Prediction of conductive heating time scales of particles in a rotary drum

Heather Emady, Kellie V. Anderson, William G. Borghard, Fernando J. Muzzio, Benjamin J. Glasser, Alberto Cuitino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Modeling conductive heat transfer from rotary drum walls to a particle bed via discrete element method simulations, three time scales were determined: 1) the characteristic heating time of the bed, τ 2) the particle thermal time constant, τp; and 3) the contact time between a particle and the wall, τc. Results fall onto a monotonic curve of τ/τc vs. φ (τpc), with three heating regimes. At low φ, conduction dominates, and the system heats quickly as a solid body. At high φ, granular convection dominates, and the bed heats slowly at a nearly uniform temperature. At intermediate φ, the system heats as a cool core with warmer outer layers. The results of this work have important implications for improving the design and operation of rotary drums (e.g., energy-intensive calcination processes). By calculating τp and τc from material and operating parameters, the characteristic heating time, τ, can be predicted a priori.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016


  • Calcination
  • Catalyst manufacture
  • Conduction
  • Discrete element method
  • Heat transfer
  • Particle technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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