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CFD Simulation and Experimental Study of Impeller Speed and Clearance Effects in the Mixer of Copper Solvent Extraction Unit


  • Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Amairkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Department of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran, Islamic Republic of


Objectives: Impeller speed and clearance are factors that have major role in the efficiency of dynamic mixers. Investigating effective parameters are the main goal of this research. Methods/Statistical Analysis: A computational fluid dynamics simulation based on the Eulerian-Eulerian two-phase method has been applied to study the behavior of aqueous-organic dispersion in the copper solvent extraction mixer. Findings: The hydrodynamic behavior of organic phase is visualized by using an image analyzing method. The effect of impeller speed and clearance on the position of eddies and fluid hydrodynamics are investigated. According to the results, by increasing impeller speed, dead zones are decreased and at impeller speeds more than 200 rpm dead zones around the baffles are almost non-existent. Optimum clearances are determined 8.5 and 7 cm for 100 and 200 rpm, respectively. Application/Improvements: The results can be used in the industrial mixer of the solvent extraction unit for improving the efficiency of the mixing process.


Clearance, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Hydrodynamics, Impeller Speed, Mixer, Solvent Extraction

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