CFD simulation of stirred tanks: Comparison of turbulence models. Part I: Radial flow impellers

Jyeshtharaj B. Joshi*, Nandkishor K. Nere, Chinmay V. Rane, B. N. Murthy, Channamallikarjun S. Mathpati, Ashwin W. Patwardhan, Vivek V. Ranade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


A critical review of the published literature regarding the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of single-phase turbulent flow in stirred tank reactors is presented. In this part of review, CFD simulations of radial flow impellers (mainly disc turbine (DT)) in a fully baffled vessel operating in a turbulent regime have been presented. Simulated results obtained with different impeller modelling approaches (impeller boundary condition, multiple reference frame, computational snap shot and the sliding mesh approaches) and different turbulence models (standard k-ε model, RNG k-ε model, the Reynolds stress model (RSM) and large eddy simulation) have been compared with the in-house laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) experimental data. In addition, recently proposed modifications to the standard k-ε models were also evaluated. The model predictions (of all the mean velocities, turbulent kinetic energy and its dissipation rate) have been compared with the experimental measurements at various locations in the tank. A discussion is presented to highlight strengths and weaknesses of currently used CFD models. A preliminary analysis of sensitivity of modelling assumptions in the k-ε models and RSM has been carried out using LES database. The quantitative comparison of exact and modelled turbulence production, transport and dissipation terms has highlighted the reasons behind the partial success of various modifications of standard k-ε model as well as RSM. The volume integral of predicted energy dissipation rate is compared with the energy input rate. Based on these results, suggestions have been made for the future work in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-82
Number of pages60
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Impeller models
  • k-ε models
  • LES
  • Radial flow impellers
  • RSM
  • Stirred vessel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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