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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter March 28, 2022

A comprehensive review of the application of DEM in the investigation of batch solid mixers

  • Behrooz Jadidi , Mohammadreza Ebrahimi , Farhad Ein-Mozaffari ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Ali Lohi


Powder mixing is a vital operation in a wide range of industries, such as food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics. Despite the common use of mixing systems in various industries, often due to the complex nature of mixing systems, the effects of operating and design parameters on the mixers’ performance and final blend are not fully known, and therefore optimal parameters are selected through experience or trial and error. Experimental and numerical techniques have been widely used to analyze mixing systems and to gain a detailed understanding of mixing processes. The limitations associated with experimental techniques, however, have made discrete element method (DEM) a valuable complementary tool to obtain comprehensive particle level information about mixing systems. In the present study, the fundamentals of solid-solid mixing, segregation, and characteristics of different types of batch solid mixers are briefly reviewed. Previously published papers related to the application of DEM in studying mixing quality and assessing the influence of operating and design parameters on the mixing performance of various batch mixing systems are summarized in detail. The challenges with regards to the DEM simulation of mixing systems, the available solutions to address those challenges and our recommendations for future simulations of solid mixing are also presented and discussed.

Corresponding author: Farhad Ein-Mozaffari, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto M5B 2K3, Canada, E-mail:

Funding source: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is gratefully acknowledged.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Received: 2021-06-06
Revised: 2022-02-21
Accepted: 2022-02-22
Published Online: 2022-03-28

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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