Aerated vibrofluidization of silica nanoparticles

Caroline H. Nam, Robert Pfeffer, Rajesh N. Dave, Sankaran Sundaresan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Vigorous homogeneous fluidization of 12-nm silica particles was easily achieved by coupling aeration with vibration. Vibration (with frequency in the range of 30 to 200 Hz, and vibrational acceleration in the range of 0 to 5 g) was found to be necessary to achieve smooth fluidization. The minimum fluidization velocity, defined as the lowest gas velocity at which the pressure drop across the bed reaches a plateau, was approximately 0.3-0.4 cm/s, and essentially independent of the vibrational acceleration. However, the bed expanded almost immediately after the air was turned on, reaching bed expansions of three times the initial bed height or higher. Thus the bed appeared to exhibit a fluidlike behavior at velocities much lower than the minimum fluidization velocity. Fluidization of nanoparticles was achieved as a result of the formation of stable, relatively large, and very porous agglomerates. Practically no bubbles or elutriation of particles was observed. A fractal analysis combined with a modified Richardson-Zaki approach is proposed for prediction of agglomerate size and voidage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1776-1785
Number of pages10
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Agglomerates
  • Fluidization
  • Fractal structure
  • High porosity
  • Nanoparticles
  • Vibration


Dive into the research topics of 'Aerated vibrofluidization of silica nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this