Minimum pickup velocity (U pu) of nanoparticles in gas–solid pneumatic conveying

  • Aditya Anantharaman
  • J. Ruud van Ommen
  • Jia Wei ChewEmail author
Research Paper


This paper is the first systematic study of the pneumatic conveying of nanoparticles. The minimum pickup velocity, U pu, of six nanoparticle species of different materials [i.e., silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminum oxide (Al2O3), and titanium dioxide (TiO2)] and surfaces (i.e., apolar and polar) was determined by the weight loss method. Results show that (1) due to relative lack of hydrogen bonding, apolar nanoparticles had higher mass loss values at the same velocities, mass loss curves with accentuated S-shaped profiles, and lower U pu values, (2) among the three species, SiO2, which has the lowest Hamaker coefficient, exhibited the greatest discrepancy between apolar and polar surfaces with respect to both mass loss curves and U pu values, (3) U mf,polar/U mf,apolar was between 1 and 3.5 times that of U pu,polar/U pu,apolar due to greater extents of hydrogen bonding associated with U mf, (4) U pu values were at least an order-of-magnitude lower than that expected from the well-acknowledged U pu correlation (Kalman et al., Powder Technol 160:103–113, 2005) due to agglomeration, (5) although nanoparticles should be categorized as Zone III (Kalman et al. 2005) (or Geldart group C, Powder Technol 7:285–292, 1973), the nanoparticles, and primary and complex agglomerates agreed more with the Zone I (or Geldart group B) correlation.


Minimum pickup velocity Gas–solid pneumatic conveying Nanoparticle agglomerate Polarity Hydrogen bond Inter-particle cohesion Two-phase flow Critical velocity 



The authors thank the financial support from the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) Program (M4098010). We also acknowledge funding support from Singapore’s Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (M4011437).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical and Biomedical EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Singapore Membrane Technology Center, Nanyang Environment and Water Research InstituteNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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