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Liquid Mixing in Stirred Tanks

By David S. Dickey |

A method of quantifying mixing according to a mixing index is presented. This index can evaluate and predict mixing intensity related to fluid velocities in stirred tanks The stirred tank is one of the most common and versatile pieces of chemical process equipment. While every chemical engineer has had a course about chemical reactors and has encountered the concept of a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), very few of those same engineers can evaluate or predict the mixing performance of a stirred tank. While some stirred tanks are used as continuous flow reactors, others are used as batch reactors. Many more stirred tanks are used for physical processing of formulations without any chemical reactions. A method of quantifying mixing according to a mixing index can evaluate and predict mixing intensity related to fluid velocities in stirred tanks. Various size stirred tanks are used to carry out an enormous variety of process objectives in nearly all of the chemical process industries (CPI). While the processes can be very different, the underlying fluid dynamics are quite similar. A rotating impeller in a cylindrical tank causes fluid motion and liquid blending to promote the desired process results. The ability to quantify liquid…
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