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CFD modelling of particle clustering in fluidized bed applications

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Karnik
    Dr M Hossain
    Dr G Droubi
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Funded by School of Engineering - Robert Gordon University offers this Fees-only PhD studentship for home and overseas candidates.

This is a fees-only funded PhD studentship within the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University (RGU). The successful candidate will be based at RGU in Aberdeen and supervised by Dr Aditya Karnik and Dr Mamdud Hossain. Research is funded by the School of Engineering and interested candidates will have to secure their own financial support to upkeep their living costs.

Project Summary

The PhD study will focus on particle clustering in fluidized bed applications. Circulating fluidized beds (CFB) find numerous application in industry including CFB combustion and Fluid Cracking Catalyst (FCC) reactors. Homogeneous distribution of solid fuel (or catalyst) particles is a key requirement to ensure maximum contact between the gas and solid phases. Inhomogeneous mixing in such units lead to increased emissions. Enhanced energy efficiency leading to reduced emissions is a key component of the Scottish government energy strategy. The need to improve the efficiency of energy conversion devices such as CFB power plants is more than ever before.

There is a need to improve the prediction capability of numerical simulations of such processes to enable reliable scale-up with reduced emissions. This will be achieved through a combination of multiphase model development hand-in-hand with simulations of turbulent multiphase flows. The project will be primarily computational and will utilise both open-source and commercial CFD tools. The successful candidate would contribute to the development of novel simulation tools for reduction of emissions towards achieving environmental targets.

Dense particle flows are typically modelled using the Eulerian-Granular approach. For turbulent granular flows there is a need to combine the Eulerian-Granular model with Reynolds-Averaged turbulence models (RANS). The project aims to develop modifications to the Eulerian-Granular approach to account for transfer of turbulent kinetic energy between scales. The insights gained from the project will provide information on the role of clustering on the energy transfer process. Simulations will be validated against reference experimental data.

Robert Gordon University is one of the top modern universities in Scotland for engineering research, with a track record of dynamic leadership and a reputation as an innovative and ambitious university. We have an established record of industry engagement, an outstanding record for teaching and learning, and one of the UK’s best graduate employment records.

If you have any questions regarding this PhD studentship, please email the following contacts:

Dr Aditya Karnik
T: +44 (0) 122 426 3335
E: [Email Address Removed]

Entry requirements

• First or Second Class UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as Mechanical or Chemical Engineering.
• Good knowledge of Fluid dynamics.
• Knowledge of turbulence modelling.
• Knowledge of multiphase flow modelling.
• Familiarity with CFD software tools (Ansys Fluent, STAR-CCM+, OpenFoam)
• Coding skills.

Funding Support

Applicants are eligible for a fee waiver studentship for the duration of the 3 year award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees only for qualified UK/EU or overseas students. A condition of acceptance will be for the successful applicant to provide proof of their ability to cover living expenses.

Successful applicant is expected commence study in September 2019.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase flows, turbulence modelling, particulate flows

Applications should be made by email to: Dr Aditya Karnik [Email Address Removed]

Reference: ENG19-05

Funding Notes

Applicants are eligible for a fee waiver studentship for the duration of the 3 year award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees only for qualified UK/EU or overseas students. Interested candidates will have to secure their own financial support to support their living costs.


Fox, R.O. On multiphase turbulence models for collisional fluid-particle flows, J. Fluid Mech. (742), 2014.

Mehrabadi et al., Development of a gas-solid drag law for clustered particles using particle-resolved DNS, Chem. Engg. Sci. (152), 199-212, 2016.

Karnik, A., Shrimpton, J., Mitigation of Preferential Concentration of small Inertial particles in stationary Isotropic Turbulence using Electrical and Gravitational body forces, Phys. Fluids 24(7), 3301, 2012.

Scott, S., Karnik, A., Shrimpton, J., On the Quantification of Preferential Accumulation, Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow 30(4), 789-795, 2009.

Karnik et al., Numerical Investigation of the Effect of Bed Height and Coefficient of Restitution on the Minimum Fluidization Velocity of a Cylindrical Fluidized Bed, 8th Intl. Conf. on Mult. Flow, Korea, 2013.

Tandon, M., Karnik, A., Simulation of Rectangular Fluidised Bed with Geldart D Particles, 10th Intl. Conf. on CFD in Oil & Gas, Metallurgical and Process Industries, SINTEF, Norway, 2014.

Tandon, M., Mohan, S.J., Karnik, A., Gada, V., An Eulerian-Eulerian Formulation for Erosion Modelling: An Alternate Approach, 7th Intl. Fluid Mech. and Fluid Power Conf., IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India, 2018.

Karnik et al., Physics-informed machine learning approach for sub-grid scale modelling in LES, 70th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Atlanta, USA, Nov. 2018.

Tebowei, R., Hossain, M., Islam, S. Z., Droubi, M. G., Oluyemi, G., Investigation of Sand Transport in an undulated pipe using computational fluid dynamics, J. Petro. Sci. Tech. 162, 747-762, 2018.

How good is research at Robert Gordon University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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