Obtaining a pure product by mixing together raw materials, so as to carry out a chemical reaction at high selectivity, is a difficult part of manufacturing chemical products. How can we test reactors and mixers to ensure the efficient use of energy?
A pair of fast competitive reactions, neutralization and 2,2-dimetoxypropane (DMP) hydrolysis, has been applied do study mass transfer and micromixing in a T 50 Ultra-Turrax® - IKA rotor-stator device. In experiments the dispersed organic phase containing p-Toluenesulfonic acid (pTsOH) dissolved in diisopropyl ether, whereas the continuous phase was represented by the aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide, 2,2-dimetoxypropane (DMP) and ethanol. During mixing a fast mass transfer of a solute (pTsOH) from organic phase droplets, which were shrinking due to fast dissolution of the organic solvent, was followed by micromixing and chemical reactions in the continuous phase. Measured hydrolysis yields were applied to express effects of mixing on the course of chemical reactions. Modeling was based on application of models describing drop breakup, mass transfer in the liquid-liquid system and micromixing. Combined effects of mass transfer and drop breakage on drop population were expressed using the population balance equations. The model has been used to interpret experimental results, in particular to identify the efficiency of mixing.
Energetic efficiency depicting the fraction of energy dissipation rate used to perform processes of drop breakup and mass transfer in two-phase, liquid-liquid systems is considered. Results of experiments carried out earlier in two types of high-shear mixers: an in-line rotor-stator mixer and a batch rotor-stator mixer, have been applied to identify and compare the efficiency of drop breakage and mass transfer in both types of mixers. The applied method is based on experimental determination of both: the product distribution of chemical test reactions and the drop size distributions. Experimental data are interpreted using a multifractal model of turbulence for drop breakage and the model by Favelukis and Lavrenteva for mass transfer. Results show that the energetic efficiency of the in-line mixer is higher than that of the batch mixer; two stator geometries were considered in the case of the batch mixer and the energetic efficiency of the device equipped with a standard emulsor screen (SES) was higher than the efficiency of the mixer equipped with a general purpose disintegrating head (GPDH) for drop breakup but smaller for mass transfer.