Computational fluid dynamic modeling of the flame spray pyrolysis process for silica nanopowder synthesis

Miguel Olivas-Martinez, Hong Yong Sohn*, Hee Dong Jang, Kang In Rhee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A computational fluid dynamic model that couples the fluid dynamics with various processes involving precursor droplets and product particles during the flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) synthesis of silica nanopowder from volatile precursors is presented. The synthesis of silica nanopowder from tetraethylorthosilicate and tetramethylorthosilicate in bench- and pilot-scale FSP reactors, with the ultimate purpose of industrial-scale production, was simulated. The transport and evaporation of liquid droplets are simulated from the Lagrangian viewpoint. The quadrature method of moments is used to solve the population balance equation for particles undergoing homogeneous nucleation and Brownian collision. The nucleation rate is computed based on the rates of thermal decomposition and oxidation of the precursor with no adjustable parameters. The computed results show that the model is capable of reproducing the magnitude as well as the variations of the average particle diameter with different experimental conditions using a single value of the collision efficiency factor α for a given reactor size.

Original languageEnglish
Article number324
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors express their gratitude to the R&D Center for Valuable Recycling (Global-Top Environmental Technology Development Program) of Korea for the financial support. MOM expresses his gratitude to CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología/National Council of Science and Technology) of Mexico for the scholarship to pursue Ph.D. studies. The authors also wish to acknowledge ANSYS, Inc. for providing the ANSYS FLUENT software used in this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • CFD
  • Flame synthesis
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanopowder
  • Population balance
  • QMOM


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