Using a tracer technique to identify the extent of non-ideal flows in the continuous mixing of non-Newtonian fluids
Department of Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The identification of non-ideal flows in a continuous-flow mixing of non-Newtonian fluids is a challenging task for various chemical industries: plastic manufacturing, water and wastewater treatment, and pulp and paper manufacturing. Non-ideal flows such as channelling, recirculation, and dead zones significantly affect the performance of continuous-flow mixing systems. Therefore, the main objective of this paper was to develop an identification protocol to measure non-ideal flows in the continuous-flow mixing system. The extent of non-ideal flows was quantified using a dynamic model that incorporated channelling, recirculation, and dead volume in the mixing vessel. To estimate the dynamic model parameters, the system was excited using a frequency-modulated random binary input by injecting the saline solution (as a tracer) into the fresh feed stream prior to being pumped into the mixing vessel. The injection of the tracer was controlled by a computer-controlled on-off solenoid valve. Using the trace technique, the extent of channelling and the effective mixed volume were successfully determined and used as mixing quality criteria. Such identification procedures can be applied at various areas of chemical engineering in order to improve the mixing quality.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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