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Journal Articles Flow Measurement and Instrumentation Year : 2022

Numerical study of oil-water emulsion formation in stirred vessels: effect of impeller speed

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Abstract

The mixing of immiscible oil and water by a pitched blade turbine in a cylindrical vessel is studied numerically. Three-dimensional simulations combined with a hybrid front-tracking/level-set method are employed to capture the complex flow and interfacial dynamics. A large eddy simulation approach, with a Lilly-Smagorinsky model, is employed to simulate the turbulent two-phase dynamics at large Re = 5663 - 56632. The numerical predictions are validated against previous experimental work involving single-drop breakup in a stirred vessel. For small Re, the interface is deformed but does not reach the impeller hub, assuming instead the shape of a Newton’s Bucket. As the rotating speed increases, the deforming interface attaches to the impeller hub which leads to the formation of long ligaments that subsequently break up into small droplets. For the largest Re studied, the system dynamics becomes extremely complex wherein the creation of ligaments, their breakup, and the coalescence of drops occur simultaneously. The simulation outcomes are presented in terms of spatio-temporal evolution of the interface shape and vortical structures. The results of a drop size analysis in terms of the evolution of the number of drops, and their size distribution, is also presented as a parametric function of Re.
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Dates and versions

hal-03799387 , version 1 (05-10-2022)

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Fuyue Liang, Lyes Kahouadji, Juan Pablo Valdes, Seungwon Shin, Jalel Chergui, et al.. Numerical study of oil-water emulsion formation in stirred vessels: effect of impeller speed. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation, In press, 2, ⟨10.1017/flo.2022.1⟩. ⟨hal-03799387⟩
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