Mixing of complex fluids with coaxial mixers composed of two central impellers and an anchor
- Mixing of complex fluids with coaxial mixers composed of two central impellers and an anchor
The coaxial mixers composed of a high-speed central impeller and a low-speed anchor have been recommended by the previous researchers for the mixing of highly viscous and non-Newtonian fluids. However, no study has been reported in the literature regarding the use of the coaxial mixing systems composed of two central impellers and an anchor in the agitation of complex fluids. Thus, the main objective of this study was to investigate the performance of coaxial mixers composed of two central impellers and an anchor in the agitation of the xanthan gum solution, which is a yield-pseudoplastic fluid, through electrical resistance tomography (ERT), the computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and design of experiments (DOE) combined with the response surface methodology (RSM).
In the first stage of this study, the hydrodynamic performance of coaxial mixers, the single and double Scaba impellers in combination with an anchor impeller, was investigated in the mixing of yield-pseudoplastic fluids. Considering the mixing efficiency criteria, it was found that the double Scaba-anchor coaxial system was more efficient than the single Scaba-anchor coaxial mixer in the mixing of yield pseudoplastic fluids with regard to the mixing time and power drawn. In the second stage of this research project, the performances of three different coaxial mixers, namely, double Scaba-anchor coaxial (DSAC), double Rushton turbine-anchor coaxial (DRAC), and double pitched blade turbine-anchor coaxial (DPAC) mixers were assessed. It was found that the double Scaba-anchor coaxial (DSAC) mixer was more efficient system compared to the others at the same operating conditions. To evaluate the influence of the impeller spacing on the hydrodynamics of the double Scaba-anchor coaxial mixer, the lower impeller clearance and the spacing between two central impellers were changed within a wide range. The results demonstrated that a coaxial mixer with the impeller spacing of almost equal to the central impeller diameter was the most efficient configuration compared to the other cases. When the impeller spacing was varied, the merging flow and parallel flow patterns were observed. Finally, the hydrodynamic performances of different configurations of coaxial mixers composed of a wall scraping anchor impeller in combination with two different or identical central high-speed impellers were analyzed. The coaxial mixers utilized in this stage were the Scaba–Scaba-anchor (SSAC), Scaba-Rushton-anchor (SRAC), Rushton-Scaba-anchor (RSAC), Scaba-pitched blade-anchor (SPBAC), and pitched blade-Scaba-anchor (PBSAC). A new correlation was introduced for these complex configurations of the coaxial mixers by incorporating the Metzner-Otto constants (Ks) of the different types of the central impellers into the Reynolds number. The analysis of the collected data revealed that the Scaba-pitched blade-anchor coaxial (SPBAC) mixer was the most efficient mixing system in the mixing of the highly viscous non-Newtonian fluids.