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Training in Multiscale Analysis of multi-Phase Particulate Processes (T-MAPPP)

Final Report Summary - T-MAPPP (Training in Multiscale Analysis of multi-Phase Particulate Processes (T-MAPPP))

Particulate materials constitute over 75% of raw material feedstock to industry. Despite their significance, many industrial particulate processes display unpredictable behaviour due to both their multiscale nature and the coexistence of different phases: this leads to undesirable losses in resources, energy, money and time. Considerable progress has been achieved using multiscale analysis and modelling to provide both visual and quantitative details of the dynamics of multiphase particulate systems. However, immature theoretical and numerical tools with sub-optimal capabilities, together with a lack of expertise and education in this developing field, hinder the adoption of these technologies. To address this skills gap and to initiate further advances in the field, a coordinated and inter-sectoral approach (combining different industrial sectors and fields of science) has been taken to broaden the portfolio of skills currently retained within the EU research community.

The T-MAPPP network has brought together 16 leading European organizations in their respective fields, including 10 industrial companies (4 of which are SMEs) and stakeholders ranging from agriculture/food processing, consumer/personal care, pharmaceuticals/ chemicals to software and equipment manufacture. The focus of the network has been to foster and develop a pool of early stage and experienced researchers who can transform multiscale analysis and modelling from an exciting, novel scientific tool into a widely adopted industrial method to drive innovation and growth in industry.

The principal objectives of T-MAPPP were to provide network-wide and individual training to a group of talented researchers and to undertake state-of-the-art research and knowledge transfer between academic and industrial sectors. This was achieved by research at host organisations, using secondments between partners and providing multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral training as well as complementary skills training at a range of network events. Within this overall context, each of the fifteen scientific projects within the T-MAPPP consortium has its own distinct scientific objectives, which tie together in four scientific work packages addressing the different areas of dry particulate systems, wet pendular particulate systems, multiphase systems, and multiscale methods of analysis.

In terms of training, all objectives set out for T-MAPPP have been fully achieved. A kick-off meeting and six network events have been held, encompassing a wide range of basic and additional scientific training as well as complementary skills training as set out in the T MAPPP documents. Since the Mid-Term Review in October 2015, all network events and training have been researcher-led, giving additional skill-development opportunities to our researchers. In addition to network-wide training, all our researchers have taken advantage of many opportunities for individual training, ranging from targeted scientific subjects to language training, and have developed further skills on-the-job. The group of T-MAPPP researchers formed a vibrant scientific and social community with short visits taking place between many of the T-MAPPP participants, together with the secondment programme.

T-MAPPP has progressed excellently, with all planned milestones having been met and all scheduled deliverables completed. Scientific, training, dissemination and outreach progress has either achieved or exceeded the initial plans, due to the solid engagement of the research fellows as well as the academic and industrial supervisors.

In terms of scientific progress, all the scientific objectives were achieved and reported under the four scientific work packages. The main scientific achievements in Work Package 1 include linking microstructure to macroscopic behaviour for bulk compaction, developing guidelines on modelling non-spherical particles with calibration and validation of different model conceptualization approaches, and proposing a test method for prediction of dustiness in process when dealing with fine granular materials. In Work Package 2, we obtained constitutive relations from Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations of shear flow in a split-bottom cell, established a particle-size scaling methodology to generalise the flow behaviour, presented a numerical method to simulate liquid transfer in granular media, and developed, calibrated and validated a capillary model that was implemented into an open-source code. For Work Package 3, the main achievements include: the use of Stokesian Dynamics modelling to obtain a viscosity parameter based on inter-particle contacts, calculation of suspension viscosity using Lattice-Boltzmann/DEM simulations, and Computational Fluid Dynamics/DEM simulation of non-spherical, superquadric particles. Finally, in Work Package 4 the main scientific achievement was to establish and approve standard numerical calibration and experimental validation procedures for multiscale models, to have highly accurate, reliable and uniform procedures and data interpretation methods for modelling granular systems on the large-industrial application scale.

Dissemination and outreach have been key elements of the T-MAPPP ITN. T-MAPPP researchers, supervisors and partners have used a range of methods to share their research findings with the research community and industry, engage with the general public and raise awareness of the role of the EU in supporting research in Europe. T-MAPPP project members have published to date, a total of 25 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings and one book chapter. Further publications are in preparation, including a T MAPPP special issue on ‘Multiscale analysis of particulate micro and macro processes’ in the journal ‘Granular Matter’, scheduled for publication in late 2018 or early 2019.

The website provides information about T-MAPPP for the research community, industry and the public. The website lists all the publications that have emerged from the project, with links to full-text versions, and summarises the outreach work undertaken to generate public interest. Videos made by board members and researchers describe the project, its aims, and the advantages of being part of a training network in language that the general public can understand; these videos are also available on YouTube. The website also offers information about the project partners, individual research projects and training events. The website will be maintained and updated until at least 2022 so that the outputs and impact of T-MAPPP can continue to be disseminated.

Outreach and public engagement has been very keenly and successfully undertaken by the researchers, who constructed demonstration models of particulate processes for use at European Researchers Nights, public science festivals and special events for school children across Europe. The researchers also ran outreach events for students and industry.

In summary, T-MAPPP was successfully completed according to plan and the training and scientific objectives set out in the contract documents were fully achieved. The most significant impact was the development of a group of young researchers equipped for a variety of leading roles in multiscale analysis of particulate processes across many industrial sectors and academia, and the new knowledge of particle simulations and experiments on particulate processes, allowing it to be utilised with increased confidence in industrial and scientific applications.

This Publishable Summary is also attached as a fully-formatted document, including logos - ITN607453_Publishable_Summary