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1

Department of Chemical Engineering


University of Cape Town

SOLID - FLUID OPERATIONS CHE3040S
TUTORIAL

Mechanically Agitated Contactors

1. You are planning to do some laboratory experiments in a stirred tank reactor.

Geometry specifications:
- Tank diameter (T) = 440 mm
- Liquid depth (Z) = 440 mm
- Impeller type = Pitched blade, 4 blades; 45
o
; pumping down
- Impeller Size (D) = T/4
- Impeller clearance (C) = T/3
- Baffle width (B) = 44 mm

Fluid & Solids properties:
- Liquid = Sodium hydroxide
- Liquid density (
L
) = 1 500 kg/m
3

- Liquid viscosity (
L
) = 0.010 Pa.s or kg.m
-1
.s
-1

- Solids = Copper beads
- Solid density (
S
) = 9000 kg m
-3

- Solid particle size (d
p
) = 2 mm
- Solids volume fraction (
S
) = 2%

You need to source the right electric motor and gearbox for this experimental setup.
For this purpose you need to calculate the impeller speed that you need to operate the
impeller and the power that will be drawn at the required impeller speed. Therefore,
a. Calculate the impeller speed required to ensure off-bottom suspension of the
copper beads (Take S for this impeller to be 4.5).
b. Calculate the power that will be drawn by the impeller in order to suspend the
solids.

Given:
85 . 0
13 . 0
45 . 0
2 . 0 1 . 0
.
: '
D
g
d v S
N
Equation s Zwietering
p
js
_

|
|
.
|

\
| A
=


Power number as a function of Reynolds number:
2


2. You are required to design a stirred tank reactor for the bioleaching of a gold
concentrate. The gold is contained in pyrite particles with a SG in the range 4
to 5 and a size distribution with a d
80
of 100 m and a d
20
of 10 m. The
leach reaction occurs through a reduction/oxidation reaction on the mineral
surface. The ferric iron (Fe
3+
) attacks the particle surface and reduces to
ferrous iron (Fe
2+
), whilst the sulphide mineral is oxidized and goes into
solution. The ferric leach solution is replenished by the microbial oxidation
of ferrous to ferric iron through an oxygen consuming, exothermic process.

i. Discuss the key mixing requirements to be taken into account and how
each one will influence the selection and sizing of the stirred tank system
(design). Thus, list the potential mixing requirements to be considered for
all the different sub processes and indicate how each factor affects the
proposed design in terms of impeller type, scale of mixing, and flow
pattern.

ii. Good leaching rates, indicating good solid suspension and oxygen transfer
were obtained in a 2 litre laboratory-scale leaching reactor. The process is
to be scaled to 100 m
3
. Is it possible to simply multiply all key design
variables by a factor of 100000:2 ? If geometric similarity [(D/T)
proc
=
(D/T)
lab
] is to be maintained in the scale-up, and energy dissipation to be
kept constant [(P/V)
proc
= (P/V)
lab
], what should be the ratio of impeller
speed of the large reactor to the lab reactor? Assume an aspect ratio of 1.

iii. Your supervisor has proposed to use a 100 m
3
bioreactor (working vol)
with an aspect ratio 2:1, and an mixed flow impeller (pitched blade) of
diameter of 1.67 m and a gas flow rate of 25 m
3
per minute. The properties
of the suspension given are as follows:
Suspension density: 1900 kg m
-3

Culture viscosity: 10 mPa s
Saturation concentration of oxygen: 8 mg l
-1


The culture may be described as non-coalescing and the oxygen liquid mass
transfer coefficient is correlated using:
3
k
L
a = 2.0 x 10
-3
(P/V)
0.7
U
SG
0.2

where U
SG
is the superficial gas velocity (given in m s
-1
). Laboratory
experiments suggest a maximum oxygen transfer rate [r
O2
= k
la
(C
O2
* - C
O2
)]
of 1.12 mg/l/s is needed. Calculate the power input required to operate the
reactor at these conditions and determine the impeller speed that will produce
this power draw.



No Hand in (Homework Question)

3. In Question 2 you calculated the gassed power input required for a 100 m
3

bioreactor in order to get sufficient oxygen transfer. For design purposes, the
motor should however also be able to stir the system without gas. You have
been introduced to the following equation that relates the gassed and ungassed
power draws. Calculate the ungassed power draw (P
u
).

P
g
/P
u
= 0.18N
QG
-0.20
N
Fr
-0.25
(for 3 x clinging + 3 x large cavities)
according to Bruijn et al. (1974)

Summary of system conditions:
Gassed power draw (P
g
) = 114.6 kW; Gas addition rate = 25 m
3
/min; Tank
volume (V) = 100 m
3
; Aspect ratio = 2:1; Impeller diameter (D) = 1.67 m;
Impeller speed (N) = 94.2 rpm.