Search Swinburne Research Bank
Home List of Titles Numerical simulations of the reactive mixing in a commercially operated stirred ethoxylation reactor
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/35838
- Numerical simulations of the reactive mixing in a commercially operated stirred ethoxylation reactor
- Chiu, Yen N.; Naser, Jamal A.; Ngian, Kian F.; Pratt, Kerry C.
- The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique was applied to describe the mixing and the chemical reactions in commercially operated stirred ethoxylation reactors. Two reactor sizes in the existing ethoxylation operations were studied in this work: a laboratory-scale autoclave with a single-Rushton turbine and an industrial-scale reactor with a dual-Rushton turbine. The ethoxylation reactor contents were described as an incompressible, turbulent single-phase liquid mixing regime with chemical species undergoing heat and mass transfer. Since the accurate experimental ethoxylation flow data could not be extracted from the industrial operations, the development of the CFD model for the ethoxylation process was undertaken in two stages. The first stage simulated a single-phase liquid agitation system based on the literature with experimental data on velocities, such as Wu and Patterson [1989. Laser-Doppler measurements of turbulent-flow parameters in a stirred mixer. Chemical Engineering Science 44, 2207-2221], for a Rushton stirred reactor of standard configuration. Once validated, the numerical model was applied to compute the flow field in ethoxylation reactors. The second stage integrated the ethoxylation kinetics into the numerical model and simulated the ethoxylation process. In the simulation of the mean flow field, the qualitative features of the literature data were well reproduced. The computed results of both the ethylene oxide consumption and the temperature calculation compared very well with the measurements in the laboratory-autoclave operations. Reasonably good agreement was also reached between the simulated and experimental data on the time-dependent changes of ethylene oxide mass fraction in the bulk liquid in the industrial ethoxylation operations. These demonstrate that the CFD process model was capable of predicting the reaction behaviour and would be useful for exploration of any opportunity for increasing the ethoxylation capacity in the industrial operations.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences
- Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 63, no. 11 (Jun 2008), p. 3008-3023
- Publication year
- CFD simulation; Computation fluid dynamics simulation; Ethoxylation; Mixing; Reactive flow; Rushton impeller
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Peer reviewed