Use of acoustic emission in combination with machine learning: monitoring of gas–liquid mixing in stirred tanks

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Operations involving gas–liquid agitated vessels are common in the biochemical and chemical industry; ensuring good contact between the two phases is essential to process performance. In this work, a methodology to compute acoustic emission data, recorded using a piezoelectric sensor, to evaluate the gas–liquid mixing regime within gas–liquid and gas–solid–liquid mixtures was developed. The system was a 3L stirred tank equipped with a Rushton Turbine and a ring sparger. Whilst moving up through the vessel, gas bubbles collapse, break or coalesce generating sound waves transmitted through the wall to the acoustic transmitter. The system was operated in different flow regimes (non-gassed condition, loaded and complete dispersion) achieved by varying impeller speed and gas flow rate, with the objective to feed machine learning algorithms with the acoustic spectrum to univocally identify the different conditions. The developed method allowed to successfully recognise the operating regime with an accuracy higher than 90% both in absence and presence of suspended particles.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intelligent Manufacturing
Early online date2 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2020


  • Acoustic emission, Gas–liquid mixing, Machine learning, Stirred tank