The use of positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) to study milling of roll-compacted microcystalline cellulose ribbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Surrey


Milling is a critical process for controlling the properties of the granules produced by roll compaction. In the current study, the positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) technique was used to examine the milling kinematics of roll-compacted ribbons at various milling speeds. Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC, Avicel PH-102) was used as the model feed material and a radioactive particle (tracer) was mixed with the MCC powder and roll-compacted to form sample ribbons. They were then milled using an oscillating mill at various speeds and the kinematics of the ribbons (trajectory, velocity, and occupancy) were quantitatively determined using PEPT. A close examination of the PEPT data reveals that, for milling MCC PH-102 ribbons using the oscillating mill considered in this study, the milling speed plays an important role: at low values, the milling process is dominated by cooperative motion of the ribbons with the blade (i.e. the speeds of the ribbons and the blade are similar, and the ribbons move along with the blade) and the ribbons are milled primarily by abrasion; as the speed increases the ribbons undergo more random motion involving collisions that results in an increase in ribbon breakage and hence an increase in the milling efficiency. It is shown that the PEPT technique is a useful technique for examining milling kinematics of roll-compacted ribbons.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
JournalPowder Technology
Early online date3 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Roll compaction, Milling, PEPT, Abrasion, Impact, Granulation