(Dr. Marc Smith, advisor)
"Design and Optimization of a Vortex Particle Separator for a Hot Mix Asphalt Plant Using Computational Fluid Dynamics"
The intent of this study was to design and optimize an inline cyclonic particle separator as the primary collector for a Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) plant. Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods were used to investigate the effects of the device geometry on particle collection. The Reynolds Renormalization Group (RNG) k-e turbulence model was used to model the swirling flow. Particle tracking was performed to predict collection efficiency using a Discrete Phase Model (DPM). The Haider and Levenspeil modification was made to the DPM to better model non-spherical particles trajectories. Particle-wall interaction was investigated by varying the Coefficient of Restitution. The predicted collection efficiency was compared to a similar CFD analysis of the existing HMA cyclone design and to empirical data. The optimized inline cyclonic separator was shown to accomplish better collection efficiency at a fraction of the pressure drop of the existing design.