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Product design based on discrete particle modeling of a fluidized bed granulator

Lennart Fries;Sergiy Antonyuk;Stefan Heinrich;Gerhard Niederreiter;Stefan Palzer;Nestlé Research Center;Institute of Solids Process Engineering and Particle Technology, Hamburg University of Technology;  
Fluidized bed agglomeration is a process commonly used to construct powdered food or pharmaceutical products to improve their instant properties. This works analyzes the influence of a wide range of operating parameters(i.e., fluidization air flow rate, temperature, and liquid injection rate) on growth rate, process stability, and product particle structure. Different granulator configurations(i.e., top spray,Wurster coater, spouted bed) are compared using identical process parameters. The impacts of both process variables and granulator geometry on the fluidization regime, the particle and collision dynamics, and the resulting product structure and corresponding properties are studied in detailed simulations using a discrete particle model(DPM) and lab-scale agglomeration experiments with amorphous dextrose syrup(DE21). The combination of numerical and experimental results allows to correlate the kinetics of microscale particle interactions and the final product properties(i.e., agglomerate structure and strength). In conclusion, detailed DPM simulations are proven as a valuable tool for knowledge-based product design.
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