In majority of industrial applications, the fluid flow is turbulent. The modelling of turbulent fluid flow involves numerical solution of the governing equations. This is carried out using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The advancement in computing power in recent decades and its availability at lower cost has made it possible to carry out modelling of complex three-dimensional flows inside complex geometries of laboratory and industrial scales using CFD. Thus reducing the cost and time associated with experimental investigation for design, optimisation and scale-up of equipment. With CFD it is possible to model heat, mass and momentum transfer in a complex multi-component system to predict and optimise the performance of equipment after suitable validation. CFD also offers evaluation of alternate equipment designs for improved performance.

Within our research group we have access to the following CFD codes:

  • FLUENT, a commercial CFD code developed by ANSYS Inc.
  • CFX, a commercial CFD code developed by ANSYS Inc.
  • OpenFOAM, an open source CFD code developed by OpenCFD Ltd.

In our research group, CFD is being used to predict the performance of a pilot-scale scale counter-current spray drying towers. The modelling of heat, mass transfer between the droplets/particles and the drying gas is carried out using a semi-empirical droplet drying model along with momentum transfer between the droplets/particles and the gas, which is incorporated into the CFD code using user-defined functions (UDF) in FLUENT. The modelling of heat loss through the tower walls to the surroundings is also incorporated using UDF. The modelling of coalescence/agglomeration of droplets/particles in the spray drying tower is being carried out using population balance modelling.

Related Publications

  • G. Calvert, A. Hassanpour, M. Ghadiri, “Analysis of Aerodynamic Dispersion of Cohesive Clusters“, Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 86, 4 February 2013, Pages 146-150.
  • G. Calvert, A. Hassanpour, M. Ghadiri, “Mechanistic Analysis and Computer Simulation of the Aerodynamic Dispersion of Loose Aggregates“, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 89, Issue 5, May 2011, Pages 519-525.
  • Moreno-Atanasio, R., Xu, B.H., Ghadiri, M. , 2007, “Computer Simulation of the Effect of Contact Stiffness and Adhesion on the Fluidization Behaviour of Powders“, Chemical Engineering Science, 62(1-2), pp 184-194