Abstract Population balance equations (PBEs) for reversible aggregation–fragmentation processes are important to particle agglomeration and dissolution, polymerization and degradation, liquid droplet coalescence and breakup, and floc coagulation and disintegration. Moment solutions provide convenient solutions to the PBEs, including steady state and similarity solutions, but may not be feasible for complex forms of size-dependent rate coefficients and stoichiometric kernels. Numeric solutions are thus necessary not only for applications, but also for the study of the mathematics of PBEs. Here we propose a numerical method to solve PBEs and compare the results to moment solutions. The numeric results are consistent with known steady state and asymptotic long-time similarity solutions and show how processes can be approximated by self-similar formulations.