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Keywords:

  • particle strength;
  • particle breakage;
  • breakage rate;
  • multidimensional population balance;
  • particle toughness;
  • alumina

Abstract

A method for quantitative characterization of breakage of particulate material is presented. The approach developed uses a 3-D population balance (PB) breakage model, which describes the changing population of particles in a “origin-size-toughness” domain, to extract breakage parameters from dynamic tracer and size evolution experimental data. The breakage behavior is captured in terms of the model parameters of breakage rate and breakage distribution function. It is shown that utilization of the dynamic tracer distribution information contributes significantly to the accuracy and robustness of the breakage parameter estimation. The method is validated by demonstrating good agreement of the model with measured dynamic particle size distributions and tracer distributions. It is also demonstrated that the 3-D PB breakage model better captures the highly distributed nature of the dynamic experimental data than an equivalent 2-D model. The usefulness of the technique for characterization of breakdown characteristics is demonstrated using commercial aluminium oxides; both for quantitatively differentiating the breakage behaviors and also for providing insights into the fundamentals of the breakage mechanisms. “Breakage maps” and “breakage activity” plots are introduced as useful formats for presenting the complex breakage information. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2007