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Keywords:

  • two-phase flow;
  • complex/moving boundaries;
  • immersed boundary method;
  • discrete element method;
  • computational fluid dynamics

An immersed boundary method (IBM) has been developed and incorporated into the coupled discrete element method and computational fluid dynamics (DEM-CFD) approach to model particulate systems consisting of a compressible gas and solid particles with complex and/or moving boundaries. The IBM is used to deal with the interaction between gas and complex and moving boundaries by using simple rectangular grids to discretize the fluid field. The developed method has been applied to simulate some typical powder handling processes (e.g., gas fluidization with an immersed tube, segregation in a vertically vibrated bed, and pneumatic conveying). Good agreement is achieved between the present simulation results and the experimental ones reported in the literature. It has been demonstrated that the capacity of DEM-CFD is enhanced with the incorporation of IBM, which can be used to simulate a wide range of problems that could not be handled with the conventional DEM-CFD method. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 1075–1087, 2013