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P4G 2016 ilogoPaste, Particle and Polymer Processing group (P4G)

Particle segregation in a rotary kilnIan WilsonThe P4G was formed in January 2013 by the (friendly) merger of two of the groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology with an interest in structured materials and processing: the Paste and Particle Processing group (P3G) led by Ian Wilson, Sarah Rough and David Scott and the Polymer Fluids group led by Bart Hallmark. Retired staff Prof John Davidson and Bob Skelton also contribute.

Droplet of cocoa butter freezingSarah Rough

Our interests lie in developing the understanding of processing of pastes, particles and polymers, and their flow behaviour in particular. We rarely synthesize components: rather, we build from existing materials. We apply that knowledge to manufacture, at industrial scale, products with desired microstructure or function, or, equally importantly, to resolve problems encountered in processing such materials. 

A substantial part of the activities led by Prof. Wilson is related to studying the formation and removal of fouling layers on heat transfer and process equipment surfaces.  Dr Rough has a long-standing interest in particle technology. Dr Scott enjoys mathematical challenges, particularly those associated with particle processing, while Dr Hallmark enjoys simulating processes and flows from the meso- to the plant scale. There is much work on complex fluids, both visco-plastic and visco-elastic.

The group's activities range from fundamental theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations to applied and proof-of-concept studies. The research page gives a full listing of ongoing and past projects.

The group is part of the Microstructure Engineering Cluster within Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology.


Recent News

  • Paper published: Bhagat, R.K. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Flow in the thin film created by a coherent turbulent water jet impinging on a vertical wall, Chem. Eng. Sci., 152, 606-623.
  • Congratulations to Ian Wilson on becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Food and Bioproducts Processing (FBP). Read an interview with him regarding the role on the IChemE blog here

PhD awarded

Madelena Lemos, visiting PhD researcher in P4G from Jan 2014 to June 2015 from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Porto, defended her PhD on 'Biofilm control approaches: alternative biocides and shear stress' successfuly on 14 June. 

Pictured with Madalena are her examiners (Wolfgang Augustin, TU Braunchsweig and PrLigia Rodrigues, University of Minho) and her supervisors Manuel Minoes, Luis Melo and Ian Wilson. Congratulations Dr Madalena!       

Madalena PhD
  • Congratulations to Michael Sargent for winning a Best Talk Prize in the 2016 Graduate Conference [Link
  • Paper published: Bazargan, A., Hadi, P., Rough, S. l., McKay, G. (2016) The preparation of pellets by the compaction of an aluminosilicate-based adsorbent from electronic waste, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering4 (2) 2322-2326.
  • Paper published: Parkin, J., Widjaja,  K. S., Bryan,M. P., Rough, S. L., Wilson, D. I. (2016) Experimental validation of a dimensional analysis of spheronisation of cylindrical extrudates, Power Tech. 298 73-83Measuring the swelling and removal of fluorescent starch deposits using the scanning Fluid Dynamic Gauge (sFDG)
  • Akin Ali and Ian Wilson, along with co-authors Glenn Ward and Zayeed Alam from Procter & Gamble, have been awarded the Distinguished Paper Award by the American Cleaning Institute for the best paper published in 2015 in the AOCS' Journal of Surfactants & Detergents.
  • Paper published: Hallmark, B., Pistre, N. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Characterisation of extensional rheological filament stretching with a dual-mode Giesekus model, AIChEJ, 62(6) 2188-2199.
  • Paper published: Ali, A., Underwood, A., Lee, Y-R. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Self-drainage of viscous liquids in vertical and inclined pipes, Food Bioproducts Processing, 99, 38-50.Bart Hallmark
  • Paper published: Magens, O.M., Ishiyama, E.M. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Quantifying the ‘implementation gap’ for antifouling coatings, Applied Thermal Engineering, 99, 683-689.
  • [8 March 2016] Congratulations to Betsy-Ann Ward and Sam Wibberley for their CET IIB Research Project poster and presentation on 'Green Sticky Fingers', which came runner-up in the session on 1 March.
  • [24 Feb 2016] University of Cambridge Featured News Article: Soft Solids and the Science of Cake. Features Wilson, D. I. and Hallmark, B.
  • Paper published: Glover, H.W., Brass, T., Bhagat, R.K., Davidson, J.F., Pratt, L. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Cleaning of complex soil layers on vertical walls by fixed and moving impinging liquid jets’, J. Food Eng, 178, 95-109.Food fat crystals, imaged by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Paper published: Zhang, M., Yang, L., Jian F.X., Rough, S.L. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Influence of plate surface protuberances on the production of pharmaceutical paste pellets by extrusion-spheronisation, Chem. Eng. Res. Des., 109, 97-107.
  • Paper published: Scott, D.M., Lu, G., Third, J.R. and Mueller, C.R. (2016) Axial dispersion of granular material in inclined rotating cylinders with bulk flow: Geometric model for 50% fill, Powder Tech., 290, 91-96.
  • Paper published: Aouad, W., Landel, J.R., Davidson, J.F., Dalziel, S. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) Particle image velocimetry and modelling of horizontal coherent liquid jets impinging on and draining down a vertical wall, Exptl. Thermal Fluid Sci, 74, 429–443.
  • David ScottPaper published:O’Neill, R., McCarthy, H. O., Cunningham, E., Montufar, E., Ginebra, M-P., Wilson, D.I., Lennon, A., Dunne, N. (2016) Extent and mechanism of phase separation during the surgical injection (extrusion) of calcium phosphate pastes, JoM: Materials in Medicine, 27, 29 [Open Access].
  • Paper published: Lemos, M., Wang, S., Ali, A., Simões, M.V. and Wilson, D.I. (2016) A fluid dynamic gauging device for measuring biofilm thickness on cylindrical surfaces, Biochem. Eng. J. 106, 48-60 [Open Access].
  • Paper published: Ali, A., Alam, Z., Ward, G. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Using the scanning fluid dynamic gauging device to understand the cleaning of baked lard soiling layers, J. Surfactants Detergents, 18(6), 933-947 [Open Access].
  • Paper published: Yassin, S., Goodwin, D., Anderson, A., Sibik, J., Wilson, D.I., Gladden, L.F. and Zeitler, J.A. (2015)Squeeze-flow testing of a ceramic paste The disintegration process in microcrystalline cellulose based tablets I: Influence of temperature, porosity and superdisintegrants, J. Pharm. Sci., 104, 3440-3450 [Open Access].
  • Paper published: Wang, S. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Zero-discharge fluid-dynamic gauging for studying the swelling of soft solid layers, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 54(32), pp 7859–7870.
  • David Scott and Ian Wilson win awards for reviewing
  • [August 2015] XuKe Zhou is awarded travel funding to attend the ICEF XII conference held in Quebec City, Canada. Xu Ke also won the CEB Photo competition.
  • [20 June 2015] Congratulations to Harry Glover, who has been awarded the North Carolina State University Prize for his Part IIB MEng research project conducted in P4G.
  • [19 June 2015] Congratulations to Ian Wilson, who has been promoted to Professor from 1 October! Ian says 'thank you' to all those who have worked (and put up) with him and his colleagues to make this come about.

Conference prizes

P4G members won two of the three poster prizes at the International Conference on Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning held in Enfield, Eire, in early June. Ole Mathis Magens presented his paper on Value pricing of antifouling surface coatings (co-authors Jurgen Hofmans and Martial Paborn of Chemours and Chemours/Du Pont) while Ian Wilson presented work from Vincent Lister's PhD work with John Davidson and Steve Sutcliffe (Huntsman) entitled Management of acute particulate fouling in a titanium dioxide reactor system.

The photo shows Ole and Ian with Paul Watkinson, Ian's PhD supervisor from the University of British Columbia.

Ole Mathis Magens Paul Watkinson Ian Wilson

Paper published

Chatterton, J., Parsons D., Nicholls, J., Longhurst, P., Bernon, M., Palmer, A., Brennan, F, Kolios, A, Wilson, D.I., Ishiyama, E.M., Clements-Croome, D., Emalualim, A., Darby, H. and Yearley, T. (2015) Carbon brainprint – An estimate of the intellectual contribution of research institutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Process Safety Environmental Protection, 96, 74–81.

The Carbon Brainprint project was organised by Cranfield university with partners at Reading and P4G. This paper is Ian Wilson's 200th paper in international peer-reviewed journals.

Carbon Brainprint logo  
  • Paper published: Bryan, M.P., Rough, S.L. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Investigation of static zones and wall slip through sequential ram extrusion of contrasting micro-crystalline cellulose-based pastes, J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 220, 57-68.
  • Paper published: Collett, C.H., Ardon, A., Bauer, U., Chapman, G., Chaudan, E.,  Hallmark, H., Pratt, L., Torres-Perez, M.D., Wilson, D.I. (2015) A portable extensional rheometer for measuring the viscoelasticity of pitcher plant and other sticky liquids in the field,  Plant Methods, 11:16.
  • Paper published: Talhat, A.M., Moggridge, G.D., Rasburn, J.R. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Development of a single droplet freezing apparatus for studying crystallisation in cocoa butter droplets, J Food Engineering, 156, 67-83.
  • [February 2015] Dr Vincent Lister has completed his PhD - well done Vincent! Vincent is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Bath.
  • Paper published: Third, J.R., Scott, D.M., Lu, G. and  Müller, C.R. (2015) Modelling axial dispersion of granular material in inclined rotating cylinders with bulk flow, Granular Matter, 17, 33-41, 2015.
  • Paper published: Ali, A., de’Ath, D., Gibson, D., Parkin, J., Ward, G., Alam, Z. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Development of a millimanipulation device to quantify the strength of food fouling deposits, Food Bioproducts Proc., 93, 265-258.
  • Paper published: Wang, T., Davidson, J.F. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Flow patterns and cleaning behaviour of horizontal liquid jets impinging on angled walls, Food Bioproducts Proc., 93, 333-34.
  • Paper published: Gomes da Cruz, L., Ishiyama, E.M., Boxler, C., Augustin, W.A., Scholl, S. and Wilson, D.I. (2015) Value pricing of surface coatings for mitigating heat exchanger fouling, Food Bioproducts Proc., 93, 343-363.
  • Paper published: Bazargan, A., Rough S.L. and McKay, G. (2014) Compaction of palm kernel shell biochars for application as solid fuel, Biomass and Bioenergy, 70, 489-497. 

Determination of quality parameters for consumer goods (baked cakes!)

News Archive

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a cellulose membrane, before foulingVacancies/Studentships

Extrudates of microcrystalline cellulose water-based paste (3 mm die diameter). The difference in appearance is due to the extrusion velocity - a higher velocity induces surface fractures

 Academic collaborators within Cambridge include

Active external academic collaborators

Sponsorship and funding comes from a range of sources, including the TSB, ESPRC and industry. This support is gratefully acknowledged: more information about sponsoring bodies is available on the Group Links page.

P4G also hosts the Fluid Dynamic Gauging website: this technique was developed within the P3G group.

The former P3G or Polymer Fluids Group websites can be viewed for more information.