On two-phase modelling of dewatering of pulp suspensions

Daniel T. Paterson, Tom S. Eaves (Lead / Corresponding author), Duncan R. Hewitt, Neil J. Balmforth, D. Mark Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experimental study of the dewatering of wood‐pulp fibre suspensions by uniaxial compression is presented, to rationalise their dewatering dynamics within a two‐phase framework. Twenty‐seven pulp different suspensions are examined, encompassing materials with different origins, preparation methodologies, and secondary treatments. For each suspension in this library, the network permeability and compressive yield stress are calibrated at low rates of dewatering. Faster compressions are then used to verify that a solid bulk viscosity is essential to match two‐phase model predictions with experimental observations, and to parametrize its magnitude. By comparing the results with a suspension of nylon fibres, we demonstrate that none of the wood‐pulp suspensions behave like an idealized fibrous porous medium. Nevertheless, the properties of pulp fibre networks can be reconciled within a two‐phase framework, and comparisons made between different wood‐pulp suspensions and between wood‐pulp and nylon fibres, by appealing to potential microstructural origins of their macroscopic behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17277
Number of pages21
JournalAIChE Journal
Early online date16 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2021


  • Suspensions
  • Solid/liquid separations
  • Porous media
  • Fibers
  • Multi-phase flow

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