An EPSRC Funded Research Project

Modelling of charge transfer due to aerodynamic dispersion

CFD-DEM simulation of the aerodynamic dispersion will be done whilst accounting for the space charge effect (computationally very intensive) and turbulence, using the method developed previously [1-5], based in the first instance on the dispersion unit of Morphologi G3, and later on the test rig developed in WP5.  We will extend the approaches of [6,7] to take a rigorous account of the space charge effect on the charge transfer.  A particular feature of the dispersion method here is that it allows the quantity of test particles to be varied, ranging from a fraction of a micro-gram to a level at which the space charge effect will be significant.  The accuracy of the predictions can therefore be rigorously tested in this way. We are strongly supported by Altair Engineering (Edinburgh, UK) for EDEM software and ESSS (Houston, USA) for Rocky software, both of which will be used in this project, coupled with Ansys Fluent CFD package, for taking account of the turbulent fluid flow.  The work here will provide high fidelity data on the equilibrium charge and charge transfer per impact data to be used to address work in WP7.


  1. Watanabe, H., Ghadiri, M., Matsuyama, T., Ding, Y. L., Pitt, K. G., Maruyama, H., Matsusaka, S., & Masuda, H. (2007). Triboelectrification of pharmaceutical powders by particle impact. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 334(1–2), 149–155.
  2. Šupuk, E., Zarrebini, A., Reddy, J. P., Hughes, H., Leane, M. M., Tobyn, M. J., Timmins, P., & Ghadiri, M. (2012). Tribo-electrification of active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients. Powder Technology, 217, 427–434.
  3. Zarrebini, A., Ghadiri, M., Dyson, M., Kippax, P., & McNeil-Watson, F. (2013). Tribo-electrification of powders due to dispersion. Powder Technology250, 75–83.
  4. Zafar, U., Alfano, F., & Ghadiri, M. (2018). Evaluation of a new dispersion technique for assessing triboelectric charging of powders. International Journal of Pharmaceutics543(1–2), 151–159.
  5. Ali, M., & Ghadiri, M. (2017). Analysis of triboelectric charging of particles due to aerodynamic dispersion by a pulse of pressurised air jet. Advanced Powder Technology28(10), 2735–2740. 
  6. Alfano, F. O., di Renzo, A., di Maio, F. P., & Ghadiri, M. (2021). Computational analysis of triboelectrification due to aerodynamic powder dispersion. Powder Technology, 382, 491–504. 
  7. Pei, C., Wu, C. Y., England, D., Byard, S., Berchtold, H., & Adams, M. (2013). Numerical analysis of contact electrification using DEM–CFD. Powder Technology, 248, 34–43.


An improved model for the space charge in DEM and the API code for integration in the commercial DEM software packages.




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