Vortex shape and gas‐liquid hydrodynamics in unbaffled stirred tank
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The present study investigated the effect of impeller speed and vortex ingestion on vortex shape, gas holdup, and bubble size distribution in an unbaffled stirred tank using optical probe measurements. Further, the ability of the volume of the fluid model to predict vortex shape was examined. Without vortex ingestion, an increase in impeller speed resulted in a significant variation in vortex shape, whereas it had a negligible effect on vortex shape with ingestion. This suggests that when vortex ingestion occurred, most of the energy was consumed for the dispersion of gas rather than the deformation of the gas‐liquid interface. It was observed that a large number of gas bubbles were entrained into the vortex core around the impeller region, which led to a lower gas holdup at the top axial locations. An increase in the impeller speed also resulted in the formation of larger bubbles. The absence of baffles limits shear for bubble break up, resulting in larger bubbles above the impeller plane.
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