Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Rodney O. Fox

Second Advisor

Alberto Passalacqua


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been widely studied and used in the scientific community and in the industry. Various models were proposed to solve problems in different areas. However, all models deviate from reality. Uncertainty quantification (UQ) process evaluates the overall uncertainties associated with the prediction of quantities of interest. In particular it studies the propagation of input uncertainties to the outputs of the models so that confidence intervals can be provided for the simulation results. In the present work, a non-intrusive quadrature-based uncertainty quantification (QBUQ) approach is proposed. The probability distribution function (PDF) of the system response can be then reconstructed using extended quadrature method of moments (EQMOM) and extended conditional quadrature method of moments (ECQMOM). The method is first illustrated considering two examples: a developing flow in a channel with uncertain viscosity, and an oblique shock problem with uncertain upstream Mach number. The error in the prediction of the moment response is studied as a function of the number of samples, and the accuracy of the moments required to reconstruct the PDF of the system response is discussed. The approach proposed in this work is then demonstrated by considering a bubbling fluidized bed as example application. The mean particle size is assumed to be the uncertain input parameter. The system is simulated with a standard two-fluid model with kinetic theory closures for the particulate phase implemented into MFIX. The effect of uncertainty on the disperse-phase volume fraction, on the phase velocities and on the pressure drop inside the fluidized bed are examined, and the reconstructed PDFs are provided for the three

quantities studied. Then the approach is applied to a bubbling fluidized bed with two uncertain parameters. Contour plots of the mean and standard deviation of solid volume fraction, solid phase velocities and gas pressure are provided. The PDFs of the response are reconstructed using EQMOM with appropriate kernel density functions. The simulation results are compared to experimental data provided by the 2013 NETL small-scale challenge problem. Lastly, the proposed procedure is demonstrated by considering a riser of a circulating fluidized bed as an example application. The mean particle size is considered to be the uncertain input parameters. Contour plots of the mean and standard deviation of solid volume fraction, solid phase velocities, and granular temperature are provided. Mean values and confidence intervals of the quantities of interest are compared to the experiment results. The univariate and bivariate PDF reconstructions of the system response are performed using EQMOM and ECQMOM.

Copyright Owner

Xiaofei Hu



File Format


File Size

146 pages