Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.61, No.18, 6189-6198, 2006
Liquid phase mixing and gas hold-up in a multistage-agitated contactor with co-current upflow of air/viscous fluids
A hydrodynamic study is carried out in a multistage-agitated contactor with cocurrent upflow of air/viscous fluids. The liquid phase backmixing is characterized through a residence time distribution study in various viscous fluids (up to 20 mPa s). The liquid Reynolds number with respect to the impeller applied in the investigation ranges from 1000 to 50000. A cascade of stirred tanks with back flow model satisfactorily fits all experimental residence time distribution curves in the present study. It is found that the increase in the liquid viscosity reduces the backmixing in the liquid phase due to its dampening effect on turbulence. The presence of the gas phase helps in reducing the backmixing by the straightening effect and entrainment effect in a co-current operation manner. The gas hold-up measured in the present study is comparable to the literature data. A new type of correlation taking into account the influence of the gas phase is proposed to predict the backmixing in a multistage-agitated contactor. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.