Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.65, No.6, 1905-1914, 2010
PEPT measurements of solid-liquid flow field and spatial phase distribution in concentrated monodisperse stirred suspensions
The technique of positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) has been used to determine the two-phase flow field and spatial phase distribution in a stirred vessel containing coarse glass particles suspended in water. The Lagrangian flow data provided by PEPT have been converted to give a detailed Eulerian description of the two-phase flow generated by a pitched blade turbine (PBT) operating in up-pumping or down-pumping mode. For the first time, it has been possible to determine the full 3D velocity and concentration fields of both the liquid and the solid phase within an opaque dense slurry of this type containing up to 40 wt% solids. The detailed PEPT measurements have also enabled the solids mass balance and the mass continuity of the two phases to be accurately verified throughout the vessel. The data show that the pumping effectiveness of the PBT is unaffected at moderate solid fractions, but is considerably reduced at high fractions and even more so in the up-pumping mode. A uniformity index based on the variance of the local solids concentration in the vessel shows that, overall, a down-pumping PBT achieves a significantly better homogeneity than an up-pumping PBT. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.