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Keywords:

  • pulp fiber suspensions;
  • multiphase flow;
  • in-line jet mixing;
  • turbulence;
  • electrical resistance tomography

Mixing effectiveness was determined experimentally for side jet injection into pipe flow for water and pulp suspensions for a range of fiber mass concentrations (0–3.0%), mainstream velocities (0.5–5.0 m/s), and side-stream velocities (1.0–12.7 m/s). The mixing quality was measured in cross-sectional planes along the pipe using electrical resistance tomography and quantified by a modified mixing index, derived from the coefficient of variation of conductivity. Mixing depended strongly on the flow regime and jet penetration. For turbulent flow, the criteria for in-line jet mixing in water are applicable to the mixing in suspensions, with small differences likely due to differences in fiber network strength and influences of fiber-turbulence interactions in modifying turbulent structures in the bulk. When a suspension flows as a plug, however, the mixing differs greatly from that in water, depending on the fiber network strength in the core of the pipe. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 1420–1430, 2013