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Flow-aided Pneumatic Conveying of Cohesive Dairy Powder: Experiments and CFD-DEM simulations

MACSI at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick invites you to a seminar

Date: Friday, 29th November 2019, Room A2-002 @ 4p.m.

Speaker: Dr Akeem K Olaleye (The Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland).

Title: Flow-aided Pneumatic Conveying of Cohesive Dairy Powder: Experiments and CFD-DEM simulations.



Flow-aided Pneumatic Conveying of Cohesive Dairy Powder: Experiments and CFD-DEM simulations

Akeem K Olaleye a, Gavin M Walker a, Harry Van den Akker a, b

a The Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

b Department of Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

During industrial pneumatic conveying, pipelines undergo series of direction changes due to space restrictions, site location, or position of receiving silos and hoppers. To connect two pipes together in different orientation, pipe fittings such as bends, splitters and tees are used. When a mixture of dairy powder and air flows around pipe bends or experiences any change in flow direction during pneumatic conveying, the milk particles often form a rope-like structure due to inertial, gravitational and centrifugal effects. The formation of such particle ropes can lead to particle stratification, re-agglomeration, deposition, and pipe blockages especially when handling cohesive powders. The current study focused on the development of novel, low-cost flow-aids that prevents powder deposition, pipe clogging, and improves throughput during cohesive dairy powder transport. We use our fundamental understanding of the physics of: (i) particle-particle (P-P), particle-fluid (P-F), and particle-equipment (P-W) interactions; (ii) the operating conditions and conveying characteristics; (iii) and a comprehensive flow property characterization of cohesive powders; to develop a validated CFD-DEM model framework as detailed in Olaleye et al [1]. The model was used in assessing the viability of the flow-aided designs in comparison to the conventional bends.  Several conceptual designs of such flow-aids were investigated in a single bends of varying orientation (i.e. H-V, V-H, and H-H) by means of a CFD-DEM. The ideas with improved performance were then tested in a 2-inch test rig to convey cohesive dairy powder such as fines of fat-filled milk powder. In addition to measurements of pressure drop, an optical technique was used to measure the dynamics (probability densities) of local particle volume fractions as a function of operating conditions and conveying configurations. The results of the flow-aided and the conventional setup are compared.


[1] Olaleye, A.K, Shardt, O., Walker, G.M., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Pneumatic Conveying of Cohesive Dairy Powders: Experiments and CFD-DEM Simulations. J. Powder Tech. (Oct. 2019)

Further Information:  If you have any questions regarding this seminar, please direct them to Romina Gaburro (061 2131930, email  or Clifford Nolan (061 202766),

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