Population balance modeling of aggregation and breakage in turbulent Taylor–Couette flow

M. Soos, L. Wang, R. O. Fox, J. Sefcik, M. Morbidelli

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An experimental and computational study of aggregation and breakage processes for fully destabilized polystyrene latex particles under turbulent-flow conditions in a Taylor-Couette apparatus is presented. To monitor the aggregation and breakage processes, an in situ optical imaging technique was used. Consequently, a computational study using a population balance model was carried out to test the various parameters in the aggregation and breakage models. Very good agreement was found between the time evolution of the cluster size distribution (CSD) calculated with the model and that obtained from experiment. In order to correctly model the left-hand side of the CSD (small clusters), it was necessary to use a highly unsymmetric fragment-distribution function for breakage. As another test of the model, measurements with different solid volume fractions were performed. Within the range of the solid volume fractions considered here, the steady-state CSD was not significantly affected. In order to correctly capture the right-hand side of the CSD (large aggregates) at the higher solid volume fraction, a modified aggregation rate prefactor was used in the population balance model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-446
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2007


  • aggregation
  • breakage
  • cluster size distribution
  • image analysis
  • population balance equation
  • polystyrene microsphere
  • Taylor–Couette flow

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