The role of meso-scale structures in rapid gas-solid flows

Kapil Agrawal, Peter N. Loezos, Madhava Syamlal, Sankaran Sundaresan

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677 Scopus citations


Meso-scale structures that take the form of clusters and streamers are commonly observed in dilute gas-particle flows, such as those encountered in risers. Continuum equations for gas-particle flows, coupled with constitutive equations for particle-phase stress deduced from kinetic theory of granular materials, can capture the formation of such meso-scale structures. These structures arise as a result of an inertial instability associated with the relative motion between the gas and particle phases, and an instability due to damping of the fluctuating motion of particles by the interstitial fluid and inelastic collisions between particles. It is demonstrated that the meso-scale structures are too small, and hence too expensive, to be resolved completely in simulation of gas-particle flows in large process vessels. At the same time, failure to resolve completely the meso-scale structures in a simulation leads to grossly inaccurate estimates of inter-phase drag, production/dissipation of pseudo-thermal energy associated with particle fluctuations, the effective particle-phase pressure and the effective viscosities. It is established that coarse-grid simulation of gas-particle flows must include sub-grid models, to account for the effects of the unresolved meso-scale structures. An approach to developing a plausible sub-grid model is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-181
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Oct 25 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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