A model has been developed for describing the aggregation process of two fractal clusters under quiescent conditions. The model uses the approach originally proposed by Smoluchowski for the diffusion-limited aggregation of two spherical particles but accounts for the possibility of interpenetration between the fractal clusters. It is assumed that when a cluster diffuses toward a reference cluster their center-to-center distance can be smaller than the sum of their radii, and their aggregation process is modeled using a diffusion-reaction equation. The reactivity of the clusters is assumed to depend on the reactivity and number of their particles involved in the aggregation event. The model can be applied to evaluate the aggregation rate constant as a function of the prevailing operating conditions by simply changing the value of the particle stability ratio, without any a priori specification of a diffusion-limited cluster aggregation, reaction-limited cluster aggregation, or transition regime. Furthermore, the model allows one to estimate the structure properties of the formed cluster after the aggregation, based on the computed distance between the aggregating clusters in the final cluster.
- fractal cluster
- spherical particles