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Partic. vol. 43 pp. 101-109 (April 2019)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2018.07.001

Tribo-charging of binary mixtures composed of coarse and fine particles in gas–solid pipe flow

Haifeng Wanga, Farzam Fotovatb,*, Xiaotao T. Bic, John R. Gracec

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    • The effect of adding fines on tribo-charging of coarse glass beads was investigated. • The mixture composition with the highest amount of charge was determined. • The effect of the total particle surface area on particle mixture electrification was explored. • Electrification of particle mixtures was compared with that of fine and coarse materials alone. • A model was proposed to predict charge density of mixtures as a function of their composition.


Experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of adding fines on the tribo-charging of coarse glass beads. Four types of fines, i.e., copper, stainless steel, uncoated and silver-coated fine glass beads, mixed with 240–830 μm glass beads were conveyed by air through a stainless-steel spiral pipe acting as a tribo-charger. Regardless of the type or electrical conductivity of the fine particles tested, adding small amounts of fines (up to 10 wt%) to coarse glass beads resulted in a sharp increase in the mass and surface charge densities of the particles. In general, the profiles of the mass and surface charge densities of the fine–coarse particle mixtures as a function of the mixture composition were determined by the relative magnitude of contact potential differences and the total surface areas of all the components. The dominant particle tribo-electrification mechanism switched from coarse particle–wall contacts to fine particle–wall contacts when the fines weight percentage in the mixture exceeded 10%. A model was developed to predict the mass charge density of binary mixtures as a function of the mixture composition.

Graphical abstract


Tribo-charging; Electrostatics; Fine particles; Binary mixture; Gas–solid flow