The influence of turbulent transport in reactive processes: A combined numerical and experimental investigation in a Taylor-Couette reactor

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Turbulent reactive flows are ubiquitous in industrial processes. Decoupling transport effects from intrinsic chemical reactions requires an in-depth understanding of fluid flow physics; computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods have been widely used for this purpose. Most CFD simulations of reactive liquid-phase flows, where the Schmidt numbers (Sc) are large, rely on isotropic eddy viscosity models. However, the assumption of turbulent isotropy in most stirred reactors and wall-bounded flows is fundamentally incorrect and leads to erroneous results. Here, we apply a systematic CFD approach to simulate liquid-phase diffusive and convective transport phenomena that occur in a Taylor-Couette (TC) reactor. We resolve the turbulent flow by extracting statistics from large eddy simulation (LES) which is used to tune the anisotropic Reynolds stress model (RSM). In addition, we conducted a series of turbulent precipitation and mixing studies in a TC reactor that was designed and fabricated in-house. The numerical model is successfully validated against a published torque correlation and it is found to accurately describe the advection and diffusion of chemical species. The validated model is then used to demonstrate key flow properties in the reactor. We define new local turbulent Peclét numbers to characterize the relative increase in diffusivity from turbulent advection and observe a 29% increase in the turbulent contribution as Reynolds number is doubled. Both reactive simulations and experiments show an increase in overall reaction rates with increased turbulence. The results from reactive simulations provide a deeper understanding of flow-kinetics interactions at turbulent conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129591
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume421
Number of pages13
ISSN1385-8947
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • CFD
  • Taylor-Couette
  • Turbulence-kinetic interactions
  • Precipitation
  • Anisotropic turbulence
  • Large eddy simulation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of turbulent transport in reactive processes: A combined numerical and experimental investigation in a Taylor-Couette reactor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this