A solution algorithm for fluid–particle flows across all flow regimes

Bo Kong*, Rodney O. Fox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Many fluid–particle flows occurring in nature and in technological applications exhibit large variations in the local particle volume fraction. For example, in circulating fluidized beds there are regions where the particles are close-packed as well as very dilute regions where particle–particle collisions are rare. Thus, in order to simulate such fluid–particle systems, it is necessary to design a flow solver that can accurately treat all flow regimes occurring simultaneously in the same flow domain. In this work, a solution algorithm is proposed for this purpose. The algorithm is based on splitting the free-transport flux solver dynamically and locally in the flow. In close-packed to moderately dense regions, a hydrodynamic solver is employed, while in dilute to very dilute regions a kinetic-based finite-volume solver is used in conjunction with quadrature-based moment methods. To illustrate the accuracy and robustness of the proposed solution algorithm, it is implemented in OpenFOAM for particle velocity moments up to second order, and applied to simulate gravity-driven, gas–particle flows exhibiting cluster-induced turbulence. By varying the average particle volume fraction in the flow domain, it is demonstrated that the flow solver can handle seamlessly all flow regimes present in fluid–particle flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-594
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid–particle flow
  • Kinetic theory of granular flow
  • Kinetic-based finite-volume methods
  • OpenFOAM
  • Quadrature-based moment methods


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