75 research outputs found

    Modeling Turbulent Flow in Stirred Tanks with CFD: The Influence of the Modeling Approach, Turbulence Model and Numerical Scheme

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    Single phase turbulent flow in a tank stirred by a down- and an up-pumping pitched blade turbine has been simulated using CFD. The effect of the modeling approach, discretization scheme and turbulence model on mean velocities, turbulent kinetic energy and global quantities, such as the power and circulation numbers, has been investigated. The results have been validated by LDV data. The stationary and time-dependent modeling approaches were found to have little effect on the turbulent flow, however the choice of the numerical scheme was found to be important, especially for the predicted turbulent kinetic energy. A first order method was found to highly underestimate LDV data compared with higher order methods. The type of the turbulence model was limited to the k-e and RNG models due to convergence difficulties encountered with a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) and there was found to be little effect of these models on the mean flow and turbulent kinetic energy. This latter quantity was found to be largely under predicted in the discharge region of the down-pumping impeller in comparison with LDV data. Better agreement was found for the up-pumping pitched blade turbine. Estimated power numbers were found generally to be in good agreement for the down- and up-pumping data. However, the circulation number tended to be over predicted by about 30% and 40% for the down- and uppumping agitators, respectively

    Gas-liquid mass transfer : influence of sparger location

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    The performance of three sparger diameters (DS = 0.6D, DS = D, DS = 1.6D) in combination with three positions (below, above or level with the impeller) for gas-liquid dispersion and mass transfer were evaluated in the case of the Rushton turbine and the A315 propeller in up- or down-pumping mode. The results show that the best results in terms of gas handling and mass transfer capacities are obtained for all impellers with the sparger placed below it and with a diameter at least equal to the impeller diameter. For the sparger position below the agitator, the kLa values of the Rushton turbine are greater than those of the A315 propeller, whatever the pumping mode. The A315 propeller in up-pumping mode is, however, more economically efficient in terms of mass transfer. In all cases, the up-pumping mode gives better results than the down-pumping one

    Investigation by laser doppler velocimetry of the effects of liquid flow rates and feed positions on the flow patterns induced in a stirred tank by an axial-flow impeller

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    The (ow patterns established in a continuously-fed stirred tank, equipped with a Mixel TT axial-(ow impeller, have been investigated bylaser Doppler velocimetry, for a high and a low value of mean residence time—mixing time ratio. The pseudo-two-dimensional axial– radial-velocityvector plots, as well as the spatial distributions of the tangential velocitycomponent and the velocitypro;les around the impeller, show that the interaction between the incoming liquid and the liquid entrained bythe agitator rotation cause the (ow pattern in the vessel to become stronglythree-dimensional, especiallyin the region between the plane, where the feeding tube lies, and the 180◦-downstream plane. The increase in the liquid (ow rate and the location of the feed entryboth aectthe(owpattern,withthelatterhavingamorepronouncedeect the (ow pattern, with the latter having a more pronounced eect. The overall process, in this mode of operation, depends upon the appropriate con;guration and choice of parameters: for conditions corresponding to high liquid (ow rates, the (ow patterns indicate the possibilityof short-circuiting, when the liquid is fed into the stream being drawn bythe agitator and when the outlet is located at the bottom of the vessel

    Effect of microchannel aspect ratio on residence time distributions and the axial dispersion coefficient

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    The effect of microchannel aspect ratio (channel depth/channel width) on residence time distributions and the axial dispersion coefficient have been investigated for Newtonian and shear thinning non-Newtonian flow using computational fluid dynamics. The results reveal that for a fixed cross sectional area and throughput, there is a narrowing of the residence time distribution as the aspect ratio decreases. This is quantified by an axial dispersion coefficient that increases rapidly for aspect ratios less than 0.3 and then tends towards an asymptote as the aspect ratio goes to 1. The results also show that the axial dispersion coefficient is related linearly to the Reynolds number when either the aspect ratio or the mean fluid velocity is varied. However, the fluid Péclet number is a linear function of the Reynolds number only when the aspect ratio (and therefore hydraulic diameter) is varied. Globally, the results indicate that microchannels should be designed with low aspect ratios (≤ 0.3) for reduced axial dispersion

    An experimental and CFD study of liquid jet injection into a partially baffled mixing vessel: a contribution to process safety by improving the quenching of runaway reactions

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    Thermal runaway remains a problem in the process industries with poor or inadequate mixing contributing significantly to these incidents. An efficient way to quench such an uncontrolled chemical reaction is via the injection of a liquid jet containing a small quantity of a very active inhibiting agent (often called a stopper) that must be mixed into the bulk of the fluid to quench the reaction. The hazards associated with such runaway events mean that a validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model would be an extremely useful tool. In this paper, the injection of a jet at the flat free surface of a partially baffled agitated vessel has been studied both experimentally and numerically. The dependence of the jet trajectory on the injection parameters has been simulated using a single-phase flow CFD model together with Lagrangian particle tracking. The comparison of the numerical predictions with experimental data for the jet trajectories shows very good agreement. The analysis of the transport of a passive scalar carried by the fluid jet and thus into the bulk, together with the use of a new global mixing criterion adapted for safety issues, revealed the optimum injection conditions to maximise the mixing benefits of the bulk flow pattern

    Transient hydrodynamics and free surface capture of an under-baffled stirred tank during stopping

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    The transient hydrodynamics and the free surface shape have been numerically predicted by CFD for an under-baffled agitated vessel during the stopping phase of the agitator, including the inertial period after the agitator has completely stopped. The simulations were carried out in a fully transient manner using a gas/liquid inhomogeneous two phase flow model coupled with a k–1 turbulence model. The time dependence of the system studied reveals that the history of the fluid evolution during the impeller slowing phase determines the instantaneous results, implying that the resulting hydrodynamics cannot be determined via a classical steady-state approach. The numerical prediction of the free surface shape during stopping is in agreement with experimental data

    An experimental and computational study of the vortex shape in a partially baffled agitated vessel

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    The vortex shape in a non-standard partially baffled agitated vessel in the form of a glass-lined, under-baffled stirred vessel has been investigated using both experimental and numerical approaches for an air/water system for different rotation speeds of the agitator. A simple and flexible experimental strategy was developed for determination of the time-averaged location of the unstable free surface using a process involving superimposition of images. CFD simulations were made to predict the vortex shape by using an Eulerian–Eulerian multiphase model coupled with a homogenous turbulence model. The simplifying assumptions of a constant bubble size, a constant drag coefficient and use of the k–ε turbulence model were made. An assessment of the capability of the numerical method to predict the vortex shape was carried out through comparison between experimental data and numerical results. Considering for comparison purposes a water isosurface volume fraction equal to 0.9, to account for the existence of air/water mixture present at the interface in the experiments, instead of the classical value of 0.5, gave very good agreement with the experimental data

    Single and multiphase CFD approaches for modelling partially baffled stirred vessels: comparison of experimental data with numerical predictions

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    Whilst the use of CFD to study mixing vessels is now common-place, there are still many specialised applications that are yet to be addressed. Here we present CFD and PIV results for a hydrodynamic study of a partially baffled vessel with a free surface. The standard k.ε and SSG Reynolds Stress turbulence models are used and the numerical predictions of the mean flow field are compared with experimental data for single phase modelling. At low rotation rates a flat free surface is observed and the flow is simulated using a single phase model, whilst at high rotation rates an Eulerian–Eulerian multiphase model is used to capture the free surface location, even under conditions when gas is drawn down to the impeller. It is shown that there are significant transient effects that mean many of the “rules of thumb” that have been developed for fully baffled vessels must be revisited. In particular such flows have central vortices that are unsteady and complex, transient flow-induced vortical structures generated by the impeller–baffle interactions and require a significant number of simulated agitator rotations before meaningful statistical analysis can be performed. Surprisingly, better agreement between CFD and experimental data was obtained using the k.ε than the SSG Reynolds stress model. The multiphase inhomogeneous approach used here with simplified physics assumptions gives good agreement for power consumption, and with PIV measurements with flat and deformed free surfaces, making this affordable method practical to avoid the erroneous modelling assumption of a flat free surface often made in such cases

    Scale-up in laminar and transient regimes of a multi-stage stirrer, a CFD approach

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    A multi-stage industrial agitator system adapted to the mixing of a mixture whose viscosity varies during the process has been characterized by using CFD. In the entire study the mixture is supposed to have a Newtonian behavior even though it is rarely the case. It is shown that the well-adapted propeller is able to e7ciently blend high viscous media provided the Reynolds number is not too low. A scale-up study of the agitated system has also been carried out by respecting the classical scale-up rules such as the geometrical similarity and the conservation of the power per volume in the particular case of viscous media. Using an Eulerian approach, the hydrodynamics of three di9erent scales with geometrical similarity have been numerically characterized by the energy curve (power number versus Reynolds number) and by the Metzner and Otto constant in which both are required for scale-up procedure. Experimental power measurements have been carried out at the smaller scale so that simulations have been partially validated. New hydrodynamic criteria have also been introduced in order to quantify the =ows in the case of a multi-stage stirrer running at low Reynolds number. It has been shown how this hydrodynamic di9ers dramatically from one scale to another when scale-up at constant energy per volume is applied. From the CFD results, recommendations about the widely used scale-up rules have been suggested and modi>cations of stirring geometry have been proposed in order to reduce the =ow pattern variations during scale-up. ? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

    Alternate operating methods for improving the performance of a continuous stirred tank reactor

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    The effect of the pumping direction of an axial flow impeller, the feeding rate and the number of feed inlets on the operation of a continuously-fed stirred tank has been studied using CFD. The flow patterns generated by the up-pumping and down-pumping impeller, under both ‘typical’ and ‘intensified’ operating conditions, are compared. The effect of various tank configurations on the performance of the vessel is assessed by analysing the flow and power numbers, as well as the concentration field of a non-reactive tracer. Furthermore, the inlet feed jets are reduced using traditional jet similarity analysis and are compared with that of a typical round jet. The results show that up-pumping impellers improve circulation in the upper part of the tank and reduce shortcircuiting of the feed stream with only a small increase in power consumption. Furthermore, by using multiple feed inlets to increase the total throughput capacity, the amplitude of torque fluctuations is decreased and impeller bypassing is also decreased. The ensemble of conclusions suggest that the throughput capacity and mixing quality of a CSTR can be improved, without problems of short-circuiting, by employing up-pumping impellers coupled with multiple surface feed points
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