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Cyclone CFD Simulation Using DPM

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Cyclones are one of the most widely used industrial systems in the field of air dewatering, dust disposal, or separation of solid particles from the gas flow.


This product includes a CFD simulation and training files using ANSYS Fluent software.

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Cyclones are one of the most widely used industrial systems in the field of air dewatering, dust disposal, or separation of solid particles from the gas flow. In these types of systems, the operation of separating solid particles from gas flows is carried out with the help of centrifugal and gravity forces, without the use of filters. Cyclones, in addition to reducing air pollution, are also used to bring solid particles back into the production cycle. These systems are commonly used in wood, cement, and any other industries that produce suspended solid particles.

Cyclone Mechanism

There are one inlet and two outlets for solid particles and pure air in cyclones. The air containing particles enters the cyclone from the inlet of the cyclone and moves in the space between the inner cylinder and the outer cylindrical body in a spiral and vortex manner, such that the solid particles suspended. Due to the centrifugal force and heavier weight, particles separate from the gas stream and move downward due to gravitational force. In this way, the solid particles in the air separate from the airflow. The gaseous flow also flows upward and reaches the upper part of the chamber after reaching the conical region.

Problem Description for Cyclone CFD Simulation using DPM

The present problem is a gas cyclone device CFD simulation. In this device, the gas flow enters continuously from the top to the inner space between the two cylinders and then the partial cone. Also, the solid particles enter the cyclone interior from the top as the discrete phase. The contact between these two flows and centrifugal force results in the separation of these two phases. In the present simulation, the air is defined as gas flow and ash as discrete phase solid particles.

Geometry & Mesh for Cyclone CFD Simulation

Gambit (or Design Modeler) software models the present 3-D geometry. The cyclone structure consists of a cylindrical part and a partially conical part. The designed cyclone structure consists of a cylindrical part and an incomplete conical section such that a smaller cylinder also fits into the inner part of the outer cylinder body. Above the geometry, a trapezoidal cross-section is designed as the inlet of air impregnated with dust and a circular cross-section as the outlet of pure air, and at the bottom of the geometry, a circular cross-section is designed as a place for dust particles to accumulate.

Gambit (or ANSYS Meshing) software grid the present model. The mesh was of an unstructured type and the element number was 142499.


To solve this problem, we consider several assumptions:

– Simulation is steady.
– Gravity effect is equal to -9.81 m.s-1.
– The solver is pressure-based.

Cyclone CFD Simulation using DPM

Here is a summary of the steps to define and solve the problem in the table:

k-epsilon RNG
Standard wall function
discrete phase model No interaction with continuous phase
DPM The number of longitudinal steps 1000
Longitudinal step factor 5
 (boundry conditions) DPM
velocity inlet
impure air inlet 21 m.s-1
pure air outlet 1 (100%)
ash (particle) zone trap
cyclone wall reflect
(Methods) Cyclone
second order upwind
second order upwind
second order upwind
 (initialization) Cyclone
0 Pa
0 m.s-1
1 m2.s-2
1 m2.s-3


Discrete Phase Definition (DPM)

This simulation examines the behavior of a discrete phase from a Lagrangian perspective in the presence of a continuous fluid in the Eulerian perspective. The gas flow as a continuous fluid is under the Eulerian view, while the ash particles are discretized and Lagrangian. The assumption is that the continuous phase does not affect discrete phase behavior. Therefore, we disable the Interaction With Continuous Phase for the discrete phase setting. We also define the discrete phase injection as the INERT of the cyclone inlet, meaning that the discrete phase is ineffective and does not exhibit specific behavior. In the present simulation, we define air as gas flow (continuous phase) and ash as solid particles (discrete phase).

Boundary condition

At the inlet, the airflow has a significant velocity of 21 m.s-1 to cause a significant vortex phenomenon. The discrete phase (ash) behavior is Escape through the inlet and outlet of the air, which means, the ash passes through these boundaries, while in the other outlet the ash is Trapped because the ash particles accumulate at the end of the cyclone after separation. Particles reflected near the cyclone walls, which means they Reflect with a coefficient of 0.8 in the vertical and tangential directions.


All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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