Fundamentals of Particle Technology

Event Date: 
January 24, 2024 to January 26, 2024
Target Audience: 
General Interest
Event Details: 

Jim Michaels (VP IFPRI), Ben Freireich (Origin Materials), Karl Jacob (University of Michigan and retired Dow), Bert Diemer (University of Delaware and retired Dupont), and Wilson Poon (University of Edinburgh) will be presenting a 3-day course titled "Fundamentals of Particle Technolgy"  for industrial scientists and engineers.

We have developed this course primarily for scientists and engineers who are in the position we were when we started our careers: designing and analyzing powder processes and realizing that they lack the fundamental understanding needed to do their work effectively.  The course is a primer in particle science that focuses on the fundamental physics and chemistry that control the properties of particles and powders and how they behave and transform in manufacturing and use.  Rather than surveying the myriad of unit operations that make up particle technology, we describe the phenomena that happen in these processes.  Our focus is on the underlying physics and chemistry: what are the controlling material and process variables, and how do processes like powder flow, particle growth and breakage, and particle fluidization scale with these variables?

The course is divided into five sections: particle and powder characterization; process characterization; particle formation; particle growth and breakage; particle separation; and particle transport.  In each, we will present the key underlying concepts and mathematical relationships and use industrial examples to demonstrate their application.  

The course has been developed for scientists and engineers who have completed at least a first degree in college.  We assume familiarity with college-level math, physics, and chemistry.

The cost of the course is $1500.  IFPRI will receive 50% of earnings from the course after expenses (if any) and will reimburse IFPRI members a prorated share of these earnings (based on the number of attendees from each company) as a reduction in 2025 membership fees.

Please register for the course at:

Event Agenda: 

Day 1

Course Introduction and Introduction of Instructors

Characterizing particles and powders:

  • morphology, surface properties
  • mechanical properties
  • interparticle interactions, dispersion and suspension rheology, and colloidal stability

Characterizing and modeling particle processes:

  • ideal contactors
  • mass and energy balances
  • population balances
  • rate kernels


Day 2

Forming particles from homogeneous fluid phases:

  • atomization and emulsification
  • solidification and polymerization
  • crystallization and flame synthesis

Growing and breaking particles:

  • collisional growth – agglomeration, coagulation, and granulation
  • pressure agglomeration
  • erosion, fracture, and dispersion


Day 3

Moving particles:

  • quasistatic (bulk) flow
  • fluid-particle flows

Separating and purifying particles:

  • filtration and centrifugation
  • drying
  • classification