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J Nanopart Res. 2012 Mar;14(3):737. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Fluidization of nanopowders: a review.

Abstract

Nanoparticles (NPs) are applied in a wide range of processes, and their use continues to increase. Fluidization is one of the best techniques available to disperse and process NPs. NPs cannot be fluidized individually; they fluidize as very porous agglomerates. The objective of this article is to review the developments in nanopowder fluidization. Often, it is needed to apply an assistance method, such as vibration or microjets, to obtain proper fluidization. These methods can greatly improve the fluidization characteristics, strongly increase the bed expansion, and lead to a better mixing of the bed material. Several approaches have been applied to model the behavior of fluidized nanopowders. The average size of fluidized NP agglomerates can be estimated using a force balance or by a modified Richardson and Zaki equation. Some first attempts have been made to apply computational fluid dynamics. Fluidization can also be used to provide individual NPs with a thin coating of another material and to mix two different species of nanopowder. The application of nanopowder fluidization in practice is still limited, but a wide range of potential applications is foreseen. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11051-012-0737-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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