Compartmental residence time estimation in batch granulators using a colourimetric image analysis algorithm and Discrete Element Modelling
In this paper we present an experimental technique and a novel colourimetric image analysis algorithm to economically evaluate particle residence times within regions of batch granulators for use in compartmental population balance models. Residence times are extracted using a simple mixing model in conjunction with colourimetric data. The technique is applied to the mixing of wet coloured granules (binary and ternary systems) in a laboratory scale mixer. The resulting particle concentration evolutions were in qualitative agreement with those from the mixing model. It was seen that the algorithm was most stable in the case of the binary colour experiments. Lastly, simulations using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) were also performed to further validate the assumptions made in the analysis of the experimental results. Particle concentrations from the simulations showed the same trends as the experiment and highlighted the importance of particle size distributions on the DEM residence times.