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Keywords:

  • mixing;
  • impeller performance;
  • power number;
  • momentum number;
  • micromixing

Abstract

Current literature relies almost exclusively on the power number to compare and characterize impellers. Industrial mixing requirements may rely on conditions far away from the impeller. A protocol is proposed to compare impellers designed for turbulent mixing on the basis of impeller hydrodynamic performance and mixing process objectives. A hydrofoil impeller (KPC), and a mixed-flow impeller (45° down-pumping PBT), each at two diameters, were used to test the protocol. Fourteen measures were considered. Five are recommended for full characterization: power number, momentum number, and peak rate of dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy to characterize conditions at the impeller; power at just-suspended speed to compare the efficiency of solids suspension at the bottom of the tank; and point of air entrainment as a measure of turbulence penetration to the free surface. These five measures provide complete information about mixing performance and good differentiation between the impellers and geometries. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 2573–2588, 2012