Effect of pneumatic conveying parameters on physical quality characteristics of infant formula

Kevin J. Hanley*, Edmond P. Byrne, Kevin Cronin, Jorge C. Oliveira, James A. O'Mahony, Mark A. Fenelon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The geometry and operating conditions of a pneumatic conveying rig for infant formula were varied according to an L_{18} orthogonal array, with the goal of minimising variations in four product quality characteristics: bulk density, volume mean diameter, particle density and wettability. A modular pneumatic conveying rig was fabricated from 316L stainless steel components. The factors that were varied in these experiments included mode of conveying, air velocity, number of rig passes, bend radii and vertical rig section length. A factorial analysis of variance showed that the mode of conveying, air velocity and number of passes had a statistically-significant effect on bulk density. The optimum settings to minimise variability were dense phase conveying with a 50 mm plug length, 960 mm vertical section, 3 m/s air velocity, 2 passes and 50 mm bend radii, assuming a linear model. The bulk density change at these optimum settings was negligible at 0.9%. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-244
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of food engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Attrition
  • Bulk density
  • Experimental design
  • Taguchi robust engineering design
  • Wettability


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