• solid–liquid mixing;
  • low-density particle;
  • solid suspension;
  • CFD simulation;
  • experimental visualisation


In order to investigate the mechanism of the low-density solid particle and liquid mixing process, a specialised agitator structure was used. Both computational fluid dynamics simulation and experiments were carried out to study the two-phase mixing characteristics in the stirred vessel. The mixing process was captured by snapshots. The flow field and solid phase volume fraction evolution were analysed. Experimental and numerical results agreed well with each other. Solid particles floating on the liquid surface were gradually transported to the bottom through the centre of the vessel and the mixing time was predicted and tested. Results indicate that the agitator structure used in this study is able to form an obvious axial circulation in the vessel and then achieve a good performance in low-density solid and liquid mixing operations. The study provides a valuable reference for the design and optimisation of solid–liquid mixing equipment. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering