Measurement of Lagrangian Trajectories in a 3 L Stirred Tank Reactor using 4D Particle Tracking Velocimetry with Shake-the-Box
Stirred tank reactors are widely used in the chemical industry and bioprocess engineering and, consequently, a large number of scientific publications deal with the characterization of those apparatuses. However, there is very little information about the flow conditions. This is mostly due to the fact that these apparatuses are generally made of stainless steel, which restricts optical access. Furthermore, three-dimensional flow field measurements are still not trivial and involve costly equipment, therefore, investigations often reduce to two-dimensional PIV measurements. Nevertheless, recent works (Rosseburg et al., 2018; Taghavi and Moghaddas, 2020; Kuschel et al., 2021) impressively show the formation of compartments which hinder and delay mixing. However, these measurements are based either on instantaneous concentration profiles by means of pLIF measurements or on a two-dimensional projection of the system and thus do not allow conclusions about the development of the three dimensional compartments and the exchange rates between the compartments. In this work, for the first time, instantaneous flow field measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution are performed in the entire volume of a 3L stirred tank reactor based on 4D particle tracking velocimetry. The highly resolved particle trajectories further allow detailed Lagrangian analysis of the mixing dynamics inside the reactor, data that was previously inaccessible.
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