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Keywords:

  • reduced-order model;
  • particulate processes;
  • principal component analysis;
  • continuous mixing;
  • discrete element method

One of the key technical challenges associated with modeling particulate processes is the ongoing need to develop efficient and accurate predictive models. Often the models that best represent solids handling processes, like discrete element method (DEM) models, are computationally expensive to evaluate. In this work, a reduced-order modeling (ROM) methodology is proposed that can represent distributed parameter information, like particle velocity profiles, obtained from high-fidelity (DEM) simulations in a more computationally efficient fashion. The proposed methodology uses principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the dimensionality of the distributed parameter information, and response surface modeling to map the distributed parameter data to process operating parameters. This PCA-based ROM approach has been used to model velocity trajectories in a continuous convective mixer, to demonstrate its applicability for pharmaceutical process modeling. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3184–3194, 2014