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Mixing Systems: Design and Scale Up

By Werner Himmelsbach, David Houlton, Wolfgang Keller, Mark Lovallo EKATO Mixing Technology |

    Fundamental to the chemical process industries (CPI) — whether specialty or bulk chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food products, minerals processing, environmental protection or other products or activities — is the need for mixing. The wide variety and complexity of mixing tasks encountered in industrial applications require careful design and scale up to ensure that effective mixing is achieved efficiently. Designs based on a small range of traditional agitators are no longer economically acceptable. Modern impellers and the use of physical or computer modeling can greatly enhance performance and reduce costs.   Mixing tasks fall into six main categories: 1. blending of miscible liquids; 2. blending of mixtures with “difficult” rheologies (such as non-Newtonian properties); 3. suspension of solids; 4. liquid-liquid dispersions; 5. heat transfer; and 6. gas-liquid dispersion. Different mixing behaviors and rules govern each basic mixing task. To optimize a design, or to scale-up reliably, these behaviors and rules need to be understood and defined. Complex tasks that involve two or more of the above categories require special attention. The controlling task must be identified to determine the…
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