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Macro-Mixing characterisation of a stirred model fermenter of non-NEWTONIAN liquid by flow following sensor particles and ERT

Reinecke, S.; Deutschmann, A.; Jobst, K.; Hampel, U.

Investigation of the fluid circulation and the macro-mixing process in a stirred model fermenter of non-NEWTONIAN liquid was conducted by the comparative use of flow following sensor particles and ERT. Average fluid circulation times were estimated from (i) the measured vertical position of the sensor particle, (ii) the fluctuating ERT signals of single ERT planes and (iii) the measured mixing times of ERT-NaCl tracer experiments. The estimated average circulation times of all the three methods are comparable for the two investigated impeller positions. Furthermore, axial residence profiles of the sensor particles were extracted, which reveal the impact of the impeller configuration to the axial mixing homogeneity. Moreover, the results confirm the conclusions about the effect of the lifted impeller position derived by Reinecke et al. (2012) in a 1000 L pilot fermenter. The excellent detectability of the particles and the consistent results confirm the feasibility of the combined method for further investigation of the complex flows in biogas fermenters.

Keywords: macro mixing; circulation time; hydrodynamics; stirred tank; biogas fermenter; flow follower; sensor particle; ERT

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