Meso-scale particles for quantitative prediction of powder transfer by pneumatic conveying

Oguzhan Erken

Host Institutions

University of Edinburgh [ 24 months ]
Procter & Gamble Technical Centres Ltd [ 12 months ]


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I am Oguzhan Erken and come from Turkey. I obtained my BSc in Mechanical Engineering at Bogazici University. Then, I finished my MSc at Koc University Mechanical Engineering Department under supervision of Prof. Dr. Metin Muradoglu. My Master’s project was about computational modelling of airway closure, and I used a Direct Numerical Method, called Front Tracking Method in this project (more details can be found here in my Google Scholar Page). Now, I am a part of TUSAIL and working on usage of meso-scale particles in pneumatic conveying. I am currently at The University of Edinburgh, and I will be at Procter & Gamble in the last year of my project. My supervisors are Dr. Kevin Hanley and Prof. Jin Ooi from The University of Edinburgh, and Dr. Prashant Gupta from Procter & Gamble.

The aim of my project is to reduce the computational expense of CFD–DEM simulations of pneumatic conveying by developing a quantitative and predictive simulation method using meso-scale particles, correctly accounting for the fundamental gas–solid interactions. For this purpose, experimental data from lab- and pilot-scale pneumatic conveyors will be used to derive appropriate scaling relations that will be incorporated into the simulation codes. The desired output of the project is a practically useful approach to design and optimise pneumatic conveyors for a broad range of industrial applications at an acceptable computational cost.

Project Description

Pneumatic conveying is widely used for transporting granular materials. DEM–CFD provides a multi-scale hybrid approach to simulate such systems but is very computationally expensive. The scientific challenge is to take the fundamental fluid–solid interactions into account to develop a quantitative, predictive method for conveying using upscaled particles, enabling faster simulations and creating a practically useful tool to design and optimise pneumatic conveyors.

Specific objectives are:
  1. Obtain experimental pneumatic conveying data using Procter & Gamble and NTE Process’s lab/pilot plant facilities;
  2. Extend current scaling laws for pneumatic conveying to include factors like particle shape and surface characteristics for fluid–solid interactions;
  3. Evaluate up-scaling approach using both particles of realistic diameter and coarser ones and validate against experiments.
Expected Results:
  1. A set of high-quality pneumatic conveying data from lab and pilot-scale facilities;
  2. Advanced scaling laws for pneumatic conveying applied to a wide range of particle sizes, shapes and flow regimes
  3. Validation of scaled pneumatic conveying simulations using pneumatic conveying pilot plant at NTE Process.
Essential Criteria:
  • An undergraduate degree in Chemical, Civil or Mechanical Engineering, Physics or a related discipline.
  • An Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) is required, possibly supported by an MSc Degree.
  • Meeting the School of Engineering PhD requirements, (see “Entry Requirements” at, including English language requirements.

Research Output

List of related publications
  1. Oguzhan Erken, Jin Y. Ooi, Prashant Gupta, Luigi Capozzi & Kevin Hanley (2024), Parameters affecting plug characteristics in dense phase pneumatic conveying of ellipsoidal particles Powder Technology, 437; 119561.