Numerical Modeling of an Air-Based Density Separator

T. Ghosh, A. J. Salazar, R. Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The modern air-based density separator achieves density-based separation for particle sizes greater than 6 mm. Parametric studies, conducted with a modified laboratory-scale unit, operating at an optimal feed rate of 200 kg/hr to upgrade low-rank coal, have demonstrated the applicability to clean finer size fractions up to 1 mm. However, there is a lack of fundamental understanding of the separation process that can be provided utilizing numerical modeling techniques. The separation process was numerically modeled using K-Epsilon and RSM turbulence formulations and validated using experimental dataset. The results prove that the effect of fine coal vortices forming around the riffles act as a transport mechanism for higher density particle movement across the table deck resulting in 43% displacement of the high-density particles to the product side. The velocity and vector plots show high local variances of air speeds and pressure near the feed end and an increase in feed rate results in a drop in the deshaling capability of the table.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-278
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Air based density separator
  • CFD
  • DDPM model
  • K-Epsilon
  • RSM
  • low rank coal
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical Modeling of an Air-Based Density Separator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this