Magnetic Density Separation of Particles in Honeycomb-generated Wake Turbulence

L.C. Thijs (Corresponding author), J.G.M. Kuerten, J.C.H. Zeegers, S. Tajfirooz (Corresponding author)

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Magnetic density separation (MDS) is a technique for separating granular materials based on mass density. MDS uses magnetically responsive fluids and engineered magnetic fields to create a vertical gradient of apparent mass density inside the fluid. We present a numerical study to investigate the effect of honeycomb wake turbulence on the motion of almost neutrally buoyant spherical particles in a magnetized fluid. A four-way coupled Euler-Lagrange approach is used where particles are effectively treated as finite-size point particles. It is shown that the honeycomb-generated wake turbulence increases the levitation time of the particles. The presence of particles results in an earlier break-up of the individual velocity profiles stemming from the honeycomb cells. The effects of honeycomb geometry and cell Reynolds number on the collective motion of particles and turbulence properties are investigated, where the choice for the best honeycomb is a trade-off between the separation error and the particle flux.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118930
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Finite-size point-particle
  • Four-way coupling
  • Honeycomb-induced turbulence
  • Magnetic density separation
  • Magneto-Archimedes levitation


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