(18b) CFD-DEM Modelling of Dilute-Phase Pneumatic Transport of Cohesive Dairy Powder in a Stainless Steel Pipe

Authors: 
Van den Akker, H. E. A., University of Limerick
Olaleye, A., Dairy Processing Technology Center (DPTC), Bernal Institute, University of Limerick
Shardt, O., University of Limerick
The design and operation of efficient pneumatic transport systems for cohesive dairy powders depend on the type of dairy powder, its properties, and the conveying parameters of the fluid phase. In this study, a CFD-DEM model is used to investigate the effects of powder properties and conveying parameters on the dilute-phase pneumatic transport of cohesive milk powders in a 50mm diameter stainless steel pipe with horizontal and vertical sections connected by a 90o bend of 200 mm radius.

The effects of milk powder properties (i.e. particle size, shape, density, cohesion, etc.) and/or conveying parameters (i.e. solid loading ratio, air velocity, bend configuration and orientation, etc.) on the flowability of the milk powder were investigated through the CFD-DEM model.

A thorough analysis of the effects of the various DEM parameters on particle transport was performed. These parameters (such as the surface energy of the milk powder) model the degree of cohesiveness of our dairy powders.

By modelling the particle-wall interactions, the effects of particle-geometry adhesion phenomena (i.e. particle deposition, resuspension, agglomeration, and clogging/blockage) can be used to analyse the critical conditions that must be satisfied to avoid complete pipe blockage during transport of cohesive powders.