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This paper presents a numerical simulation of the liquid–solid flow in a 12-way coal distributor used in a coal preparation plant. The liquid flow, coupled with gas-flow, is determined by a homogeneous multiphase model by computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A strong swirling and non-uniform flow is obtained. The fluid–solid interaction is determined based on the CFD results. Then, discrete element method (DEM) is employed to calculate the solid flow in the distributor. The effects of some key variables on the distribution of both fluid outlets and solid outlets are studied through the numerical experiments. The particle–fluid interactions are analyzed in order to understand the reasons for the maldistribution of the coal particle phase. It is shown that the asymmetric layout for liquid inlets and other asymmetric factors are responsible for the asymmetric behavior of liquid, which dominates the maldistribution of the particle flow.