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Keywords:

  • cohesive forces;
  • Geldart A powder;
  • fluidization cycle;
  • polydispersity;
  • friction forces;
  • discrete particle method

The effects of cohesive forces of van der Waals type in the fluidization/defluidization of aeratable type A powders in the Geldart classification are numerically investigated. The effects of friction and particle-size distribution (PSD) on some design-significant parameters, such as minimum fluidization and bubbling velocities, are also investigated. For these types of particles, cohesive forces are observed as necessary to fully exhibit the role friction plays in commonly observed phenomena, such as pressure overshoot and hysteresis around minimum fluidization. This study also shows that a full-experimental PSD consisting of a dozen particle sizes may be sufficiently represented by a few particle diameters. Reducing the number of particle types may benefit the continuum approach, which is based on the kinetic theory of granular flow, by reducing computational expense, while still maintaining the accuracy of the predictions. Published 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 60: 473–484, 2014