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CFD simulation of a perforated rotating bucket in the prilling process

   Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

Prilling is a finishing process in chemical and petrochemical industries for producing reasonably uniform spherical particles from molten solutions of chemicals such as urea or ammonium nitrate. In this process, the molten liquid is sprayed using a perforated rotating bucket to produce droplets, falling through a cooling medium (e.g. air) and solidifying into prills. The bucket is mounted on the top of the prilling tower.

The aim of this work is to obtain a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour of urea fluid in the bucket and its impact on the physical and mechanical properties of the final product such as size, strength, porosity, etc. The velocity field in the perforated rotating bucket is of the effects of the vital factors on the formation of droplets. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations will be carried out to assess the fluid flow behaviour in the bucket whereas the Design Modeller or other related software is used to prepare a three-dimensional geometrical model. The sensitivity analysis needs to be carried out to ensure the independence of the model to the mesh size for reliable simulation. Effects of fluid properties and the bucket geometry on the velocity field inside the bucket and the exit velocity of droplets should be determined. The final outcome will be the optimisation of the bucket to produce uniform size distribution of prills as the end product. This project is a cross-disciplinary work with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bradford where the principal supervisor is currently working.

Applications and expressions of interest are invited from prospective researchers with a good background of chemical or mechanical engineering or a closely related field.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. A bench fee may also apply to this project, in addition to the tuition fees. UK students may be able to apply for a Doctoral Loan from Student Finance for financial support.


1.Alamdari A., Jahanmiri A. and Rahmaniyan N., 2000. Mathematical modeling of the urea prilling process, Chemical Eng. Communication Journal, 178, 185-198.
2. Rahmanian, N., Homayoonfard, M. 2014 A Comparison of Co-Current and Counter-Current Modes of Operation in Urea Prilling Tower, Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 917, p.199-208.
3.Rahmanian, N., Homayoonfard, M., Alamdari A.. 2013. Simulation of urea prilling process: An industrial case study, Chemical Engineering Communication, 200 (6), p. 1-19.

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