DECRON: Development of eco-friendly ironmaking processes based on GPU-enhanced DEM modelling

This project is about the development of eco-friendly ironmaking processes based on GPU-enhanced DEM modelling.

Start date

November 2017

End date

October 2019


DECRON aims to identify critical material and process attributes such as process conditions, materials properties and system designs, that dominate the burden distribution and to develop process strategies to achieve controlled burden distribution in blast furnaces.

The following research objectives will be explored:

  1. Experimental and numerical investigation of size-induced segregation during charging of coke and sinter into a blast furnace.
  2. The effect of the gas flow on the formation and microstructure of the burden, which mimics the real process condition with blast being continuously injected from the lower part of the furnace during the burden formation.

Funding amount





The findings from the first year of this project is that the common approach of modelling spheres with rolling friction to account for the shape may be insufficient to account for particle shape complexity in a blast furnace, which is significant as it seems particle shape has a noteworthy influence on the burden characteristics.


  1. Invited talk, GTC 2018 San Jose, USA
  2. Comminution 2018, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. ESCO 2018, Pilzen, Czech Republic.


  1. Hopper flow of irregularly shaped particles (non-convex polyhedra): GPU-based DEM simulation and  experimental validation Chemical Engineering Science Volume 188, 2018, Pages 34-51
  2. Large-scale GPU based DEM modeling of mixing using irregularly shaped particles, Advanced Powder Technology Volume 29, Issue 10,  2018, Pages 2476-2490
  3. Effect of particle shape in grinding mills using a GPU based DEM code, Minerals Engineering Volume 129, 2018, Pages 71-84.


University of Surrey: Introduction to GPU computing

9 November 2018

The course covers the basics of scientific computing and how to write code which gives the best possible performance. An introduction to computer hardware. How to program for the GPU and identify algorithms that can be sped up on the GPU using C++ and Linux.

Training on blaze-DEM software

13 November 2018

This course introduces the software used and developed within DECRON to the university. Attendees will learn how to use the software to do DEMs simulations and how the input parameters affect GPU performance. The skills obtained in the training will help in understanding the structure of the code.

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School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
University of Surrey
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