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Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

An explicit equation for the terminal velocity of solid spheres

falling in pseudoplastic liquids
Vassilios C. Kelessidis∗
Mineral Resources Engineering Department, Technical University of Crete, Polytechnic City, 73100 Chania, Greece

Received 18 February 2004; received in revised form 14 June 2004; accepted 7 July 2004

An explicit equation is proposed which predicts directly the terminal velocity of solid spheres falling through stagnant pseudoplastic
liquids from the knowledge of the physical properties of the spheres and of the surrounding liquid. The equation is a generalization
of the equation proposed for Newtonian liquids. By properly defining the dimensionless diameter, d∗ , a function of the Archimedes
number, Ar, and the dimensionless velocity, U∗ , a function of the generalized Reynolds number, Re, to account for the non-Newtonian
characteristics of the liquid, the final equation relating these two variables has similar form to the Newtonian equation. The predictions
are very good when they are compared to 55 pairs of Re—CD for non-Newtonian data and 37 pairs for Newtonian data published
previously. The root mean square error on the dimensionless velocity is 0.081 and much better than the only other equation previously
䉷 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Non-Newtonian fluids; Particle; Sedimentation; Suspension; Slurries; Explicit terminal velocity

1. Introduction so that
4 gd  0.5
Knowledge of the terminal settling velocity of solids in V = . (2)
liquids is required in many industrial applications. Typi- 3 CD
cal examples include drilling for oil and gas, geothermal Numerous attempts have been made to establish theoreti-
drilling, hydraulic transport systems, thickeners, mineral cal relationships of the terminal settling velocity of solid
processing, solid–liquid mixing, fluidization equipment. spheres but the theoretical expressions are normally valid for
The type of movement of single solid sphere in Re, based on the particle diameter, less than 200. For higher
Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids is well-known; after Re, resort must be made to experimental and empirical
a short acceleration time, it will fall at its terminal settling relationships.
velocity V . For an unbounded liquid, V can be calculated There are over 50 correlations published relating the
from the knowledge of the liquid and solid physical prop- Reynolds number to the drag coefficient for the case of
erties and from the drag coefficient, defined by Newtonian fluids. In these correlations the terminal ve-
4 gd  locity is implicitly derived, hence, resort must be made to
CD = (1) trial and error procedure for deriving the terminal velocity.
3 V 2
There are not as many explicit relationships to predict V ,
with few equations for Newtonian liquids and even fewer
for non-Newtonian liquids.
∗ Tel.: +30-2821037621; fax: +30-2821037874. Turton and Clark (1987) proposed an explicit rela-
E-mail address: (V.C. Kelessidis). tionship, where they defined a dimensionless particle

0009-2509/$ - see front matter 䉷 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
4438 V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

diameter, d∗ , Hence, Eq. (7) becomes now, in terms of Re and Ar,

3 g  1/3 18 0.824
d∗ = CD Re 2
=d (3) Re=Ar 1/3
4 2 1
Ar 2/3
and a dimensionless terminal velocity, U∗ ,   1.214
3 0.428 0.412
   1/3 + . (12)
4 Re 1/3 2 4 Ar 1/3
U∗ = =V . (4)
3 CD g (s − )
This analysis shows that knowing the physical properties
They then combined the low Reynolds number range (Stokes and particle diameter one can estimate Ar (Eq. (9)) and then
law), where get Re from Eq. (12) from which V is readily evaluated.
24 Explicit relationships for the terminal velocity for Newto-
CD = (5) nian fluids have also been reported by Hartman et al. (1989)
and Nguyen et al. (1997).
with the high Reynolds number range, where
Hartman et al. (1989) modified the implicit equation, pro-
CD = K1 (6) posed by Zigrang and Sylvester (1981), and using their own
data they proposed,
in the form
  K2  0.5∗K2  K12 log Re = P (A) + log R(A), (13)
18 3 K1
U∗ = 1 + (7) P (A)=[(0.0017795A − 0.0573)A + 1.0315]A
d∗2 4 d∗
−1.26222, (13a)
so that the velocity could be directly estimated. (It should be
noted that this equation is listed with a mistake in the paper R(A) = 0.99947 + 0.01853 sin(1.848A − 3.14), (13b)
of Turton and Clark (1987) as well as in the paper of Heider
and Levenspiel (1989), with the square root shown on the A = log Ar (13c)
parameter d∗ in the second term, rather than the correct form
as an accurate solution—approximation to the equation of
shown above).
Zigrang and Sylvester (1981) in the sense of least-squares
Using the 408 data points (the ones used by Turton and
fit. They compared this equation together with the equa-
Levenspiel, 1986) and minimizing the RMS error, which is
tion proposed by Turton and Clark (1987), Eq. (12), with
defined as in the following equation:

  their own experimental data, which covered a range of
Q 5 < Re < 78 and 141 < Ar < 5720. They found relative de-
RMS_U∗ = , viations in velocity of (+1.7%)–(−1.3%) for their proposed
equation, while for the equation of Turton and Clark (1987)
Q= (log10 U∗ exp − log10 U∗pred )2 (8) they found relative deviations of (+3.14%)–(−5.2%).
Nguyen et al. (1997) proposed a three parameter expres-
they found K1 = 0.428 and K2 = 0.824 with the value of K1 sion relating the ratio of the Stokes velocity to the particle
comparable to the value of the drag coefficient at high val- velocity with the Archimedes number, as in,
ues of Reynolds number (CD = 0.44). With these parameter
values, they found that Q = 0.244 and RMS_U∗ = 0.024. Vs Ar
=1+ [1 + 0.079Ar 0.749 ]−0.755 , (14)
It should be noted that Eq. (3) can be recast as V 96
d g   g 2 d 3  where Vs is the terminal velocity for the Stokes regime
d∗ =
= = ∗ Ga = Ar (9)
2  2  (Re < 0.1) and given by
with the dimensionless number Ga normally referred to as d 2 g 
the Galileo number and Ar is the Archimedes number. Vs = . (15)
Similarly, Eq. (4) can be rearranged as
 2  This equation can be recast in the form Re–Ar as
 V 3  V 3  2 d 3
U∗3 =V 3 = =
g   g   2 Ar Ar 1
Re = Ar
. (16)
Re3 18 1 + [1 + 0.079Ar 0.749 ]−0.755
= (10) 96
The authors showed graphically that their data fall on the
from which finally,
predicted V -d curve, for the range of 1.68 < Re < 65, using
Re ballotini particles (diameters between 0.1 and 0.8 mm and
U∗ = . (11)
Ar 1/3 density of 2.5 g/cm3 ) falling in water.
V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447 4439

2. Explicit equations for non-Newtonian liquids error in velocity, in the form of

Many investigators (Chhabra, 1990, 1993; Chhabra and Re = a Ar b (20)

Richardson, 1999; Kelessidis, 2004) have established that with
expressions relating the drag coefficient to Reynolds number  
proposed for Newtonian liquids could be extended to non- 0.51
a = 0.1 × exp − 0.73n , (21)
Newtonian liquids, provided that the Reynolds number is n
estimated based on the apparent viscosity as
b= − 0.16. (22)
V 2−n d n n
Re = Regen = . (17)
K Their equation covered the range 10 < Ar < 106 and
Others (Acharya et al., 1976; Kawase and Ulbrecht, 1981a,b; 1 < Re < 104 . (It should be noted that in the original publi-
Ceylan et al., 1999) have provided theoretical solutions valid cation of Chhabra and Peri (1991), the expression for a is
for creeping flow of pseudoplastic fluids around a falling erroneously printed without the multiplication factor of 0.1,
sphere, resulting in corrections to the Newtonian case of the and using the equation with the wrong coefficients gives
form, CD = Re 24
Xn with Xn = f (n), while also providing always a considerably underestimated velocity. In a more
equations of the form CD = f (Re, n) for higher Reynolds recent publication (Chhabra and Richardson, 1999) the
numbers, derived from regression analysis of their own as value of a is correctly reported, as in Eq. (21)). For given
well as other investigators’ data, a procedure followed also values of d, , , K and n, Ar is calculated from Eq. (19)
by Matijašić and Glasnović (2001) using their own data. and Re is then predicted using Eqs. (20)–(22). Once Re is
However, all the proposed equations by the aforementioned calculated, the terminal settling velocity can be predicted
authors are implicit in velocity. Reynolds and Jones (1989) from Eq. (17).
proposed to plot the logarithm of the ratio of the drag force Briens (1991), using dimensionless diameter and velocity,
to the square of the sphere diameter against the logarithm of as in Newtonian fluids, proposes a graphical procedure to
the ratio of the settling velocity to the particle diameter in determine directly the velocity from the fluid and solid prop-
order to determine the form of the function f (n) referenced erties. However, the graphical procedure makes it impracti-
above and validated the procedure with a series of their own cal for computational purposes and the results are given in
data for Re < 0.1. terms of the flow behavior index n.
Koziol and Glowacki (1988) extended the approach of Graham and Jones (1994) solved numerically the problem
Schiller and Nauman to non-Newtonian power law fluids by of spheres moving through a quiescent power law fluid and
forming the parameter provided relationships of the form CD = f (Re, n) valid for
0.2(2)n  Re 100(2)n with the factor (2)n arising because
4 d 2+n g 2−n 2 they had defined the Reynolds number based on the radius
A = CD Re2 =  (18) of the sphere. When the proposed equation was compared
3 K2
to experimental data, different curves were produced for
which is independent of velocity. They presented a general different values of the power law coefficient. They could not
plot of Re vs A based on their own data as well as data from find closed form solutions and the authors proposed to follow
other investigators. The data and plot covered the range of the graphical method used by Koziol and Glowacki (1988)
0.001 < Re < 10. From the results it is evident that such a described above, in order to determine the settling velocity
presentation can be of merit, however different curves are given the particle size and density and the fluid properties.
obtained for different n values, indicating that a unique equa- Darby (1996) proposed a methodology which determines
tion may not be possible to be obtained using the proposed not only the CD –Re relationship for spheres falling in power
parameters. law fluids but also the velocity directly, although there is still
Chhabra and Peri (1991) extended the approach of Koziol a need for iteration in the final proposed equation. He ex-
and Glowacki (1988) to higher Reynolds numbers, seeking tended the Dallavall equation proposed for Newtonian fluids
a relationship of the form using correction factors, derived from various curves pro-
posed by Chhabra (1995), to account for the shear thinning
Re = f (Ar, n) behavior which were finally given as functions of the power
law exponent n.
with Re given by Eq. (17). They defined the non-Newtonian
Ar as
4gd (2+n)/(2−n)  3. Comparison of explicit correlations for Newtonian
Ar = CD Re 2/(2−n)
= . (19) liquids
3K 2/(2−n) 2/(n−2) 
They gathered 400 experimental data points pertaining to We attempt here to compare the predictions of the ter-
Re 1 and derived an equation, by minimizing the RMS minal velocity from the proposed explicit correlations for
4440 V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

Newtonian fluids using Eqs. (12), (13), (16) and (20) and The results are shown in Fig. 1. It is evident that Eqs. (12),
quantify any differences. We include Eq. (20), proposed for (13) and (16) give very similar results, for the range of
non-Newtonian fluids, since it is claimed to be valid for fluid Ar mentioned, while Eq. (20) progressively diverges from
behavior index values of 0.38 n 1 (Chhabra and Peri, the results of the others for Ar > 1.5 × 104 . We compute
1991). The range of validity of the proposed equations is the RMS error on Reynolds and the mean relative absolute
listed in Table 1. We see that the Archimedes number covers error in velocity, as stated above, where as reference we get
a very extended range. the Reynolds number and velocity predicted from Eq. (12).
We will be comparing the predictions from the above These error values are shown in Table 2, for the range of
mentioned equations for 10 Ar  0.35 × 105 which covers 10 Ar  0.35 × 105 .
situations with particle diameters between 1–6 mm, with a The values of the error indicators show that all three Eqs.
density of 2500 kg/m3 , fluid density of 1100 kg/m3 and (12), (13) and (16), give very similar results, evident also in
apparent liquid viscosities in the range of 10–30 cp. Fig. 1, while the errors from Eq. (20) are much larger, prob-
For a combination of values of , s , d,  or a we com- ably because the parameter values were derived primarily
pute Ar and then Re from one of the equations listed above. from non-Newtonian data.
We compare the relative errors using two indicators, the Since Ar can take values outside the above range, we
Root Mean Square Error on Reynolds, defined in a similar have made similar computations for an extended range of
manner as in Eq. (8), 2 Ar  1010 . For this extended range, we get the error val-

  ues shown in Table 3. We see that for this extended range,
RMS_Re = ,
N Table 2

QR = (log10 ReT − log10 Rei )2 (23) Errors between predictions from different correlations and from correlation
of Turton and Clark (1987) (10 Ar  0.35 × 105 )
and the relative absolute error in velocity, defined as Hartman et al. Nguyen et al. Chhabra and Peri
N (1989), Eq. (13) (1997), Eq. (16) (1991), Eq. (20)
1 |VT − Vi | RMS_Re 0.20 0.18 0.36
EV = ∗ 100. (24) EV (%)
N VT 3.8 3.3 12.7

Table 1
Range of parameters for validity of proposed correlations Table 3
Errors between different correlations, for an extended range of Ar, com-
Source Ar Re n puted as per Table 2 (10 Ar  1010 )

Turton and Clark (1987) 1–108 0.1–2 × 104 1.0 Hartman et al. Nguyen et al. Chhabra and Peri
Hartman et al. (1989) 1–107 0.1–0.55 × 104 1.0 (1989), Eq. (13) (1997), Eq. (16) (1991), Eq. (20)
Nguyen et al. (1997) 1–8 × 104 0.1–450 1.0 RMS_Re 0.03 0.10 0.56
Chhabra and Peri (1991) 10–106 1–104 0.38–1.0 EV (%) 5.3 16.4 355

10 < Ar < 3.5*104



Reynolds number





0.0E+00 5.0E+03 1.0E+04 1.5E+04 2.0E+04 2.5E+04 3.0E+04 3.5E+04
Archimedes number

Turton & Clark, eqn.12 Hartman et al., eqn. 13 Nguyen et al., eqn. 16 Chhabra & Peri, eqn. 20

Fig. 1. Comparison of predictions of Reynolds number from Archimedes number from various correlations proposed for Newtonian fluids.
V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447 4441

Table 4 Table 5
Non-Newtonian data from other investigators Newtonian data from other investigators

Kelessidis (2004), 15 pairs Kelessidis and Mpandelis Kelessidis (2004), 10 pairs Kelessidis and Mpandelis (2004),
(2004), 14 pairs 9 pairs
15.622 3.574 1166.04 0.46
0.112 174.572 9.04 3.79 55.243 1.849 657.44 0.57
0.568 35.534 4.09 7.01 67.611 1.463 215.09 0.67
0.723 26.059 0.78 20.35 120.236 1.174 2792.80 0.32
1.629 14.463 39.80 1.66 154.441 1.027 1.21 24.42
2.274 11.029 6.12 5.86 190.059 0.694 0.48 62.84
2.877 12.769 2.63 12.04 566.714 0.605 0.08 272.70
7.310 6.936 0.48 41.42 671.864 0.511 4.42 8.39
9.623 4.558 23.44 2.42 1049.610 0.531 4.65 7.97
11.969 3.481 23.34 2.40 1269.610 0.523
22.115 2.849 4.09 9.26
22.654 2.516 1.72 20.11
27.261 2.215 0.30 77.96 Di Felice (1999), 12 pairs Hartman et al. (1989), 6 pairs
29.595 2.130 15.71 3.33 0.016 1541.572 5.189 7.001
50.130 1.677 15.46 3.47 0.128 190.312 6.088 6.290
64.223 1.471 0.486 57.659 19.234 2.763
1.829 17.756 30.538 2.095
2.218 15.863 50.295 1.572
Miura et al. (2001), Pinelli and Magelli (2001), 7.523 6.010 78.249 1.246
18 pairs 8 pairs 29.574 2.558
0.445 59.698 1.246 16.222 53.740 1.800
2.613 12.639 1.889 9.885 98.780 1.161
6.561 6.253 4.779 5.447 237.122 0.675
7.408 5.405 5.640 4.197 365.800 1.004
8.614 4.007 9.902 3.366 928.550 0.500
24.024 2.527 14.075 2.305
32.464 1.542 19.264 1.922
43.644 1.402 28.012 1.287
53.654 1.497 Table 6
68.644 0.987 Range of Re and power law parameters for utilized data in this work
94.419 0.828
153.220 0.598 dynes∗ s n
Source Re K 2 n
174.157 0.633 cm
257.458 0.511 non-Newtonian
269.090 0.501 Kelessidis and Mpandelis 0.3–40 0.85–1.15 0.75–0.91
406.838 0.511 (2004)
407.534 0.500 Kelessidis (2004) 0.1–64 0.16– 2.7 0.75–0.92
770.472 0.378 Miura et al. (2001) 0.4–770 0.17–5.90 0.56–0.75
Pinelli and Magelli (2001) 1.0–30 0.47–0.52 0.73
Kelessidis and Mpandelis 0.1–2800 0.01–1.35 1.0
the predictions from Eqs. (12) and (13) are still very similar, Kelessidis (2004) 16.0–1270 0.01–0.06 1.0
the errors from Eq. (16) are larger, while the errors from Di Felice (1999) 0.01–929 0.23–1.74 1.0
Eq. (20) are very large, primarily because the data used is Hartman et al. (1989) 5.0–78 13.2 1.0
outside the validity range of Eq. (20).

4. Scope of work (2004) and Kelessidis and Mpandelis (2004), which are
listed in Table 5. The range of parameters covered is listed
The purpose of this work was to evaluate the different in Table 6.
approaches for the direct determination of velocity of spher- We have shown above that Eq. (12) proposed for Newto-
ical particles falling in non-Newtonian liquids and to de- nian data provides similar predictions to the other equations
termine which equation better describes the experimental (Eqs. (13) and (16)). Hence, we will be extending (generaliz-
data, and if possible, propose a new equation. The data uti- ing) this equation to cover non-Newtonian fluids, we would
lized include non-Newtonian data of Miura et al. (2001), then be comparing the predictions with measured data and
Pinelli and Magelli (2001), Kelessidis (2004), Kelessidis finally we will be comparing the predictions from this equa-
and Mpandelis (2004), listed in Table 4, and Newtonian tion to predictions derived with the explicit equation pro-
data of Di Felice (1999), Hartman et al. (1989), Kelessidis posed for non-Newtonian data (Eq. (20)).
4442 V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

5. Theory Chhabra and Peri (1991) nor from the approach of Koziol
and Glowacki (1988) nor from Briens (1991), pointing to
In accordance to the work of Turton and Clark (1987), we the fact that Eq. (25) is the proper generalization of Eq. (3)
define, using the generalized Reynolds number (Eq. (17)), a used for Newtonian liquids.
dimensionless diameter, d∗ = (Ar)(2−n)/(2+n) , as We seek therefore an expression similar to the Newtonian
 (2−n)/(2+n) liquids, Eq. (7), but care should be exercised on the way the
(2−n)/(2+n) 3 generalization is made for the pseudoplastic fluids. Accord-
d∗ =(Ar) = CD Re 2/(2−n)
4 ingly, we perform the generalization as per the following
g  (2−n)/(2+n)  2/(2+n) steps.
=d . (25) We combine the low Reynolds range, Eq. (5),
For n = 1 this equation gives the value of d∗ , given above CD =
(Eq. (3)) and defined by Turton and Clark (1987). Re
Similarly we define a dimensionless velocity, U∗ , as with the high Reynolds number range, Eq. (6),
 1/(2+n)  1/(2+n)
Re n+1 CD = K1
U∗ = =V (26)
((3/4)CD )n g n K n since, as stated above, the Newtonian relationships could be
which for n = 1 gives the value of U∗ as in Newtonian fluids extended to non-Newtonian fluids provided that the gener-
(Eq. (4)). alized Reynolds number is used.
Eq. (26) can be recast to give From Eq. (26) and Eq. (5), we can get,
 2+n    Re1+n
V   n 2+n
U∗1 = ,
U∗2+n = . (27) 18n
K g 
(2+n)/(1+n) Re
Since U∗1 = (31)
g  2/(2−n) d (2+n)/(2−n)
Ar = , and from Eq. (25),
 K 2/(2−n)  
g  K 2/(2−n) (2+n)/(2−n)
d∗ =
CD Re 2/(2−n)
= (Ar) 2/(2−n) (2+n)/(2−n) . (28)
  d 4
Combination of (27) and (28) gives, d∗ = 18(2−n)/n Re. (32)
Re1/(2−n) Combining (31) and (32) and eliminating Re, we get,
U∗ = . (29)
Ar n/(2+n) (2+n)/n
(2+n)/(1+n) d∗
It should be noted that Eq. (25) should be the proper way U∗1 = ,
of defining the dimensionless diameter. If we define d∗  1/n
as other investigators did, as for e.g. for the derivation of d∗
Eq. (20) (Chhabra and Peri, 1991) and denote it as dc∗ , it U∗1 = . (33)
can be shown that
3 gd (2+n)/(2−n) / Now, for the second branch and from Eqs. (6) and (25), we
dc∗ = CD Re2/(2−n) = . (30) get
4 K 2/(2−n) 2/(n−2)
If the published data mentioned above is plotted as U∗ − dc∗ , 3
d∗ = K1 Re2/(2−n) ,
as in Fig. 2, it is clear that there is not a unique relationship 4
between the two variables with dc∗ so defined. There is vari-  (2−n)/2
(2+n)/2 3
ation among the data from different investigators, indicating d∗ = K1 (Re). (34)
that the relationship is not independent of the value of n, a 4
fact also evident from Chhabra and Peri (1991), where the For the dimensionless velocity, from Eqs. (6) and (26) we
values of the correlation parameters a and b are functions get,
of n (Eqs. (21) and (22)). However, when we define the di-  1/(2+n)
mensionless diameter as in Eq. (25) above and plot the same Re
U∗2 = ,
data, we get Fig. 3. Here we see that all data, Newtonian [(3/4)K1 ]n
and non-Newtonian, fall along the same curve thus getting a
(2+n) Re
unique relationship between the two dimensionless param- U∗2 = . (35)
eters, something not possible neither from the approach of [(3/4)K1 ]n
V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447 4443

Fig. 2. Relationship between experimental values of U∗ and dimensionless diameter, dc∗ , defined by Chhabbra and Peri (1991). Open symbols=Newtonian
data, closed symbols = non-Newtonian data.

Fig. 3. Relationship between U∗ and dimensionless diameter, d∗ . Open symbols = Newtonian data, closed symbols = non-Newtonian data.

Hence, combining (34) and (35) and eliminating Re, we get, This can be rearranged in order to finally get,
4 d∗ 1/2 K2 /n  K2 /2  1/K2
U∗2 = . (36) 18 3 K1
3 K1 U∗ = 1/ + . (38)
d∗1+n 4 d∗
Hence, in a similar fashion as in Turton and Clark (1987),
we combine the two dimensionless velocities, as in Eq. (38) is the generalization of Eq. (7) to cover the case
of pseudoplastic fluids since we claim that the general-
1 1 1
= + . (37) ized equation should hold both for Newtonian and non-
U∗K2 K2
U∗1 K2
U∗2 Newtonian fluids.
4444 V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

Fig. 4. Comparison of predicted with measured dimensionless velocities for non-Newtonian data.

The parameters K1 , K2 derived for Newtonian fluids by at U∗,meas ∼ 23 underpredicted severely with an error of
Turton and Clark (1987) should be the same as the parame- (U∗,meas − U∗,pred )/U∗,meas of around −22%. This point
ters for the generalized equation. We therefore compare the corresponds to Re = 2800, a terminal velocity of 100 cm/s.
predictions from Eq. (38) using the Newtonian K1 , K2 val- For the next lower value of U∗ ∼ 15, we have a Reynolds
ues determined by Turton and Clark (1987) with previously number of 1200 and a velocity of 37 cm/s. Hence, if we
gathered data. We determine its validity by plotting mea- restrict the predictions to the range of U∗ between 0.02 and
sured and predicted values of the dimensionless velocity and 15, the comparison is very good and the root mean square
by calculating the RMS error in U∗ , as in Turton and Clark error for these data points is 0.041.
(1987) (Eq. (8)). Combining all data, except for the one of U∗ = 23, we
Using the Newtonian values of K1 =0.428 and K2 =0.824, see that for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian data the
Eq. (38) finally becomes predictions are satisfactory, particularly in view of the ranges
   1.214 of the parameters K, n, which are listed in Table 6, with an
18 0.824/n 0.321 0.412 RMS error on U∗ of 0.081, indicating the good accuracy of
U∗ = 1 + . the predictions.
d∗1+n d∗
In order to compare the predictions from (39) with the
predictions from (20), we put them in comparable form. We
The predicted values of U∗ are compared with the values recast the new proposed equation, Eq. (39), in a similar form
of U∗ from experimental data, as computed using the data to Eq. (20),
from Table 4 for non-Newtonian data and from Table 5 for Re = (U∗ )2−n (Ar)n(2−n)/(2+n) . (40)
Newtonian data. This comparison is depicted in Fig. 4 for the
non-Newtonian data and in Fig. 5 for the Newtonian data. We compare then the Reynolds numbers predicted from Eq.
From Fig. 4 it is evident that the data is predicted well (40) with the Reynolds number predicted from Eq. (20) for
with the new proposed explicit equation for the range of pa- the non-Newtonian data of Table 4 and for the Newtonian
rameters which give dimensionless velocity values from 0.1 data of Table 5. The comparison is shown in Figs. 6 and 7,
to 16 corresponding to terminal velocities between 1.2 and respectively.
60.0 cm/s. The RMS error on U∗ (Eq. (8)) is 0.10, indicat- From Fig. 6 we see that for the non-Newtonian data, the
ing the good accuracy of the predictions. This value should predictions of Eq. (40) compare very well with the mea-
be compared to the value of 0.024 derived for the 408 New- sured Reynolds numbers. However, Eq. (20) does a poor job
tonian data points from Turton and Clark (1987). and over predicts the generalized Reynolds number for a
From Fig. 5 we see that we have good predictions for given Archimedes number for the whole range of Reynolds
the range of U∗ between 0.02 and 15, with the one point numbers studied (0.1–1000). On the other hand, for the
V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447 4445

Fig. 5. Comparison of predicted with measured dimensionless velocities for Newtonian data.

Fig. 6. Comparison of predicted and measured Reynolds, non-Newtonian data.

Newtonian data, shown in Fig. 7, both equations predict very Eq. (20), a considerable improvement with respect to the
similar values to the measured values of Reynolds number, non-Newtonian data.
except for the higher Reynolds number range, where Eq. It has therefore been shown that Eq. (39), which is the
(20) tends to over predict the dimensionless velocity, while generalization of the Newtonian equation (12), describes ex-
Eq. (40) does as good a job for the whole range of Reynolds tremely well reported Newtonian data, as it should. It has
numbers tested. The RMS error on Reynolds number (com- also been shown that it describes very well reported non-
puted from Eq. (23)) for the non-Newtonian data is 0.12 for Newtonian data which cover a rather extensive range of
Eq. (40) and 0.54 for Eq. (20). The corresponding errors power law parameters and of generalized Reynolds numbers.
for the Newtonian data are 0.04 for Eq. (40) and 0.18 for Furthermore, this equation outperforms the only other ex-
4446 V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447

Fig. 7. Comparison of predicted and measured Reynolds, Newtonian data.

plicit equation proposed for non-Newtonian data (Eq. (20)) while results from both equations are very good for Newto-
as the graphical comparison (Fig. 6) and the comparison of nian data.
the RMS errors of Reynolds number have shown.

6. Conclusions
a parameter, given in Eq. (21), dimensionless
The various explicit equations for the terminal velocity of b parameter, given in Eq. (22),
g  2/(2−n) d (2+n)/(2−n)
spheres falling through Newtonian liquids have been com- Ar Archimedes number,  K 2/(2−n)
pared and it has been shown that all predict similar values of dimensionless
Reynolds numbers for typical ranges of Archimedes num- CD drag coefficient, dimensionless
bers. d particle diameter, L
The Newtonian variables, dimensionless velocity and d∗ dimensionless diameter, Eq. (25), dimensionless
dimensionless diameter, proposed by Turton and Clark dc∗ dimensionless diameter from Chhabra and Peri
(1987), have been generalized to cover non-Newtonian (Eq. (30)), dimensionless
pseudoplastic fluids. It has been shown that if reported ex- EV percent relative absolute error in velocity,
perimental data are recast in the proposed form, with the Eq. (24), %
dimensionless variables given by Eqs. (25) and (26), all g acceleration of gravity, L/T2
experimental data fall along the same curve, thus eliminat- 2/(2−n) (2+n)/(2−n)
Ga Galileo number,  K 2/(2−n)
, dimensionless
ing the need for having multiple curves, functions of the n
power law index, as was the case from previously suggested K consistency index, M/LT
correlations. n power law index, dimensionless
The predictions from the new generalized equation (Eq. N number of samples used in Eq. (23) and Eq. (24),
(39)) are compared with previously reported experimental dimensionless
data from other investigators which cover non-Newtonian Re Reynolds number based on particle diameter, V d ,
and Newtonian liquids. The comparison is very satisfactory dimensionless
2−n n
and the root mean square error in the dimensionless velocity Regen generalized Reynolds number, V K d , dimen-
for all data points is 0.081, a similar order of accuracy as sionless
for the Newtonian data. ReT Reynolds number predicted from correlation of
Comparison of the predictions derived from the new equa- Turton and Clark (1987), dimensionless
tion with predictions derived from another correlation (Eq. Rei Reynolds number predicted from other correla-
(20)) shows that the new generalized equation outperforms tions, dimensionless
the predictions from Eq. (20) for the non-Newtonian data, V solid terminal velocity, L/T
V.C. Kelessidis / Chemical Engineering Science 59 (2004) 4437 – 4447 4447

Vs solid terminal velocity in the Stokes region Chhabra, R.P., Peri, S.S., 1991. Simple method for the estimation of
(Eq. (15)), L/T free-fall velocity of spherical particles in power law liquids. Powder
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U∗ dimensionless velocity, Eq. (26), dimensionless Di Felice, R., 1999. The sedimentation velocity of dilute suspensions of
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U∗,pred dimensionless velocity predicted from Eq. (7) or particles in power-law fluids at finite Reynolds number. Journal of
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 liquid density, M/L3 Reynolds numbers. Chemical Engineering Communications 13, 55–64.
 liquid viscosity, M/LT Kelessidis, V.C., 2004. Terminal velocity of solid spheres falling in
a apparent liquid viscosity, M/LT Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids. Techn. Chron. Sci. J., Techn.
Chamber Greece, V, No 1&2.
Kelessidis, V.C., Mpandelis, G., 2004. Measurements and prediction of
Acknowledgements terminal velocity of solid spheres falling through stagnant pseudoplastic
liquids, Powder Technology (accepted).
The author would like to thank the two anonymous ref- Koziol, K., Glowacki, P., 1988. Determination of the free settling
erees for their valued suggestions. He would also like to parameters of spherical particles in power law fluids. Chemical
acknowledge the continuous support from the Department Engineering Processing 24, 183–188.
Matijašić, G., Glasnović, A., 2001. Measurement and evaluation of drag
of Mineral Resources Engineering of Technical University
coefficient for settling of spherical particles in pseudoplastic fluids.
of Crete. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly 15, 21–24.
Miura, H., Takahashi, T., Ichikawa, J., Kawase, Y., 2001. Bed expansion
in liquid–solid two-phase fluidized beds with Newtonian and non-
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