Partitioning of particle velocities in gas-solid turbulent flows into a continuous field and a spatially uncorrelated random distribution: Theoretical formalism and numerical study

Pierre Février, Olivier Simonin, Kyle Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

166 Scopus citations


The velocity distribution of dilute suspensions of heavy particles in gas-solid turbulent flows is investigated. A statistical approach - the mesoscopic Eulerian formalism (MEF) - is developed in which an average conditioned on a realization of the turbulent carrier flow is introduced and enables a decomposition af the instantaneous particle velocity into two contributions. The first is a contribution from an underlying continuous turbulent velocity field shared by all the particles - the mesoscopic Eulerian particle velocity field (MEPVF) - that accounts fot all particle-particle and fluid-particle two-point correlations. The second contribution corresponds to a distribution - the quasi-Brownian velocity distribution (QBVD) - that represents a random velocity component satisfying the molecular chaos assumption that is not spatially correlated and identified with each particle of the system. The MEF is used to investigate properties of statistically stationary particle-laden isotropic turbulence. The carrier flow is computed using direct numerical simulation (DNS) or large-eddy simulation (LES) with discrete particle tracking employed for the dispersed phase. Particle material densities are much larger than that of the fluid and the force of the fluid on the particle is assumed to reduce to the drag contribution. Computations are performed in the dilute regime for which the influences of inter-particle collisions and fluid-turbulence modulation are neglected. The simulations show that increases in particle inertia increase the contribution of the quasi-Brownian component to the particle velocity. The particle velocity field is correlated a larger length scales than the fluid, with the integral length scales of the MEPVF also increasing with particle inertia. Consistent with the previous work of Abrahamson (1975), the MEF shows that in the limiting case of large inertia, particle motion becomes stochastically equivalent to a Brownian motion with a random spatial distribution of positions and velocities. For the current system of statistically stationary isotropic turbulence, both the DNS and LES show that the fraction of the kinetic energy residing in the mesoscopic field decreases with particle inertia as the square root of the ratio of the total particulate-phase kinetic energy to that of the fluid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-46
Number of pages46
StatePublished - Jun 25 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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