Mixing in a tank stirred by a Rushton turbine at a low clearance

Aoyi Ochieng, Maurice S. Onyango, A. Kumar, H. K. Kiriamiti, Paul Musonge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Mixing efficiency in stirred tanks is an important consideration in the design of many industrial processes. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques have been employed in the present work to study the hydrodynamics in a tank stirred by a Rushton turbine. The effect of the impeller clearance on the velocity field and mixing has been investigated. It has been shown that at a low impeller clearance, the Rushton turbine generates a flow field that evolves from the typical two loops to a single loop flow pattern similar to that of an axial impeller. This single loop flow pattern resulted in an increase in axial flow and a decrease in mixing time at a constant power number. It has been found that a draft tube can be used with a single Rushton turbine, at a low clearance to aid axial flow and mixing, and this resulted in 50% reduction in mixing time. There was a good comparison between laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) experimental and CFD simulation flow fields, both of which showed that the draft tube improved mixing in the tank by suppressing secondary circulation loops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-851
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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