Triboelectric charging of monodisperse particles in fluidized beds

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


To investigate the interplay between particle charging and hydrodynamics in fluidized beds, models for triboelectric charging and electrostatic forces were built into a computational fluid dynamics-discrete element method model. Charge transfer was governed by the difference in effective work function between contacting materials as well as the electric field at the point of contact. Monodisperse particles were fluidized with an effective work function difference between the particles and the conducting walls. For smaller work function differences, hydrodynamics were not changed significantly as compared with an uncharged case. In these simulations, the average charge saturated at a value much lower than the value anticipated based on the work function difference, and a unimodal distribution of charges was observed. For larger work function differences, particles stuck to walls and bed height oscillations due to slugging were less pronounced. For these cases, a bimodal distribution of charges emerged due to effects from strong electric fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1872-1891
Number of pages20
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • discrete element method
  • fluidized bed
  • triboelectric charging


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