Continuum modeling of granular segregation during hopper discharge

Hongyi Xiao, Yi Fan*, Karl V. Jacob, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Madhusudhan Kodam, James F. Koch, Richard M. Lueptow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Modeling segregation of size disperse granular materials during hopper discharge is important as hoppers are widely used in various industries. However, due to the complexity of segregation and hopper discharge flows, accurately modeling this process has been challenging. In this study, we apply a continuum transport model to predict segregation of size bidisperse granular material during the discharge of quasi-2D hoppers. We apply Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations to reveal that segregation occurs mainly in a surface layer where particles are transported from the sidewalls to the hopper center. Velocity profiles are also developed based on a kinematic model and DEM data. The continuum model, which captures the interplay of advection, diffusion, and segregation, is then applied to predict the particle concentration distribution in the surface layer and the bulk. The continuum model accurately predicts the segregation pattern inside the hopper during discharge and the concentration profile of the discharged materials, in agreement with DEM simulations and experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-204
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019


  • Continuum modeling
  • Granular materials
  • Hopper discharge
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Continuum modeling of granular segregation during hopper discharge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this