Use of PIV to measure turbulence modulation in a high throughput stirred vessel with the addition of high Stokes number particles for both up- and down-pumping configurations

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A refractive index matching technique combined with particle image velocimetry (PIV) was used to measure turbulent properties of solid-liquid suspensions in a small high throughput scale cylindrical vessel of 45 mm diameter agitated with a 45 degrees pitched blade turbine (PBT) for up-pumping (U) and down-pumping (D) configurations. This study analyses the effect of large 1.5 mm diameter particles (Stokes number > 1), on liquid mean velocities, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and energy dissipation (epsilon) at particle concentrations of 0%, 1.5% and 5% by volume. Only small changes in the time-averaged liquid velocities were observed with increasing particle concentration. However, maximum TKE near the impeller decreased up to 40% with increasing particle concentration for both configurations. The Smagorinsky SGS method was used to estimate local energy dissipation rate near the impeller and the maximum value was found to decrease by 50% between 0% and 5% concentration for the (U) configuration. A lesser but still significant drop of 30% was observed for the (D) configuration. These data confirm that large Stokes number particles can suppress turbulence, in agreement with some previous experimental studies, but in contradiction with existing theories. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5862-5874
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Stirred tank, Particle image velocimetry, Hydrodynamics, Multiphase flow, Turbulence, Mixing