Electrification of particulate entrained fluid flows—Mechanisms, applications, and numerical methodology

W. Wei, Z. Gu
Physics Reports
Contact electrification, corona charging, Electrification, induction charging, numerical methodology, Particulate entrained fluid flows, triboelectrification

Particulates in natural and industrial flows have two basic forms: liquid (droplet) and solid (particle). Droplets would be charged in the presence of the applied electric field (e.g. electrospray). Similar to the droplet charging, particles can also be charged under the external electric field (e.g. electrostatic precipitator), while in the absence of external electric field, tribo-electrostatic charging is almost unavoidable in gas–solid two-phase flows due to the consecutive particle contacts (e.g. electrostatic in fluidized bed or wind-blown sand). The particle charging may be beneficial, or detrimental. Although electrostatics in particulate entrained fluid flow systems have been so widely used and concerned, the mechanisms of particulate charging are still lack of a thorough understanding.

The motivation of this review is to explore a clear understanding of particulate charging and movement of charged particulate in two-phase flows, by summarizing the electrification mechanisms, physical models of particulate charging, and methods of charging/charged particulate entrained fluid flow simulations. Two effective methods can make droplets charged in industrial applications: corona charging and induction charging. The droplet charge to mass ratio by corona charging is more than induction discharge. The particle charging through collisions could be attributed to electron transfer, ion transfer, material transfer, and/or aqueous ion shift on particle surfaces. The charges on charged particulate surface can be measured, nevertheless, the charging process in nature or industry is difficult to monitor. The simulation method might build a bridge of investigating from the charging process to finally charged state on particulate surface in particulate entrained fluid flows.

The methodology combining the interface tracking under the action of the applied electric with the fluid flow governing equations is applicable to the study of electrohydrodynamics problems. The charge distribution and mechanical behaviors of liquid surface can be predicted by using this method. The methodology combining particle charging model with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Discrete element method (DEM) is applicable to study the particle charging/charged processes in gas–solid two phase flows, the influence factors of particle charging, such as gas–particle interaction, contact force, contact area, and various velocities, are described systematically. This review would explore a clear understanding of the particulate charging and provide theoretical references to control and utilize the charging/charged particulate entrained fluid system.

Keywords: electrification, corona charging, induction charging, contact electrification, triboelectrification, particulate entrained fluid flows, numerical methodology

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