Effects of embedded streamwise vorticity on turbulent mixing
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING AND PROCESSING-PROCESS INTENSIFICATION
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This work concerns the characterization of turbulent flow underlying mixing in the presence of streamwise vorticity. An experimental test section made of a cylindrical tube equipped with seven rows of streamwise vortex generators was designed and constructed for this study. Each row is composed of four vortex generators fixed symmetrically on the tube wall. This new type of mixer. called a high-efficiency vortex (HEV) mixer. generates coherent structures in the form of longitudinal counter-rotating vortices. The resulting flow enhances radial mass transfer and thus facilitates particle dispersion and mixing. The energy cost of this mixer used as an emulsifier has been evaluated as up to a thousand times less than that of other static mixers for a given interface area generation (Lemenand et al. [1,2]). The aim of this work is to study experimentally and numerically the turbulence structure and mixing properties of the flow composed of streamwise vortices superimposed on a turbulent flow, in particular the more energetic structures present in the base flow. Experiments were carried out in the test section in a flow loop by measuring instantaneous velocities by laser Doppler anemometry. Numerical simulations of the velocity distribution and turbulence field inside the flow were conducted for various turbulence models using a computational fluid dynamic CFD package. Attention is focused on the evolution and distribution of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation as the underlying mechanism for turbulent mixing. Mean and turbulent quantities are compared with experimental results. Both laboratory experiments and numerical simulations show a vortex zone behind each tab that could explain the efficiency of the HEV mixer. This study provides a basis for understanding the physical mechanisms in the mixing and homogenizing of the flow and therefore the efficiency of the mixer. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.