Macro- and micro-mixing studies in an unbaffled vessel agitated by a Rushton turbine

Melissa Assirelli, Waldemar Bujalski, A Eaglesham, Alvin Nienow

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Macromixing characteristics, power number and visual observation of the vortex behaviour and micromixing in an unbaffled tank agitated with a Rushton turbine are reported. The latter has also been compared in detail with earlier results from an identical tank containing baffles. The maximum mean specific energy dissipation rate, (epsilon) over bar (T), in the unbaffled tank that can be utilised without severe air incorporation is similar to 0.18 W/kg compared to similar to 1.2 W/kg with baffles. However, at this lower (epsilon) over bar (T), the micromixing efficiency is always significantly greater without baffles except when addition is made onto the top of the liquid or into the trailing vortex very close to the impeller. In these latter cases, they are approximately the same but even a small submergence of the feed tube below the liquid surface greatly enhances micromixing in the unbaffled case whilst it is still very poor with baffles. This good micromixing performance of the unbaffled vessel was very unexpected. Furthermore, an established method of estimating the local epsilon(T) gave values of epsilon(T)/(epsilon) over bar (T) = phi >> 1 at every feed position where measurement was undertaken. Since the spatially averaged value of phi = 1, this result suggests the possibility that the accepted concept of micromixing being totally controlled by the local epsilon(T) at the feed point may not be valid for such swirling flows. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • macromixing
  • unbaffled vessel
  • micromixing
  • power measurements
  • iodide-iodate method


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