Gas-liquid flow in stirred reactors: Trailing vortices and gas accumulation behind impeller blades

Vivek V. Ranade*, Vaibhav R. Deshpande

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


In a gas-liquid stirred reactor, gas tends to accumulate in low-pressure regions behind the impeller blades. Such gas accumulation significantly alters impeller performance characteristics. We have computationally investigated gas-liquid flow generated by a Rushton (disc) turbine. Rotating Rushton turbine generates trailing vortices behind the blades, which influence the gas accumulation in the impeller region. Characteristics of these trailing vortices were first investigated by considering a model problem of flow over a single impeller blade. Predicted results were compared with the published experimental data. Circulation velocity and turbulent kinetic energy of the trailing vortices were found to scale with blade tip velocity. Several numerical experiments were carried out to understand interaction of gas bubbles and trailing vortices. Gas-liquid flow in stirred vessel was then simulated by extending the computational snapshot approach of Ranade and Dometti (Chem. Engng Res. Des., 74, 476-484, 1996). The approach was able to capture the main features of gas-liquid flow in stirred vessels. The detailed analysis of predicted results with reference to experimental data and the results obtained for flow over a single impeller blade will be useful for extending the scope of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based tools for engineering gas-liquid stirred reactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2305-2315
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Gas-liquid flow
  • Stirred vessels
  • Trailing vortices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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