A moment-based kinetic theory model for polydisperse gas–particle flows

Bo Kong*, Rodney O. Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Starting from a generalized population balance equation and the Boltzmann–Enskog collision model for hard spheres, a kinetic theory model for polydisperse gas–particle flows is presented. Here, polydispersity results from spherical particles with the same material density but different diameters. The particle size distribution (PSD) of the particles is allowed to evolve in space and time due to physical processes such as mixing. In order to treat a continuous PSD, the particle-phase model is formulated in terms of the moments of the PSD, and velocity moments conditioned on the particle size. Velocity moments up to second order are included, resulting in transport equations for the mass, momentum and granular temperature, all conditioned on the particle size. In the numerical implementation, the PSD is represented using quadrature-based moment methods (QBMM). With QBMM, a continuous PSD can be treated using a relatively small number of moments as compared to class or sectional methods. Here, a realizable numerical algorithm for solving the moment system in a finite-volume code is proposed, valid for dilute systems wherein frictional forces are negligible. The ability of the proposed model to describe polydisperse gas–particle systems is demonstrated using cluster-induced turbulence and riser flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas–particle flow
  • Kinetic theory of granular flow
  • Polydispersity
  • Quadrature-based moment methods


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