Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical & Biochemical Engineering

First Advisor

Christine M. Hrenya

Second Advisor

Arthi Jayaraman

Third Advisor

Alan W. Weimer


Natural and industrial granular flows often consist of several particle sizes, approximately forming a continuous particle size distribution (PSD). Continuous PSDs are ubiquitous, though existing kinetic-theory-based, hydrodynamic models for rapid granular flows are limited to a discrete number of species, many restricted to only two particle species. The objective of this effort is threefold: (i) to determine the importance of finite-volume (non-dilute) effects of solid particles in binary mixtures, (ii) to determine the minimum number of discrete particle species needed to accurately approximate a continuous PSD, and (iii) to validate discrete approximations of continuous PSDs applied to a kinetic-theory-based model via comparison with MD simulations.