length scale for velocity vortices and/or particlemore » clusters are studied via direct numerical simulation, molecular dynamics simulations, linear stability analyses of the continuum model, and transient simulations of the continuum model in a range of flow complexities, including moderate dissipation and particle concentration, frictional particles collisions, high gradients, and gas-solid flows. Strong agreement between kinetic-theory-based continuum models and discrete-particle simulations is found for a range for conditions. Furthermore, discrete-particle simulations offer insight into the relative importance of various mechanisms for instability in both granular and gas-solid flows. Normal inelasticity and friction are both found to be important in granular flows. Particle collisions, thermal drag, and mean drag are found to be important in gas-solid flows.« less
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Chemical and Biological Engineering
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Technical Report
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Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
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United States
42 ENGINEERING; Electricity - Gasification; Materials/Components/Instrumentation