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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Wiacek J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Molenda M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Ooi J.Y.,University of Edinburgh | Favier J.,DEM Solutions
Granular Matter | Year: 2012

A series of physical and numerical tests were conducted to determine representative elementary volume of granular plant material. The load response of pea grain assembly poured into a cuboid test chamber and subjected to uniaxial confined compression was studied. The apparatus was equipped with adjustable side walls that allowed measurement of boundary stresses in samples of varying thickness. It was found that load distribution varied considerably in samples of thickness smaller than three times the size of the particle. Less pressure variation was observed in grain assemblies of thickness equaled to three, five and seven times the particle size. Comparison between experimental data and numerical DEM results have shown qualitative agreement. It was found that the specimen of dimension not smaller than five times the particle size can be used as a representative elementary volume in confined uniaxial compression test of granular plant materials. © The Author(s) 2012.

Shao X.,Dartmouth College | Lynd L.,Dartmouth College | Bakker A.,ANSYS Inc. | LaRoche R.,DEM Solutions | Wyman C.,University of California at Riverside
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering | Year: 2010

The absence of a systematic scale-up approach for biological conversion of cellulosic biomass to commodity products is a significant bottleneck to realizing the potential benefits offered by such conversion. Motivated by this, we undertook to develop a scale-up approach for conversion of waste paper sludge to ethanol. Physical properties of the system were measured and correlations were developed for their dependence upon cellulose conversion. Just-suspension of solid particles was identified as the scale up criterion based on experiments at lab scale. The impeller speed for just solids suspension at large scale was predicted using computational fluid dynamics simulations. The scale-up strategy was validated by analyzing mixing requirements such as solid-liquid mass transfer under the predicted level of agitation at large scale. The scale-up approach enhances the prediction of reactor performance and helps provide guidelines for the analysis and design of large scale bioreactors based on bench scale experimentation. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2014

Dry, wet and multiphase particulate materials constitute over 75% of raw material feedstock to industry. Despite their significance, many industrial particulate processes display unpredictable behaviour due to both their multiscale nature and the coexistence of different phases: this leads to undesirable losses in resources, energy, money and time. Considerable progress can be achieved using multiscale analysis and modelling to provide both visual and quantitative details of the dynamics of multiphase particulate systems. However, immature predictive capabilities, together with a lack of expertise and education in this developing field, hinder the adoption of these technologies. To address this skills gap and to initiate further advances in the field, it is crucial that a coordinated and intersectoral approach (combining different industrial sectors and fields of science) is taken, broadening the portfolio of skills currently retained within the EU research community. The T-MAPPP network brings together 15 leading European organizations in their respective fields, including 10 industrial companies (4 of which are SMEs) and stakeholders ranging from agriculture/food processing, consumer/personal care, chemicals/pharmaceuticals to software and equipment manufacture, to foster and develop a pool of ESRs and ERs who can transform multiscale analysis and modelling from an exciting scientific tool into a widely adopted industrial method. Through the delivery of sound scientific training and exposure to both Academic and Industrial environments, each of the 15 fellows recruited will be equipped with the multidisciplinary and transferable skills needed not only to initiate further advances in the field, but to become future leaders in Multiscale Analysis (MA) of multiphase Particulate Processes (PPP) and systems. Such skills are Europe-wide in demand, making each fellow a highly desirable candidate for employment and very mobile across the different career domains.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2009

The overarching aim of the PARDEM project is to provide high quality training to a group of young researchers to work within and to further develop the multidisciplinary field of DEM computational simulation of granular processes. Granular materials are estimated to constitute over 75% of all raw material feedstock to industry. They also present many challenges for innovation and fundamental science to solve problems in areas as diverse as natural disasters and industrial material handling which incur extensive economic losses. The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a promising supradisciplinary facility providing both visual and quantitative details of the dynamics of particle assemblies. Although the method is established in academia, immature quantitative prediction capabilities and lack of DEM experts due to its rapid development hinder its use as an industrial engineering tool in Europe. To overcome this state a consortium of 6 industry and 5 academic partners is formed which engages the three key stakeholder groups (industrial users, DEM software developers and universities), vital for transforming DEM from a largely scientific tool into a widely adopted industrial tool and delivering increased competitiveness to the EU economy with significantly reduced development times of more efficient processes. The programme will provide for each fellow: a) in-depth training by research at the host site and on industrial secondments; b) sound multidisciplinary and intersectoral scientific training and understanding of industrial environments via courses and secondments; c) a programme of complementary skills training and network events to develop the researchers competencies and career options. The resulting new generation of DEM experts will speak a common language avoiding costly misunderstandings in commercial interactions of the three groups and drive the DEM technology to a level which will change the way equipment and granular processes are designed in EUROPE.

One embodiment of the invention provides a computer-implemented method for discrete element modelling of a plurality of discrete elements corresponding to particles and physical geometry elements. The modelling performs a simulation through time of physical interactions of the particles with each other and with the physical geometry elements in a three-dimensional space. The method comprises providing a plurality of discrete element material models, each discrete element material model corresponding to a respective bulk material and containing (i) information regarding the properties of particles within said bulk material, and (ii) information regarding the behaviour of interactions between such particles. The method further comprises receiving from a user: (i) a selection of a bulk material for use in a simulation, and (ii) a specification of properties associated with the selected bulk material. The method further comprises generating a set of particles of the selected bulk material for use in the simulation based on (i) the discrete element material model for the selected bulk material, and (ii) the properties of the bulk material specified by the user. The method further comprises performing a discrete element model simulation on said set of particles, wherein the simulation uses the information regarding the behaviour of interactions between particles from the discrete element material model for the selected bulk material.

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