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.
Effects of mixing on the course of fast chemical reactions are relatively well understood, especially in homogeneous systems. This enables to design and operate chemical reactors with the goal to achieve a high yield of a desired product and use systems of complex reactions as a chemical probe (chemical test reactions) to identify progress of mixing and quality of mixture. Recently, a number of studies have focused on the application of chemical test reactions to identify energy efficiency of mixing, being a convenient way of comparing mixers and reactors in terms of their mixing efficiency. This review offers a presentation of chemical test reactions available in the literature and methods of applications of test reactions to identify the energy efficiency of mixing. Also methods to assess the extent of micromixing by measuring product distribution or segregation index, and to determine the time constant for mixing are presented for single phase homogeneous systems and two-phase liquid-liquid systems.