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Foam granulation: binder dispersion and nucleation in mixer-granulators

Tan, Melvin X.L. and Hapgood, Karen P. 2011, Foam granulation: binder dispersion and nucleation in mixer-granulators, Chemical engineering research and design, vol. 89, no. 5, pp. 526-536, doi: 10.1016/j.cherd.2010.07.001.

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Title Foam granulation: binder dispersion and nucleation in mixer-granulators
Author(s) Tan, Melvin X.L.
Hapgood, Karen P.
Journal name Chemical engineering research and design
Volume number 89
Issue number 5
Start page 526
End page 536
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2011-05
ISSN 0263-8762
Keyword(s) foam granulation
wet granulation
binder distribution
high shear mixers
Summary Traditional wet granulation method involves spraying of liquid binder onto a moving powder bed to granulate the powder particles in the granulator. A new alternative method of wet granulation has been developed where foam delivery of binder is used to granulate the powder particles.This study investigated binder distribution in wet granulation and focused on the nucleation stage, where nuclei are formed during the initial binder distribution. Nucleation experiments were used to study the formation of nuclei by the foam and spray delivery methods in a high shear mixer-granulator. The distribution of foams on a dynamic powder bed were also investigated by filming small portion of foams as they penetrated into moving powder beds under different powder flow conditions in a high shear mixer-granulator.Nucleation experiments in this study show that foam delivery tends to create a narrower nuclei size distribution during the early stage of wet granulation process compared to spray delivery at the same processing conditions, demonstrating the potential of foam granulation in achieving improved binder distribution. For foam delivery, the nuclei formation is influenced by the foam properties and powder flow conditions in the granulator. The experiments show that the narrowest nuclei size distribution is obtained by granulating with high-quality foam and intensive powder mixing conditions. Coarser nuclei are formed when low-quality foam is dispersed in a less intensively agitated powder. The interactions of foam quality and the powder flow pattern are discussed and two distinct wetting and nucleation mechanisms are proposed: (1) under bumping flow, a low-quality foam tends to induce localised wetting and nucleation. The wetting and nucleation is "foam drainage" controlled. (2) Under roping flow, foam will be dispersed by the motion of the agitated powder. The wetting and nucleation is "mechanical dispersion" controlled.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.cherd.2010.07.001
Field of Research 0904 Chemical Engineering
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, Institution of Chemical Engineers
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Engineering
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