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Increase Productivity Through Better Gas-Liquid Mixing  

By W. Himmelsbach, W. Keller, M. Lovallo, T. Grebe and D. Houlton - Ekato |

    Mixing is one of the oldest unit operations in the chemical process industries (CPI) and can also be one of the most demanding. The complex challenges presented by the wide variety of mixing tasks and scaleup needs encountered in the CPI have been compounded by a rapid rise in reactor size over the last three decades (Table 1). This trend towards larger-scale manufacturing processes has occurred across a wide range of applications including bulk chemicals, specialty chemicals, formulated products (such as adhesives and coatings), foodstuffs, cosmetics and more. This article focuses on techniques for gas-liquid mixing that can improve performance, which is particularly important when considering scaleup. (For more on mixing, not specific to gas-liquid, see CE, April 2006, pp. 46–53)   Economy of scale The increase in reactor size has helped reduce costs and raise competitiveness in the global economy, but this trend has also increased demands on the performance of many reactor agitators. A holistic approach to increasing productivity must address all relevant issues, such as: 1. Product quality and plant productivity should be optimized. Productivity can be expressed as output per time and space as follows:     or…
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