Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics Characteristics in a Tank with an Up-down Reciprocating Agitator

Document Type : Regular Article


Key Laboratory of Testing Technology for Manufacturing Process of Ministry of Education, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, Sichuan 621010, China



The hydrodynamics characteristics in a tank with an up-down reciprocating disc agitator were numerically investigated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. A dynamic mesh technique along with a user-defined function (UDF) was used to solve the reciprocating movement of the disc agitator in the tank. The dynamic flow field and averaged values of some important parameters were obtained. The verification of the simulation was completed by comparing its results with experimental data in the literature. It is found that the flow pattern in the tank with a reciprocating agitator is characterized by two dynamic vortices, which are above and below the disc, respectively. Flow field, force acting on the disc and power requirement change periodically in the tank. The increase of frequency, amplitude and disc diameter leads to the increase of the averaged velocity in the tank as a whole. Nevertheless, the uniformity of velocity distribution is slightly improved, worsened and greatly improved respectively under the above operating conditions. The averaged values of the force acting on the disc and power consumption are in the second and the third power relations with the reciprocating frequency and amplitude, respectively. The ratio of fluid averaged velocity in one cycle to averaged disc speed, and Newton number are hardly affected by reciprocating frequency and amplitude, while they increase with the enlarged size of the disc agitator.


Main Subjects

Brauer, H. and A. P. Annachhrate (1992). Nitrification and denitrification in a system of reciprocating jet bioreactor. Bioprocess Engineering 7 (6), 269-275.##
Dai, Y. X., Z. H. Wang, Y. W. Fan and Z. Q. Cheng (2022). Analysis of mixing effect and power consumption of cone-bottom dual Rushton turbines stirred tank. Chemical Papers 76, 2177-2191.##
Fan, J. H., Y. D. Wang and W. Y. Fei (2007). Large eddy simulations of flow instabilities in a stirred tank generate by a Rushton turbine. Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 15 (4), 200-208.##
Frankiewicz, S. and S. Woziwodzki (2022). Gas hold-up and mass transfer in a vessel with an unsteady rotating concave blade impeller. Energies 346(15), 1-15##
Gagnon, H., M. Lounes and J. Thibault (1998). Power consumption and mass transfer in agitated gas-liquid columns: a comparative study. Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 76, 379-389.##
Hekmat, D., D. Hebel, H. Schmid and D. Weuster-Botz (2007). Crystallization of lysozyme: from vapor diffusion experiments to batch crystallization in agitated mo-scale vessels. Process Biochemitry 42(12), 1649-1654.##
Hirata, Y., T. Dote, T. Yoshioka, Y. Komoda and Y. Inoue (2007). Performance of chaotic mixing caused by reciprocating a disk in a cylindrical vessel. Chemical Engineering Research & Design 85(A5), 576-582.##
Hirose, H., Y. Komoda, T. Horie and N. Ohmura (2022). Topology and dynamics of streakline on the mixing boundary of two-dimensional chaotic flow induced by a rotationally reciprocating anchor impeller. Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers 131 (104213), 1-7.##
Hoseini, S. S., G. Najafi, B. Ghobadian and A. H. Akbarzadeh (2021). Impeller shape-optimization of stirred-tank reactor: CFD and fluid structure interaction analyses. Chemical Engineering Journal 413 (6), 1-18.##
Iyer, D. K. and A. K. Patel (2022). Physical reasoning of double-to single-loop transition in industrial reactors using computational fluid dynamics. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 15(5), 1621-1634.##
KamieĊ„ski, J. and R. Wóziwodzki (2003). Dispersion of liquid-liquid systems in a mixer with a reciprocating agitator. Chemical Engineering and Processing 42 (12), 1007-1017.##
Komoda, Y., Y. Inoue and Y. Hirata (2001). Characteristics of turbulent flow inducted by reciprocating disk in cylindrical vessel, Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan 34 (7), 929-935.##
Kordas, M., G. Story, M. Konopacki and R. Rakoczy (2013). Study of mixing time in a liquid vessel with rotating and reciprocating agitator. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 52 (38),13818-13828.##
Kumaresan, T. and J. B. Joshi (2006). Effect of impeller design on the flow pattern and mixing in stirred tanks. Chemical Engineering Journal 115 (3), 173-193.##
Launder, B. E. and D. B. Spalding (1972). Lectures in Mathematical Models of Turbulence. Academic Press London, England.##
Launder, B. E., G. J. Reece and W. Rodi (1972). Progress in the Development of a Reynolds-Stress Turbulence Closure. England: Academic Press.##
Li, L. C. and B. Xu (2022). CFD simulation of hydrodynamics characteristics in a tank with forward-reverse rotating impeller. Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers 131 (104174), 1-13.##
Li, L. C., N. Chen, K. F. Xiang and B. P. Xiang (2020). A comparative CFD study on laminar and turbulent flow fields in dual-Rushton turbine stirred vessels. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics 13(2), 413-427. ##
Masiuk, S. (1999). Power consumption measurements in a liquid vessel that is mixed using a vibratory agitator. Chemical Engineering Journal, 75 (3), 161-165.##
Masiuk, S. and R. Rakoczy (2007). Power consumption, mixing time, heat and mass transfer measurement for liquid vessels that are mixed using reciprocating multiple agitators. Chemical Engineering and Processing 46, 89-98.##
Mical, G., A. Brucato and F. Grisafi (1999). Prediction of flow fields in a dual impeller stirred vessel. AIChE 45 (3), 445-464.##
Miyanami, K., K. Tojo, I. Minami and T. Yano (1978). Gas-liquid mass transfer in a vibrating disk column. Chemical Engineering Science 33 (5), 601-608.##
Montante, G., A. Brucato, K. C. Lee and M. Yianneskis (1999). An experimental study of double-to single-loop transition in stirred vessels.  Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering 77, 649-659.##
Ng, K. C. and E. Y. K. Ng (2013). Laminar mixing performances of baffling, shaft eccentricity and unsteady mixing in a cylindrical vessel. Chemical Engineering Science 104, 960-974.##
Orlewski, P. M., Y. Wang, M. S. Hosseinalipour, D. Kryscio, M.Iggland and M. Mazzotti (2018). Characterization of a vibromixer: Experimental and modeling study of mixing in a batch reactor. Chemical Engineering Research and Design 137, 534-543.##
Singh, A. P., A. Singh and H. S. Ramaswamy (2015). Modification of a static steam retort for evaluating heat transfer under reciprocation agitation thermal processing. Journal of Food Engineering 153, 63-72.##
Takahashi, K., Y. Sugo, Y. Takahata, H. Sekine and M. Nakamura (2012). Laminar mixing in stirred tank agitated by an impeller inclined. International Journal of Chemical Engineering 2012, 1-10.##
Tojo, K., H. Mitsui and K. Miyanami (1980). Mixing performance of vibrating disk tank. Chem. Eng. Communications 6 (4-5), 305-311.##
Wójtowicz, R. and S. Paszkowska (2015). Investigations of liquid flow velocity in a vibromixer using stereo PIV anemometry. Technical Transactions.##
Wóziwodzki, R (2014). Choice of an optimal agitated vessel for the drawdown of floating solids. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 53 (36), 13989-14001.##
Wóziwodzki, R (2017). Flow pattern and power consumption in a vibromixer. Chemical Engineering Science 172, 622-635.##
Wu, Y., J. Vovers, H. T. Lu, W. Li, G. W. Stevens and K. A. Mumford (2022). Investigation of the extraction of natural alkaloids in Karr reciprocating plate columns: Fluid dynamic stuy. Chemical Engineering Science 264 (110890), 1-13.##
Yang, F. L., C. X. Zhang, H. Y. Sun and W. P. Liu (2022). Solid–liquid suspension in a stirred tank driven by an eccentric-shaft: electrical resistance tomography measurement. Powder Technology 411 (117943), 1-16.##
Youcefi, S., M. Bouzit, H. Ameur, Y. Kamla and A. Youcefi (2013). Effect of some design parameters on the flow fields and power consumption in a vessel stirred by a Rushton turbine. Chemical and Process Engineering 34(2), 293-307.##
Volume 16, Issue 7
July 2023
Pages 1455-1466
  • Received: 19 December 2022
  • Revised: 25 February 2023
  • Accepted: 09 March 2023
  • Available online: 05 May 2023