A hybrid approach to computing electrostatic forces in fluidized beds of charged particles

Jari Kolehmainen, Ali Ozel, Christopher M. Boyce, Sankaran Sundaresan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In particulate flow devices particles acquire electric charge through triboelectric charging, and resulting electrostatic forces can alter hydrodynamics. To capture this effect, the electrostatic force acting on individual particles in the device should be computed accurately. Electrostatic force is calculated using a hybrid approach consisting of: (1) long-range contributions from an Eulerian electric field solved using the Poisson equation (2) short-range contributions calculated using a truncated pairwise sum and (3) a correction to avoid double counting. Euler-Lagrange simulation of flows incorporating this hybrid approach reveals that bed height oscillations in small fluidized beds of particles with monopolar charge decreases with increasing charge level, which is related to lateral segregation of particles. A ring-like layer of particles, reported in experimental studies, forms at modestly high charge levels. Beds with equal amounts of positively and negatively charged particles are fluidized in a manner similar to uncharged particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2282-2295
Number of pages14
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • discrete element method
  • electrostatics
  • fluidized bed


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