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AIChE Journal, Vol.65, No.9, 2019
Flow characteristics of vortex based cavitation devices Computational investigation on influence of operating parameters and scale
Vortex based hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) devices offer various advantages over conventional linear flow devices, such as early inception, low erosion risk, and higher cavitational yield. Despite several promising applications, the key underlying flow characteristics are not yet adequately understood. This article presents results of a computational investigation into cavitation in vortex devices. Multiphase computational fluid dynamics results are presented and compared with experimental data on pressure drop over a range of flow rates. The results highlight the unique hydrodynamic characteristics of this type of device in relation to conventional linear flow reactors; cavitation inception occurs in the liquid bulk away from sold surfaces, and rapid pressure recovery rates are achieved. The models were used to simulate detailed time-pressure histories for individual vapor cavities, including turbulent fluctuations. The developed approach, models and results will provide a sound and useful basis for comprehensive multiscale modeling of vortex-based devices for HC.