Effect of impeller design and power consumption on crystal size distribution



Crystallization processes in a 500 mL stirred tank crystallizer with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and population balances toward estimating how crystal size distributions (CSDs) are influenced by flow inhomogeneities was explored. The flow pattern and CSD are presented here though extensive phase Doppler particle analyzer measurements and CFD predictions for three different impeller designs (disc turbine, pitched blade turbine, and Propeller) and each rotated at three different speeds (2.5, 5, and10 r/s). As crystallization processes in practice could involve break-up and aggregation of crystals, some selected break-up and aggregation kernels are incorporated. Extensive comparison of simulations with experimental data showed consistent trends in the proper quantitative range. An attempt has also been made to develop scaling laws: (a) mean particle size with average power consumption per unit mass and (b) particle-size distribution with the turbulent energy dissipation distribution. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3596–3613, 2014