Using Tomography to Characterize the Mixing of Non-Newtonian Fluids with a Maxblend Impeller



The flow field inside a cylindrical mixing vessel was visualized by electrical resistance tomography (ERT), a non-intrusive measurement technique. Six tomography planes, each containing 16 sensing electrodes, measured the mixing time in the agitation of pseudoplastic fluid exhibiting yield stress. The effects of various parameters such as impeller types, impeller speed, fluid rheology, power consumption, Reynolds number, and absence of baffles on the mixing time were investigated. The Maxblend impeller was able to improve the mixing performance of non-Newtonian fluids in a batch reactor. The mixing quality could be further enhanced by decreasing the xanthan gum concentration and using baffles in the mixing vessel.