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Agglomeration Processes: Facts at Your Fingertips

By Scott Jenkins |

Agglomeration is a natural phenomenon in which solid particles stick to each other or to surfaces. When unwanted, agglomeration can cause problems, such as caking, buildup or lumping, but it is also an important particle-size enlargement process widely used in the chemical process industries (CPI) to help overcome challenges, including segregation, difficult flow, low bulk density and others. Agglomeration can also help control particle-size distribution and reduce potentially hazardous aspects of the solids, such as dust. This one-page reference provides information on agitation, compression and sintering methods of agglomeration and their mechanisms. Agglomeration methods to enlarge particulate solids can be broadly broken down into three general categories: agglomeration by agitation (sometimes referred to as wet agglomeration or tumble/growth agglomeration; pressure (compaction) agglomeration, and agglomeration using heat (sintering). Wet agglomeration Wet agglomeration processes combine powder, liquid (usually water) and, if necessary, a binder to impart shear to form agglomerates. Processing equipment may include rotating drums, disc or pan agglomerators, pin or ribbon mixers or fluidized beds. Agglomeration can be induced…
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