Inter-compartment interaction in multi-impeller mixing: Part II. Experiments, sliding mesh and large Eddy simulations

Cees Haringa*, Ruben Vandewijer, Robert F. Mudde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
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Steady state multiple reference frame-RANS (MRF-RANS) simulations frequently show strong over-predictions of the mixing time in single-phase, multi-impeller mixing tanks, which is sometimes patched by ad hoc tuning of the turbulent Schmidt-number. In Part I of this work, we experimentally revealed the presence of macro-instabilities in the region between the impellers, as well as a peak in the turbulent kinetic energy in the region where the flow from the individual impellers converges. The MRF-RANS method was found unable to capture both. In this second paper, we show that the sliding-mesh RANS (SM-RANS) approach does capture the effect of macro-instabilities, while still underestimating the turbulent kinetic energy. Consequently, the SM-RANS method mildly over-estimates the mixing time, while being less sensitive to the exact mesh geometry. Large eddy simulations with the dynamic Smagorinsky model reasonably capture the kinetic energy contained in macro-instabilities, and properly assess the turbulent kinetic energy in the region between the impellers, even for crude meshes. Consequently, the mixing time is reasonably assessed, and even under-predicted at the crudest meshes. However, the turbulent kinetic energy and energy dissipation in the impeller discharge stream are poorly assessed by the dynamic Smagorinsky model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-899
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • CFD
  • Mixing
  • Multiple impellers
  • Rushton
  • Schmidt number


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