Caking of crystal particles and the inhibition : Effect of adhesion free energy

Caking, in the crystallization field, also known as agglomeration, is a phenomenon that can be defined as the process of formation of clumps or masses rather than flow smoothly. There are several factors involved in determining the degree of caking including but not limited to: the substance’s particle surface chemistry, particle size and particle-size distribution, particle shape, and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Since it allows for powders or crystals to clump up, caking of crystals can be very problematic in industrial settings where a steady flow is required at all times for smooth operations, otherwise resulting in the loss of quality and function of a product. Thus, this research project seeks to study the mechanism of caking and how to inhibit it, to be able to prevent future problems such as the one described above. This will be accomplished based on calculations of adhesion free energy of the particles in study while applying the Lifshitz–van der Waals acid-base theory.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jesse Zhu


Mohannad Shilbayeh



Engineering - chemical / biological



Western University


Globalink Research Award

Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects