Dynamic & CFD modeling of a continuous-flow mixer using fluids with yield stress
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 07:57 by Salwan Emad Saeed
A continuous-flow mixer was designed and built in the Mixing Technology Lab, Chemical Engineering Department at Ryerson University to study mixing of xanthan gum solutions in water, a pseudoplastic fluid possessing yield stress. The extent of flow non-ideality was quantified using a dynamic model that incorporated the extent of channeling and the effective mixed volume within the mixing vessel. Dynamic tests were made using a frequency-modulated random binary input of a brine solution. The same experiments were simulated using Fluent, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) package. CFD flow fields were used to obtain the system dynamic response to a tracer injection applied at conditions indentical to the experimental conditions. The extent of channeling and effective mixed volume were determined and then compared with the parameters obtained experimentally. Experimental and CFD results show that the extent of non-ideal flow is significantly affected by impeller speed, impeller type, feed flow rate, fluid rheology, and exit location. The performance of continuous mixed vessels can be improved by increasing impeller speed, decreasing feed flow rate, and decreasing solution concentration. However, decreasing feed flow rate and solution concentration reduces the production capacity of the process. Increasing impeller speed may require modification to the motor and can cause air entrainment. Therefore, other remedies such as relocating the exit location and using the proper type of impeller may be taken into consideration. The results show that the extent of non-ideal flow was reduced using the bottom output and flow efficiency in the vessel was enhanced using A320 impeller.