Characterization of Simultaneous Evolution of Size and Composition Distributions Using Generalized Aggregation Population Balance Equation

Mehakpreet Singh*, Ashish Kumar, Saeed Shirazian, Vivek Ranade, Gavin Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The application of multi-dimensional population balance equations (PBEs) for the simulation of granulation processes is recommended due to the multi-component system. Irrespective of the application area, numerical scheme selection for solving multi-dimensional PBEs is driven by the accuracy in (size) number density prediction alone. However, mixing the components, i.e., the particles (excipients and API) and the binding liquid, plays a crucial role in predicting the granule compositional distribution during the pharmaceutical granulation. A numerical scheme should, therefore, be able to predict this accurately. Here, we compare the cell average technique (CAT) and finite volume scheme (FVS) in terms of their accuracy and applicability in predicting the mixing state. To quantify the degree of mixing in the system, the sum-square χ2 parameter is studied to observe the deviation in the amount binder from its average. It has been illustrated that the accurate prediction of integral moments computed by the FVS leads to an inaccurate prediction of the χ2 parameter for a bicomponent population balance equation. Moreover, the cell average technique (CAT) predicts the moments with moderate accuracy; however, it computes the mixing of components χ2 parameter with higher precision than the finite volume scheme. The numerical testing is performed for some benchmarking kernels corresponding to which the analytical solutions are available in the literature. It will be also shown that both numerical methods equally well predict the average size of the particles formed in the system; however, the finite volume scheme takes less time to compute these results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1152
Number of pages17
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship No. 841906 to Mehakpreet Singh.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Saeed Shirazian acknowledges the support of the Government of the Russian Federation (Act 211, contract 02.A03.21.0011) and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia (grant FENU-2020-0019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aggregation
  • Cell average technique
  • Finite volume scheme
  • Integral moments
  • Mixing of components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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