What is Good Mixing?
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The purpose of this webinar is to help engineers and scientists recognize the differences between “good” and “bad” mixing. Mixing is not just one operation, but different aspects of fluid motion depending on the application and process objectives. Mixing may mean blending for uniform properties; intense local turbulence to promote chemical reaction; off-bottom suspension of solids for dissolution; dispersion of a gas for mass transfer; complete motion of a viscous fluid; or dispersion of immiscible liquid to form an emulsion. Describing “mixing” in real process objectives is important to understand how to achieve “good” mixing.
All liquid mixing involves flow patterns. Some flow patterns are incorrectly thought to represent “good” mixing. A strong surface vortex is usually a sign of poor mixing. An up-pumping impeller is not good for suspending solids. Different types of impellers work better in certain situations. Seeing flow patterns can be an aid in understanding “good” mixing.
Mixing has many differences. No one type of fluid motion or mixing equipment works in all applications. Understanding flow patterns can help establish ways to improve mixing. Mixing can be a solution to a problem or an opportunity for improvement. Understanding what works and what does not is an essential part of doing “good” mixing.
- The different meanings of “mixing”
- How to better describe the mixing processes
- The different types of fluid motion that contribute to mixing
- Observe different flow patterns
- Why a surface vortex is usually a sign of poor mixing
- The importance of the vertical component of a mixing flow pattern
- The different circulation patterns in solids suspension through video demonstration
- The best uses for different impeller types
- The three factors that describe the size requirements for a mixer
- Some differences between power, torque, and tip speed for mixing performance
- Some of the limitations of computer models
- Some of the most common errors in mixing
- Engineers, scientists, and technicians who use mixing in process, pilot plant, and laboratory applications will learn about flow patterns that contribute to “good” mixing.
- Technical people who lack an education in mixing and need a better understanding of what works and what does not.
- Those people who have problems with mixing and need additional information or guidance will appreciate these basic insights into mixing.
- Engineers, scientists, and technicians who have new responsibilities for mixing processes or who have existing process problems.
Dave S. Dickey, Ph.D.
David Dickey started his own consulting business called MixTech, Inc. in 1998. Since then he has done independent consulting work to solve process and mechanical problems with various types of mixing equipment. Several companies have had him write specifications for new mixers or evaluate existing mixers. He teaches short courses on liquid mixing, powder blending, mixing scale-up, and advanced mixing through the Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has also served as an expert witness in important litigation cases involving mixing equipment.
Before starting his consulting business he had more than thirty years experience with manufacturers of various types mixing equipment, including almost fifteen years experience with Chemineer, a major manufacturer of fluid agitation equipment in Dayton, OH. He coauthored articles in the Refresher Series on Liquid Agitation that they published in Chemical Engineering magazine in 1975 and 1976. As Technical Director for Chemineer, he did customer seminars, developed mixer design procedures for new processes, aided in customer lab tests with scale-up to process size mixers, and helped develop their successful HE-3 hydrofoil impeller. During other parts of his career at Chemineer he managed technical sales and product engineering.
David also worked for Patterson-Kelley in East Stroudsburg, PA, an important manufacturer of dry-solids mixers and other chemical process equipment. He designed and marketed pilot plant reactors and systems for American Reactor Corporation. He also worked for Robbins & Myers with technical and management responsibility for their Prochem Mixers division. His diversity of experience has helped him understand the importance of mixing to the overall success of many chemical and biological processes.
Chemical Engineering magazine
Scott Jenkins has been an editor at Chemical Engineering since 2009. Prior to joining CE, Scott worked in various capacities as a science journalist and communications specialist, reporting and writing on a variety of sectors, including chemical processing, biotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and research policy. He also has industry experience as a quality assurance chemist and research experience as a synthetic organic chemist. Scott holds a bachelor's degree from Colgate University, and a master's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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