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CH 241: Particle Technology

Particle technology [PT ]
A science and technology related to handling, processing and dynamics
of particles for size reduction / enlargement & powders formation.

• The production of particulate materials i.e. controlled by the properties

of materials (abrasiveness, brittleness and material structure, size,
shape, flow), subsequent utilization and applications,
• Particle technology [PT ] is a key technology widely applied in chemical
and process, food, cement, pharmaceutical, minerals & metal industries
• Handling of particles in gas and liquid solutions is an other important
aspect of PT,
Areas of Interest for Chemical Engineers

i. Particle Formation (Size Reduction / enlargement) cutting,

pulverizing, grinding, crushing, mincing, milling, and dicing
{sizes range from nanometres to centimetres}
ii. Particle characterization (Size Analysis)
iii. Material processing (Granulation, Mixing, Sedimentation,
iv. Storage &Transportation (Hopper Design, Conveying, Slurry
v. Particles screening, Separation (Filtration, Settling,
vi. Safety and occupational health (Fire / Explosiveness, Health
vii. Engineering characteristics of Particulate matter (Colloids,
precipitations, aerosols & Rheology behaviors)
Reasons for sizing of materials (Size reduction / enlargement )

i) Size reduction is accomplished ,

• To improve solubility, mixibilty, reactivity, catalytic performance, flow-ability of
materials and concentration uniformity and process performance,
• To accelerate heat & mass transfer processes , coal pulverization & combustion,
• To facilitate manufacturing process (Separation, filtration, blending & segregation)
• To meet specific requirements, and quality attainment

ii) Size enlargement is a common operation used in chemical, fertilizer,

pharmaceutical & cement manufacturing, mineral and food processing,
 Particle enlargement improves the properties of the matter.
 Common operations for size enlargement like granulation / agglomeration are
used in mineral processing, ores pelletization, tablet formation in
pharmaceutical and food industries.
 Chemical engineers deals with size enlargement processes and equipment,
including principal design, estimation of external force for size enlargement
and other related parameters,
Role of Engineers in Particle Technology

 A process engineer Select a correct, economical and efficient

equipment for size reduction, handling and storage of particulate
 Develop expertise in silo/hopper design, powder mechanics,
conveying (manual, mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic), slurry
transport and drying

Engineers have to Innovate new methodologies in Particle

Technology for a significant economic impact, efficiency
enhancement etc.
8 AM TO 5 PM
Text Book


McCabe, Smith, Harriott
Reference Book
(Particle Technology and
Separation Processes)
Volume 2 Fifth Edition by J.F.
Coulson, J.H. Harker & J.R.
Backhurst & Richardson.
 “Introduction to Particle
Technology”, 2nd Edition
 Author: Martin Rhodes
chemical engineering, PhD,
Major Aspects of Particle Technology
• Most commonly solids (particles) are used in chemical industries to
manufacture various products,
• Therefore the knowledge of their properties, flow charactertics (handling,
storage, transportation, separation and processing) is important from chemical
engineering point of view.
• Theories of particulate mechanics (dynamics / static / Kinetics) are
applied depending upon the variety of particulates (nature of materials,
properties and behaviour under wet/dry conditions)
• The evaluation of the pressure drop during processing and characterization of
the solid particles is related to the bed height, velocity, the packing diameter, density,
the sphericity as well as the porosity.
Particle Technology and Engineering provides the basic knowledge and
fundamental concepts that are needed by engineers dealing with;

i. Mechanics of discrete, tiny but visible materials (usually solid),

ii. Particle interaction/ performance and characterization (in
isolation, collective or in bulk)
iii. Parametric relationships between particle and the collective
interface during agitation, mixing, sedimentation and filtration.
iv. Equipment/ processes/ system design and particulate analysis is
based on mechanical properties of the particles .
v. Products manufacturing depend on the synthesis processes and also
on the other properties of the materials .
 FLOCCULATION occurs due to
chemical reaction between clay
particles & usually salted water.

 Suspended particles of clay

aggregate convert like a clot
or precipitate to form a cake or
deposition occurs like lumps.
Chapter # 28 CHARACTERIZATION Characterizing :describing the
individual quality of a
Major/ Minor/ Direct or indirect

CHARACTERIZATION on Primary & Secondary Bases

a.) Primary factors. nature of material, size, shape, density of particle
flow behaviour & surface finish.
• Nature of material ( soft, tough, elastic, ductile, brittle materials)
• Regular particles, e.g. spheres, cubes, needles, crystals etc.
• Irregular particles e.g. uneven, unequal, asymmetric exp. Grains or
mica flakes, etc.
• Flow Characteristics e.g. free flowing, stickiness , frictional behaviour,
• Surface Characteristics e.g. rough, adsorptive , charged surfaces,
b.) Secondary factors such as
molecular weight, structure and crystallography, surface
hydrophobicity, mechanical characters, electrostatic and
cohesiveness ( ability to retain a given shape) etc.
Crystallography - inner structures of crystals to determine the
arrangement of atoms and generate knowledge that is used by
chemists, physicists, biologists, and engineers.
• Particles of homogeneous solids have the same density
as individual material or in bulk form.
• Particles of non-homogeneous solids
What is a Particle?
 A Particle is a sub-microscopic, localized matter to ascribe several physical,
chemical, mechanical & other properties e.g. shape, size, volume or mass,
affinity or cohesiveness etc.
 Particles may be different forms granular, crushed, powdered, subatomic,
microscopic, nanomaterial.
 Oldest profession applied to convert grains to flour, minerals
processes to process stones and ores to refine metals, ceramics and
glass manufacturing and many Industrial applications.

 A miniature part of matter,(human hair 1:70 part of a micron and a bacteria is

approximately equal to 0.2 micron)
 A very small speck( iota) of solid matter,
 Unit of matter of indeterminate dimensions and volume.
 Manufacturing and operative perspectives highly influced by:
 Chemical Composition of particulate materials
 Physical Properties of Constituents. •tensile strength.
 The most important parameters are; •compressive
Surface Properties strength.
Particle Size Mechanical
Particle Shape Properties •elasticity.
Charge Properties
 Hygroscopic behavior •ductility.

Tendency to absorb
moisture from the air
The Impact of Particle Technology
Particle Technology

 Particle technology based on particle/powder sciences, is a

common unit operation (physical) applied in chemical and
process industries e.g. Cement, Ceramics, Fertilizer, Sugar, oil
refinery etc.
(Catalyst size in cracking reactor influence the production
of gasoline from oil.)
 Appropriate understanding of particle technology may;
i. enhance productivity and product quality,
ii. reduce health hazards & provide safe working environment,
iii. control dust explosion and leakages,
iv. improve shelf life & maintain quality of materials in storage silos.
Why? Where?
Reactivity Solubility dependence
on Particle Size
on Particle Size
Particle Shape & Size
Particle Shape (Regular or irregular)
1-) Regular shape particles can be described precisely
by its shape and dimension.

2-) Irregular shape particle, can not be described

conveniently due to irregularity of the particle shape &
Dp = equivalent/nominal diameter
Vp = volume of one particle
Sp = surface area of particle
 A sphere is a perfectly round
geometrical object in three
dimensional space that is the
surface on a completely round
 Equivalent Spherical Diameter:
 Diameter of an irregular shape object is the diameter of a sphere of equivalent

Bulk Properties:
An intensive property is a bulk property, meaning that it is the physical
property of the system that does not depends upon the size or the amount of
material in the system. E.g: temperature, density, hardness of the object etc.
Intensive Properties: Properties that does not depend upon the size or the
amount of material in the system, e.g: temperature, density, hardness of the
object etc.
Extensive Properties: Properties that depend upon the size or the amount of
material in the system, e.g: mass, volume etc.
Particle Size
 In general, diameter is specified for equidimensional particles.
 Most of the particles are not equidimensional, therefore they can not be specified
by a single dimension “diameter”.
 Therefore the concept of equivalent sphere has been introduced.
Equivalent spheres in comparison with Particle

 Based upon the measurement techniques, the particles are related to equivalent sphere
diameters by,
 a. The sphere of the same volume of the particle.
 b. The sphere of the same surface area as the particle.
 c. The sphere of the same surface area per unit volume.
 d. The sphere of the same area when projected on a plane normal to the direction of
 e. The sphere of the same projected area as viewed from above when lying in a position
of maximum stability (as with a microscope).
 f. The sphere which will just pass through the same size of square aperture as the particle
(as on a screen).
 g. The sphere with the same settling velocity as the particle in a specified fluid.
Mixed Particles and SIZE ANALYSIS
 If we have a sample of uniform particles of diameter = Dp,
 The total volume of the particles will be = m/ρp, (representing mass
and density of the particles),
 Since the volume of one particle = Vp,
 Total volume ‘V’ of N particles = V = Vp.N
 The total number of particles in sample = N = m/ ρpVp
 Total surface area of the particles is given by,
Mixed particle size and size analysis

 Both these equations are applied to mixtures having various sizes and densities.
 The mixture is sorted into fractions, each of constant density and approximately
constant size.
 Each fraction is then weighed, or the individual particle can be counted or
measured by number of methods.
 Information from such a particle size analysis is tabulated to show the mass or
number fractions in each size increment as a function of average particle size in
the increment.
 An analysis tabulated in this way is called a differential analysis.
 The results are often presented in histogram as shown in the figure.
Description of populations of particles
 Particle population is described in terms of Particle size distributions.
 Cumulative Size Distribution.
 Frequency Size Distribution.
Specific surface area of mixture
 If the particle density ρp and Sphericity Φs are known, the surface area
of particles in each fraction can be calculated and added to give the
specific surface, Aw (The total surface area of the unit mass of

 For deriving this equation, it has been assumed that Sphericity and density of the
mixture is constant.
 Where xi = mass fraction in a given increment,
Dpi = average diameter (taken as arithmetic average of the smallest and largest
particle diameters in increment).
Average particle size
 The average particle size for a mixture of particles is defined
in several different ways.
 Volume surface mean diameter Ds:

If number of particle Ni in each fraction is known,

instead of mass fraction xi, then:
 Arithmetic mean diameter:
NT = number of particles
in the entire sample

 Mass mean diameter:

 Volume mean diameter:

 Total volume of the sample
 Divided by number of particles

 For sample consisting of uniform particles these average diameters are, of

course, all the same. For mixture containing particle of various sizes, however,
the several average diameters may differ widely from one another.
Number of particles in mixture
 The volume of any particle is proportional to its "diameter" cubed.

a = volume shape factor
 For sphere the value of a is 0.5236 and for short cylinder it is 0.785.
Assuming that a is independent of size, then:
Screen analysis
•Testing sieves are made of
woven wire screens.
•Openings are square.
•Screens are identified by Mesh
•Mesh No. is the numbers of
opening per linear inch.

•Area of opening in any screen

= 2 x Area of opening in next
smaller screen.
•Mesh dimension of any screen
= 1.41 x Mesh dimension of next
smaller screen.
 Screens or sieve analysis is used to measure the size (and size
distribution) of particles in size range of 0.0015 and 3 inch.
 Woven wire screens, Silk, Plastic cloth, perforated or punched plate.
 Openings are in the form of squares.
 Each screen is identified in meshes per inch.
 A stack of screens is arranged with the smallest mesh at the bottom
and the largest one at the top.
 Vibratory motion is produced to cause better separation of
 Particles retained on each screen are then removed and weighed
to draw the Cumulative and Frequency distribution curves.
 The results of screen analysis are tabulated to show the mass fraction of each screen
increment as a function of the mesh size range of the increment.
 The notation 14/20 means “through 14 mesh and on 20 mesh”.
 Typical screen analysis is given in next slide.
 First column: mesh size,
 second column: width of opening of screen,
 third column: mass fraction of total sample that is retained on that screen xi (where i is the
number starting from the bottom of the stack),
 fourth column: averaged particle size Dpi (since the particle on any screen are passed
immediately by the screen ahead of it, the averaged of these two screen are needed to
specify the averaged size in that increment).
 Fifth column: cumulative fraction smaller than Dpi.
Description of populations of particles
 Particle population is described in terms of Particle size distributions.
 Cumulative Size Distribution.
 Frequency Size Distribution.
Mass quantities of sample of
Different distributions
Example 28.1
 The screen analysis shown in the table applies to a sample of
crushed quartz.
 The density of the particles is 2,650 kg/m3 (0.00265 g/mm3).
 The shape factor are a = 0.8 and φs = 0.571.
 For the material between 4-mesh and 200-mesh in particle size,
 Aw in square millimetres per gram and Nw in particles per gram.
 DV, Ds, Dw and Ni for the 150/200 mesh increment.
 What fraction the total number of particles is in the 150/200-mesh
Properties of masses of particles
 Masses of solid particles, especially when the particles are dry and
not sticky, have many of the properties of a fluid.
 They exert pressure on the sides and walls of a container, they flow
through openings or down a chute.
 They differ from liquids and gases in several ways.
 However because the particles interlock under pressure and
cannot slide over one another until the applied force reaches and
appreciable magnitude.
Properties of masses of particles

 Unlike most fluids, granular solids and

solid masses permanently resist distortion
when subjected to a moderate distorting
 When the force is large enough, failure
occurs and one layer of particles slides
over another, but between the layers on
each side of the failure there is
appreciable friction.
Properties of masses of particles
 Solid masses have the following distinctive properties
 The pressure is not the same in all directions. In general, a
pressure applied in one direction creates some pressure in
other directions.(unlike hydraulic pressure in fluids).
 But it is always smaller then the applied pressure.
 Itis minimum in the direction at right angles to the applied
Properties of masses of particles
Properties of masses of particles
 is not.
Properties of masses of particles
Properties of Masses of Particles
Properties of masses of particles
Depending on their flow properties,
particulate solids are divided into two
classes, cohesive and non cohesive.
Non cohesive materials such as grain, dry
sand and plastic chips flow freely out of a
storage bin or silo.
Properties of masses of particles
For these solids K’ (normal pressure/applied
pressure) is often between 0.35 and 0.6.
Cohesive solids, such as wet clay, are
characterized by their reluctance to flow
through openings.
For them, the value of K’ approaches to