Lattice-Boltzmann simulation of fluid flow through packed beds of spheres: effect of particle size distribution

L. W. Rong, K. J. Dong, A. B. Yu

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Fluid flowing through packed beds of multi-sized spheres is studied by a parallel lattice-Boltzmann (LB) model. The packed beds are generated by means of the discrete element method. First, the LB model is used to study the effects of size ratio and volume fraction on the fluid flow and quantify the drag forces on binary mixtures of particles. Typical flow behaviours are identified in relation to pore geometries. The results suggest that the polydispersity in particle size enhances local structure heterogeneity and flow non-uniformity, resulting in distributed fluid-particle interaction forces. Then, based on the simulated data, a new equation is formulated to calculate the mean individual drag force. The equation is extended to multicomponent mixtures of particles. The results show that the new equation is more accurate and reliable than those in the literature, and can be generally used in the modelling of particle-fluid flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-523
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Computation
  • Drag force
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Lattice-Boltzmann simulation
  • Packed bed
  • Porous media

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