Design and operation of mixing systems using agitated vessels is a difficult task due to the challenge of obtaining accurate information on impeller-induced turbulence. The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can provide detailed understanding of such systems. In this study, experimental tests and computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed to examine the flow characteristics of four impeller designs (anchor, saw-tooth, counter-flow and Rushton turbine), in achieving solution homogeneity. The impellers were used to mix potassium sulfate granules, from which values of electrical conductivity of the solution were measured and used to estimate the distribution pattern of dissolved solid concentrations within the vessel. CFD models were developed for similar mixing arrangement using commercial software, ANSYS Fluent 18.1 solver and the standard k-epsilon (ε
) turbulence model. The Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) approach was used to simulate the impeller rotation. Velocity profiles generated from the simulations were in good agreement with the experimental predictions, as well as with results from previous studies. It was concluded that, through CFD analysis, detailed information can be obtained for optimal design of mixing apparatus. These findings are relevant in choosing the best mixing equipment and provides a basis for scaling up mixing operations in larger systems.
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