Clients often come to us with questions like, “Why won’t my powder come out faster? I even tried speeding up the feeder!” or “Why is my powder flowing out of my hopper like a liquid?” Very frustrating!

These strange behaviors – problems with “not enough flow” when fine powders are rate-limited and won’t discharge any faster, or “way too much flow” when powders act like liquids and flood uncontrolled through the process – are all too common in processes across a variety of industries, including chemicals, cement, consumer products, food products, pharmaceutical production, powdered metals, and even in battery manufacturing.

At Jenike & Johanson, we refer to these behaviors of fine powders as “two-phase” flow interactions, where the two phases are (1) the powder and (2) interstitial air or gas. When not properly accounted for, two-phase flow interactions of powders can be highly problematic and result in product loss, quality control problems, process non-uniformity and segregation, decreased production rates, and significant safety and maintenance concerns.

Join Senior Project Engineer Josh Marion of Jenike & Johanson while he discusses why these fine powder flow problems occur, how they can be predicted, and how they can be prevented.
Josh Marion
Senior Project Engineer -- Jenike & Johanson
Josh Marion is a Senior Project Engineer at Jenike & Johanson's headquarters in Tyngsboro, MA, USA. He has worked at Jenike & Johanson for over 7 years, and has worked on hundreds of projects where he has designed new systems and retrofit modifications to existing systems to ensure reliable flow and transport of bulk solids and powders. Josh received his BS and MS degrees from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Scott Jenkins
Senior Editor/Moderator -- Chemical Engineering magazine
Scott Jenkins has been an editor at Chemical Engineering since 2009. Prior to joining CE, Scott worked in various capacities as a science journalist and communications specialist, reporting and writing on a variety of sectors, including chemical processing, biotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and research policy. He also has industry experience as a quality assurance chemist and research experience as a synthetic organic chemist. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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