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Experimental and computational study of non-turbulent flow regimes and cavern formation of non-Newtonian fluids in a stirred tank

Adams, Luke Wayne (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

When non-Newtonian fluids are mixed in a stirred tank at low Reynolds numbers caverns can be formed around the impeller. If the fluid contains a yield stress the cavern has a fixed boundary where no flow occurs outside of it. When the fluid does not contain a yield stress a pseudo-cavern is formed, the cavern boundary is not fixed since flow can occur outside of it, but the majority of the flow is present in a region around the impeller. Mixing and cavern formation of a variety of non-Newtonian fluids are studied using experimental techniques and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Cavern data extracted from both methods are compared with mechanistic cavern prediction models. An adapted planar laser induced fluorescence technique showed that mixing inside of a shear thinning Herschel-Bulkley fluid is very slow. Positron emission particle tracking obtained flow patterns and cavern sizes of three rheologically complex opaque fluids. CFD was able to predict the data obtained from both experimental techniques fairly well at low Reynolds numbers. A toroidal cavern model provided the best fit for single phase fluids but for the opaque fluids all models drastically over predicted the cavern size, with the cylindrical model only predicting cavern heights at high Reynolds numbers.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Barigou, Mostafa
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:Department of Chemical Engineering
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
QD Chemistry
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:394
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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