Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol.42, No.8, 1643-1653, 2019
Quantitative Measurements of the Critical Impeller Speed for Solid-Liquid Suspensions
A quantitative methodology for particle suspension assessment is presented. A new parameter, f(mov/tot), the ratio of the mean number of moving particles to the total number of particles, is introduced to evaluate the minimum speed required to just suspend solids. This approach is tested to investigate the impact of impeller clearance on the minimum impeller speed, N-js, in a vessel when using a radial flow Rushton turbine. Flow patterns and power numbers obtained experimentally and computationally support the suspension findings. Image analysis is an appropriate method for determining N-js. Lowering the impeller clearance reduces the speed required for particle suspension with a change of flow pattern from a radial discharge with two loops to a single loop scouring the vessel base. The power number also falls markedly at the two-to-one loop transition as does the strain rate near the base.