Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Anthony G. Straatman


Pneumatic conveying is a technique that is widely used in many industrial mechanical and chemical applications. In the case of cement manufacturing pneumatic conveying is a large scale operation moving several kilograms of material per second which consumes electrical energy (operation of fans) and money (replacement of filters to remove particles from the air). At St Mary’s Cement the pneumatic conveying line was studied with a CFD model. The treatment of the secondary solid phase was done with the DPM formulation in ANSYS Fluent and turbulence was modelled with k-ω SST. It was found that simple geometric alterations to the bend geometry could reduce the pressure drop by half while larger changes such as the addition of a cyclone separator and removal of the knockout chamber could reduce the pressure drop over 50% and extend the life of the filters by up to 5 times.