Particle-Laden Flows: Applications, Modeling Approaches and Challenges

Event Date: October 4, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Jennifer S. Curtis (BS 1983)
Speaker Affiliation: Chair, School of Chemical Engineering
University of Florida
Sponsor: Centennial Seminar
Time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: FRNY G140


Particle processes pervade the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and mining industries. Many of these processes have significant opportunities for cost savings and productivity enhancements. However, advances are currently unrealized due to the lack of understanding of particle flow behavior in industrial scale processes. Reliable simulation tools can aid in this understanding and accelerate the achievement of substantial process improvements. Recent advancements in multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can help facilitate these improvements. However, state-of-the-art, multiphase CFD has limitations due to, for example, the lack of constitutive models that adequately describe the range of particle characteristics in a typical particle mix.

This presentation will overview the work in the development of improved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for the simulation of both dilute and dense-phase fluid-particle flows. The linkage between DEM (Discrete Element Method) models and CFD will be shown; that is, how DEM simulations can give insight into improved constitutive models needed for large-scale CFD simulations. Some current challenges in particle-flow modeling, including the effect particle shape and the influence of the interstitial fluid on the details of particle motion, will also be discussed.


Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Florida (UF). Prior to this, she held administrative roles as Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at UF and Associate Dean of Engineering and Department Head of Freshman Engineering at Purdue University. Professor Curtis received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1983) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University (1989). She has an internationally-recognized research program in the development and validation of numerical models for the prediction of particle flow phenomena. Professor Curtis is a recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, the American Society of Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, the Eminent Overseas Lectureship Award by the Institution of Engineers in Australia, the ASEE’s Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering, and the AIChE Fluidization Lectureship Award. She currently serves as Associate Editor of the AIChE Journal in charge of all manuscripts on Particle Technology and Fluidization. She is also on the Editorial Advisory Board of Powder Technology, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, and Chemical Engineering Education.