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Nature and Nedsure of

AdhCta

w.o&&,

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YQRK, N. Y.

B A n agitation device i s a basic part of a l l unit process machinery.


It i s like other unit operations in that i t i s the means by which specific
optimum physical and chemical conditions are provided. In such
cases it is, therefore, a prime process variable and must be controlled,
There i s no truly rational basis for agitation equipment design; a l though the over-all operation appears to b e simple, i t i s invariably
found to consist of a number of related factors which are difficult t o
evaluate quantitatively. Since the general objectives are so varied
and the range of conditions is so extensive and involved, the formulation OF a general, unified, and practical expression tor agitation does
not appear possible. The most fruitful attempts to measure agitation
have been made by dividing the subject into categories or systems

based on the physical natures OF the materials to be agitated or mixed,


such as liquid-liquid, liquid-solid, liquid-gas, solid-gas, solid-solid,
and solid-liquid-gas. Various workers have attempted to evaluate
and relate the factors required to produce an arbitrary standard result, such as a definite dispersion of a finely divided solid in a liquid
(mixing index), the dispersion of an immiscible liquid (standard emulsions) in another liquid, a definite rate of solution of a solid in 4
liquid (intensity of agitation), etc. Several have suggested and
illustrated the use of models and dimensional analysis as a general
practical method of approach to problems in agitation. The criteria
of agitation, the value of previous studies, unsolved problems, suggestions for future studies are discussed, and a bibliography is included.

I T A T I O S is a unit operation of primary importance in


the chemical manufacturing industries. An agitation device is a basic part of practically all unihprocessniachinery.
It may be defined as the unii; operation by which particles of the
components of a mass of materials are put in such space relation
to one another that a desired result may be obtained in a minimum time with the least expenditure of energy,
Although much attention of an empirical nature has been paid
to the engineering and economic aspects of agitation, until recently little study has been made of the basic principles upon
which it depends. The most fruitful attempts to measure agitation have been made by dividing the subject into categories
or systems based on the physical natures of the materials to be
agitated or mixed such as liquid-liquid, liquid-solid, liquid-gas,
solid-gas, solid-solid, gas-gas, and solid-liquid-gas. These have
been studied by various workers who have attempted to evaluate
and relate the factors required to produce arbitrary standard
results such as definite dispersion of a finely divided solid in a
liquid (mixing index) or the dispersion of an immiscible liquid
(standard emulsions) in another liquid, a definite rate of solution
of a solid in a liquid (intensity of agitation) or the dispersion of
a finely divided solid in a carrier gas, the rate of reaction in an
agitated chemical system, the time required to produce a standard particle dispersion pattern in a solid-solid system, the time required to bleach a n oil by a solid adsorbent, and the net power
required to produce arbitrary standards in the various systems.
I n connection with some of these studies, several workers have
suggested and illustrated the use of models and dimensional
analysis as a g e l l e d practical method of approach to problems
in agitation. Many of these studies have been made with standard types of agitation devices such as paddles, propellers, turbines, pulsators, tumblers, mills, etc., for determining their performance characterist,ics and relative values as agitating devices.
The operations to which agitation is applied have been enumerated by Wood, Whittemore, and Badger (126), Seymour (91),
Hixson and Crowell ( 5 4 , Valent,ine and MacLean (low, 103, 105),
Olive (82), and Maclean and Lyons (73). Types and structural
features of agitating apparatuses have been described by Fischer
(37, 38), Tyler (loo),Vollrath (Zla),Killeffer (65), Carpenter
(19), Valentine and MacLean (102, lob), Olive (82),Badger and
McCabe (S), and Antoni (1). Valentine and MacLean (104) de-

scribed the history of the development of agitating and mixing


machinery. The use of air as a means of agitating is described
by Kauffman (63). Pierce and Terry (83)shoa-ed how agitation
can be used to improve heat transfer coefficients.
FLUID MOTION

Early workers in the field of agitation recognized that the principles governing fluid motion are of basic importance in the quantitative study of any fluid agitation system. Although the science of fluid motion has received much attention, unfortunately
for agitation it has been developed along three distinct lines:
hydrodynamics, a study of the behavior of liquid fluids in motion
in which abstract mathematics has been applied t o certain simplifying assumptions as a physical basis; hydraulics, in which
experimental data, closely related to the physical facts, have
been utilized to determine the equations of motion; and lately,
that phase of aerodynamics which considers the forces on solids
moving in compressible fluids, particularly air. Application of
the eyuarions of hydrodynamics to engineering problems is exceedingly difficult since these equations become complex when
dealing with the actual motion of fluids, and particularly when
it is no longer possible to ignore factors of viscosity, surface tension, compressibility, boundary shape, and inertia (54). These
factors tend toward the production of considerable turbulence
which is desirous for purposes of agitation. Application of hydraulics to the same problems has been limited because of the.
lack of an adequate unitary theory (4,and only during the past
few years have the works of von Karman (62), Bakhmeteff (0,
and Prandtl (8.4)led to a n e v method of attack on the problem.
The earliest work in fluid motion was done in the seventeenth
century by blariotte, Galileo, Torricelli, and Pascal. The term
hydrodynamics was introduced by Daniel Bernoulli (1700-83)
who discovered the theorem still known by his name. I n 1683
Newton proposed in his Principia the theory of the resistance
to motion of bodies in fluids. DAlembert (1717-83) also investigated resistance and first developed the equation of continuity
for a liquid. Euler (1707-83) and LeGrange (1736-1813) formed
the equations of motion for a perfect fluid and developed the
mathematical theory. Navier (1785-1836) and Stokes (18191903) developed the equations of motion of a viscous fluid. The
latter also worked out the equations for the velocity of falling
488

.
489

June, 1944

spheres in viscous fluids which are so important in sedimentation


processes. Helmholz (1821-94) founded theories of vortex and
discontinuous motion. Excellent treatises on hydrodynamics
have been written by Lamb (70), Green (44), and Milne-Thomson (77).
The distinction between fluid motion in conduits at high and
low speeds was made by Boussinesq (9) and others, and the subject was clarified indisputably by the color band experiments of
Reynolds (86). A filament of dyed water was introduced a t the
center of a horizontal tube in which water was flowing, and the
nature of the filament was observed a t varying velocities of flow.
At low speeds the filament remained intact, but as the velocity
was increased, the filament became thinner and seemed to oscillate slightly until a t high water velocities the filament became entirely disrupted. The disruption was attribubed to a change in
the nature of flow of the liquid, and the velocity a t which the
change takes place has been determined in various ways by
Schiller (89), Bond (8),and Fage and Townend (36). At low
speeds the term laminar or streamline and a t high speeds
the term turbulent have been applied to describe the motion.
The criterion for change from streamline to turbulent motion is
measured by the Reynolds number, D v p / ~where
,
D is the pipe
diameter, V the fluid velocity, p the fluid density, and p the fluid
viscosity, all in consistent units. The commonly accepted value
for the Reynolds number a t the point where the nature of the
flow changes is 2100, but there is a transition zone between
Reynolds numbers of 2100 and 3100 where the exact nature of
flow is dependent on conditions of the fluid channel.
The nature of streamline flow is well known. This motion has
also been termed laminar since it has been found that the motion of the particles throughout any parallel plane, taken in the
direction of the motion, is the same, both with regard to direction
and magnitude of velocity. The velocity distribution in a close
channel with streamline motion has been shown, both mathematically and experimentally, to be parabolic. Recent experiments of Fage and Townend (35) have indicated, however, that
laminar motion is not necessarily rectilinear. They observed the
motion of colloidal particles in water flowing in a rectangular
conduit and found that this motion was sinusoidal; but for laminar motion as distinguished from turbulent, there was no particle motion perpendicular to the over-all stream motion.
Turbulency of fluids in motion has received much attention by
investigators in recent years. I t has been described by Bakhmeteff (4), Dryden (28), and von Karman (68) as a random motion
of the particles constituting the fluid stream. I t is convenient
to think of a fluid in turbulent motion as having a mean velocity
U in a direction z, with a superimposed random motion resulting
from instantaneous deviations from U at any point. The instantaneous deviating velocity has components u, v, and w in the
z, y, and z directions, respectively, a t any point. Techniques,
particularly the use of a fine hot wire anemometer (as),have been
developed for measuring u which is the root mean square averThe percentage turbulence can be deterage u(u = -).
mined as the ratio of uto the mean velocity a t the point, U.
Turbulence can be measured in terms of the mixing length
of Prandtl (84). This quantity is the average distance through
which an eddy, which is formed by the irregular motion of a turbulent stream, moves before breaking up and losing its identity.
Other work so far done to define turbulence is lengthy, and the
reader is referred to Bakhmeteff (4), Dryden (28), von Karman
(621, and Prandtl (84) for details of the theories involved.
The nature of fluid motion adjacent to a solid interface has been
studied. Even for highly turbulent main-stream conditions, the
works of Stanton and co-workers (96, 96) Dryden and Keuthe
(291, Burgers and Zijnen (18), Elias (38),Hansen (47), and Fage
and Townend (35),have indicated the existence of a layer adjacent to the interface in laminar motion with a linear velocity gradient, having a zero value a t the interface. With increasing distance from the wall, the nature of the fluid motion changes from

streamline to turbulent, and beyond this transition zone the motion is entirely turbulent.
The preceding is of interest in connection with the NernstBrunner theory (79) for the rate of heterogeneous processes. I n
the original theory it was assumed that a stagnant layer of fluid
existed adjacent to the interface between the two phases! even
when agitation in the main stream was taking place. This
concept was modified by Van Name and Hill (110) who stated
that the fluid adjacent to the interface was in motion, but that
in this moving layer, motion perpendicular t o the solid interface
becomes small and does not affect materially the rate a t which
dissolved substances are transported to and from the surface.
Later Fage and Townend confirmed experimentally this observation concerning vertical component of velocity adjacent to a
solid surface, and King (66) showed that the Nernst-Brunner
theory was still tenable even though the fluid in the vicinity of
the interface was not stationary.
Simultaneous fluid flow and mass transfer are of interest in the
field of agitation since this field is so often concerned with the
dissolution of solids and gases by liquids under motion. Theoretical equations have been derived by analogy to heat transfer
for the absorption of gases by liquids and the vaporization of
liquids when brought .in contact with moving gas streams.
Data for mass transfer in gas-liquid systems is fairly complete and
verified. With one exception (68); the solid-liquid system, which
is of far greater importance in agitation, has yet t o be investigated. A summary of theory and data for gas-liquid systems
has been given by Sherwood (92).
Dimensional analysis and the use of model experiments, as
shown by Hixson and Baum (61,62, 67) is of untold value, both
for planning experiments and the utilization of experimental data
in the field of fluid flow. The theory and application of dimensional analysis to correlate results for entirely different fluid mediums, such as air and water, in one basic equation are ably illustrated by the work of Stanton and Pannell (97).
CRITERIA OF AGITATION

Velocity of Heterogeneous Reactions. The phase of the problem of agitation that has received more attention than any other
is agitation efficiency. Because of the complexity of the fluid
motion existing in a system undergoing agitation, a direct mathematical attack is precluded and the several methods of a quantitative nature so far proposed make use of an indicating substance
whose distribution throughout the system is a result of a11 the
forces acting in the fluid. The effect of agitation on yelocity of
heterogeneous reactions, particularly those concerned with
dissolution of solids in liquids, has been studied extensively.
Fick (36) in 1855 applied the laws of Fourier for heat conduction and Ohm for flow of electricity to the case of diffusion of dissolved substances through liquids. Ficks law states that the
quantity of solute dW which diffuses through area A in time dt,
through distance dz, a t right angles to plane of A , is given by:

dW/dt = -DAdC/dx
where C is the concentration, and D is a constant called diffusivity, usually given in terms of sq. cm. per second. The law holds
true for constant temperature only, and is based on the assumption that the only motion involved is due t o molecular agitation.
Fick proved the law for diffusion in one direction only, upward
against the force of gravity. The law is not concerned with the
process of solution but merely with the process of diffusion of a
substance in solution. Weber (115) confirmed Ficks law by an
electrolytic method, and also determined the effect of temperature and concentration on the diffusivity constant, D. The kinetic theory for liquids has been only partly developed, and unlike the case of gaseous diffusion, no completely satisfactory equation for diffusivity in liquids can be given. Fairly complete
tables are to be found in Volume V of International Critical

I N D U S T R I A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G CHEMISTRY

490

Tables. Arnold (8) gave an empirical equation which can be used


in the absence of any direct experimental data.
Noyes and Whitney (80) first studied the process by which
solid substances dissolved in their own solution. They rotated
cylindrical sticks of benzoic acid and lead chloride in initially
fresh water a t constant velocities and constant temperature, and
analyzed the resulting solutions after 10, 30, and 60 minutes of
contact with the solid. They postdated that a film of saturated
solution was always present at the surface of the solid, and the
rate of solution was dependent on the rate of diffusion of this
saturated solution to the main body of the fluid. For finite concentration gradients, Ficks law becomes:

-DAAC/Ax

dW/dt

The thickness of the layer, Ax, through which the dissolved substance passed, wm stated to be dependent on the intensity of the
agitation. If constancy of diffusivity D (which does not vary
much, even with comparatively large concentration changes) and
area A is assumed, Ficks law a t constant agitation becomes:
d W / d t = kAC

Since the concentration at the interface, assuming that equilibrium has been established between the solid and solvent, is saturation concentration C,, and if the concentration in the main body
of the liquid is represented by C, the concentration change is:
AC =

c,

-c

Substituting,
d W / d t = k(G,

- C)

which can also be written as


d C / d t = k(C8

- C)

which in the integrated form becomes


kt = h(C,

- C,) - ln(C, - C)

Noyes and Whitney verified this final equation by proving experimentally the constancy of k. Since the amount of solid dissolved w&s considered negligible, no correction on constant k was
made for reduction in surface as dissolution proceeded.
Bruner and Tolloczko (15 ) extended the Noyes-Whitney equation to include more varied and more soluble substances. They
showed that constant IC was dependent on the exposed area,
structure of exposed surface, stirring rate, temperature, and arrangement of apparatus. They also introduced the idea of the
finite layer thickness, y, and the concept that k i5 determined by
the quotient, D / y .
Drucker (27) also investigated the Noyes-Whitney equation
and found that the rate at which solids dissolved was inversely
proportional to the volume of the solvent at constant agitation.
Nernst (79) and Brunner (14) investigated the Noyes-Whitney
equation for cases of simple solution, neutralization, action of
acids on metaIs, and electrolytic actions. Nernst included all
heterogeneous reactions in his generalization that, at every boundary between two phases, equilibrium is established with practically infinite velocity, and that the rate a t which all heterogeneous reactions proceed, in the absence of secondary influencing
effects, is governed by the diffusion of the active substances to or
from the interfacial surface. Brunner (14) also calculated the
supposed film thickness existent when various substances dissolved in their own solutions and found this thickness to be in the
order of magnitude, 0.03 mm.
Senter (QO), Spear (94),Bodenstein and Fink (79, Jablczynski
(69), Meyer (75), Roth (88), Delaham (%), Van Name and coworkers (107-1103, Hevesy (@), Collenberg @2), Heller (48),
Hixson and Crowell (64), and King and Braverman (67) found
experimental evidence to confirm the Nernst-Brunner theory.
There are several types of reaction where the Nernst-Brunner
theory does not hold. As originally presented, the theory was

Vol. 36, No. 6

found to be nonapplicable to those reactions where secondary influences existed. These secondary influencing effects were investigated by Drucker (27) and enumerated by Van Kame and
Hill (111) as: formation of an insoluble coating a t the interface,
two-stage reactions, passivity, and the evolution of a gas a t the
interface as a result of chemical reaction. But heterogeneoue
reactions have been investigated (15, 111) where, even in the absence of any of these secondary influences, the theory did not apparently hold. These reactions were characterized by a comparatively high temperature coefficient for the velocity and nonsensibility to agitation in direct contrast to those where the
Nernst-Brunner theory held. Brunner (16) introduced the idea.
that the reaction velocity a t the interface was not necessaiily infinite, in order to explain those reactions where the theory did not
hold. Van Name. and Hill (111) segregated all heterogeneous
reactions into three classes: (I) The chemical reaction proceeds
much faster than the rate of diffusion, and the observed reaction
rate will be determined by the rate of diffusion; (11) the chemicai
reaction is much slower than the rate of diffusion and is, therefore, controlling; and (111) chemical reaction rate and diffusion
rate are both of the same order of magnitude, and the observed
rate is a function of both. These investigators also showed that,
where the chemical reaction itself was first order, the observed
reaction rate of type 111 reactions would also be first order, notwithstanding the influence of the diffusion reaction.
The theory as presented by Van Name and Hill was extended
and verified by King and Braverman (67) and King (66). Van
Arsdale (106) and Davis and Crandall ($4) found experimental
data on absorption of gases by liquids to confirm the theory
Lewis and Whitman (71) applied what is, in essence, the Van
Name and Hill theory to the absorption of gases in Iiquids.
Marc (74), Ericson-Auren and Palmaer (33), and Wilderman
(1$3) found the Kernst-Brunner theory untenable. Wilderman,
in particular, attacked the entire theory, and in a severe analysib
of the experimental results of Brunuer ( 1 4 , threw considerable
doubt on the diffusion concept of heterogeneous reactions. The
most striking evidence he presented in opposition to the NernstBrunner theory 7%as that the rate of solution in the same solvent
of different faces of the same crystal of gypsum varied from face
to face. Earlier Wilderman (192) presented an equation analagous to that of Noyes and Whitney, but he explained the theory
of solution on the basis of osmotic solution pressures.
I n conclusion, the law, as stipulated in its original form by
Xoyes and Whitney, has been substantiated by experiment, regardless oi the mechanism by which the process takes place (64).
The use of the dissolution .or reaction velocity constant of B
heterogeneous reaction as a criterion of agitation was first suggested by Murphree (78), who derived a rate equation in terms
of the linear dimensions of the crystals involved. Later, Heller
(48) proposed that the rate of solution of various metals in corrosive liquids undergoing agitation could be used to establish what
he termed a normal agitation; by comparison with normal
agitation, the effect of agitation on a given process in any apparatus could be determined. Gunness and Baker (45) pointed out
the shortcomings of this method, and declared that it is not applicable to commercial agitation since the rate of flow next to the
metallic interface, and not turbulence in the main body, is the
controlling factor on the reaction rate constant. That the
method has other shortcomings is indicated by Roetheli and coworkers (39, 87) on the rorrmion rates of steel in oxygenated
water, kept in motion by a stirrer. They found that speed of
stirring had a pronounced effect on type of corrosion product
formed and, hence, on rate of corrosion. At low speeds a granular coating of magnetic iron oxide was formed, which offered little
resistance t o oxygen diffusion; but at high speeds a protective
coating of gelatinous ferric hydroxide was formed, which offered
considerable resistance to oxygen diffusion. Because of the opposing tendency of the two processes, the corrosion rate actually
went through a maximum value a t n certain agitator speed

491

June, 1944
Hixson and Crowell (64),who used the rate of solution of crystals and tablets as a criterion of agitation, included the effect of a
variable surface in their determination of the dissolution constant. They derived a general expression for the reaction velocity in terms of area and concentration. The derivation was
based on the assumptions that agitation was the same against all
parts of the surface, that no breaking up of particles occurs, that
the surface is proportional to the two thirds power of the weight,
and that the agitation is sufficiently intense to assure constancy
of the concentration throughout the main bulk of the fluid. The
expression was termed the cube root law:

dW/dt
V(dW/dt)

or

-KgA(C, - C )
-KW/a(W,

(1)

- Wo+ W )

(2)

Integration of Equation 2 leads t o the exact expression for the


cube root law, which is cumbersome. Special cases were considered:
A. When W, = Wo,substitution in Equation 2 leads to

V(dW/dt)

-KWSa

(3)

which integrates to give


(4)

B. When the concentration change is negligible, (C,


constant and Equation 1 becomes
dW/dt

- C) is

-KaWl/3

(5)

which, on integration, yields

C. When the surface is constant, Equation 1 becomes

dW/dt = K,(Ca
but since ( W/V)

- C)

(7)

+ Co = C, dW = VdC and Equation 7 becomes


dC/dt = &(C,

- c)

(8)

which is the same as the Noyes-Whitney equation.

C = concentration at time t
C, = saturation concentration

= cube root law constant

Kz, Kg, K I , & = constants


A = surface area of crystals a t time t
t = time
V = volume of solution
W = weight of crystals a t time t
W, = initial weight of crystals
W, = weight of crystals required to saturate volume V
The law was verified for different solvents and solids and also
for various types of agitation. The idea of standard agitation was
introduced, and the effects of variations from the standard a@tation were measured i n terms of the dissolution constant.
Hixson and Baum (61)developed a simplified form of the cube
root law which gives comparable results with the exact expression. Hixson and Wilkens (67) further verified the cube root
law. They measured the rate of solution of benzoic acid tablets
in solvents of varying viscosity and density, both with free rotational and impeded rotational agitation with four baffles. They
suggested a design method by which large agitating systems could
be determined by experiments with small laboratory apparatus.
I n this method a plot of the two dimensionless quantities,
D 2 N / V against KD/Ced (where D is stirrer length, N is stirrer
speed, V is kinematic viscosity, K is cube root law constant, C, is
solubility, and d is diffusivity) for the small apparatus can be
used t o design larger installations. These investigators also compared agitating system designs by the cube root law constant.

Wilhelm, Conklin, and Sauer (124) integrated, without limitations, the diffusion rate equation involved when particles of sodium chloride are freely suspended and dissolved i n water.
The graphical solution of the integral gave a series of curves which
can be used to predict the rate of solution of salt where values of
diffusion rate constant k are known for particular agitation conditions and, of more importance, for the determination of k and
its correlation with agitation conditions.
Watson (114) measured the rate of solution of sodium carbonate decahydrate crystals when packed into a bed and subjected
to the dissolving action of a stream of water. H e found that the
rate of solution varied as the 0.7power of the weight of the crystals, a n excellent check on the value that Hixson and Crowell
assumed to be a/*.
The effect of agitator speed on the. velocity of heterogeneous
reactions has been the subject of much investigation. Investigators have usually reported the reaction velocity constant as a
function of agitator speed:

K = a(N)B
with values for p ranging from zero to one (6,I S , 14,15, 40,48,
68,60,67, 69, 74, 75, 79, 107, 123). Where the reaction taking
place is diffusion-controlled, it has been observed that the value
of exponent @ is one or approximately equal to one (66, 67, 110).
This is in strict accordance with the Nernst-Brunner theory,
since it is to be expected that the thickness of the film adjacent
to the interface will be nearly proportional to the stirrer speed,
and hence the reaction velocity constant (K = D / y ) will be directly proportional t o the speed. On the other hand, for reactions controlled by the rate of the interfacial reaction, values for
@ have been found t o approach zero (16, 67). Where both the
diffusion and reaction rates are controlling, the process falls under
category I11 as given by Van Name and Hill ( i l l ) ;it is usually
found that, if a sufficiently wide range of stirrer speeds is taken,
fl will vary from zero t o one.
Reid and co-workers (68,76) studied the effect of stirring on
the rates of several different reactions and found three types into
which these reactions could be classified: (1) The reaction rate is
a linear function of the stirrer speed; ( 2 ) the reaction is a linear
function of the stirrer speed only after a certain speed is attained;
and (3) the reaction rate is independent of the stirrer speed.
They used a baffled vessel and a Witt (186)disk type of stirrer
rotating between 3000 and 13,000 r.p.m. The exact shape of
the stirrer was determined by the system under consideration,
whether gas-liquid or solid-liquid. Results for type 1 reaction
could be expressed by
K=a+bN
where a and b are constants. I n this category they found the
following reactions to fall: ethylation of benzene in the presence
of aluminum chloride, oxidation of sodium arsenite by oxygen,
oxidation of nitrotoluene by alkaline potassium permanganate,
and reduction of nitrobenzene by iron in presence of 0.1 N hydrochloric acid. Results for type 2 reactions can be expressed by
K = b(N

- N)

(for straight portion of curve only) where bis a constant and

N is the rate of stirring a t which the linear part of the curve intersects the axis if prolonged. To this class of reactions belong
the hydrogenation pf cottonseed oil in the presence of a nickel
catalyst and the solution of iron in 0.1 N sulfuric acid. The
solution of magnesium in hydrochloric acid in the presence of potassium nitrate as a depolarizer, as studied by King and Braverman (67) falls in this category. To class 3 belong the saponification of ethyl benzoate and the hydrolysis of benzyl chloride.
Marc (74) also found certain salts whose rate of crystallization
was independent of stirrer speed.
Watson (12.4) passed water through a bed of sodium carbonate
decahydrate crystals and measured the effect of mass velocity on

492

INDUSTRIAL AND ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY

the rate of solution. A curve was obtained which showed that,


as the velocity was increased, the rate of solution approached an
asymptotic maximum. A similar observation was made by Van
Arsdale (106) on the absorption of gases by liquids.
The effect of other variables on the dissolution constant has
been determined. Jablcsynski and Jablonski (60) measured the
effect of the presence of organic solvents on the velocity of an
inorganic heterogeneous reaction. Heller ( 4 8 )measured the effect
of temperature, a t constant stirring, on the rate of solution of tin
and cadmium in ferric chloride solutions. Wilderman (123)
measured the temperature coefficient of the velocity with which
bemoic acid dissolved in water under constant agitation. Van
Name and Edgar (109) measured the temperature coefficient of
the velocity of the reaction between certain metals and dissolved
iodine, and found this coefficient to be 1.3. Van Name and Hill
(110) measured the effect of dissolved alcohol and sugar on the
rate with which cadmium dissolved in an iodine solution in the
presence of potassium iodide. The results indicated that the
rate of solution a t constant stirrer speed varied indirectly as the
viscosity of the solution. Later Van Name (107) measured the
temperature coefficient of reaction velocity when cadmium was
dissolved in a solution of iodine in the presence of potassium iodide. H e showed that the main effect of temperature was due
t o the change in solution viscosity. The coefficient K / e T was
shown to be constant a t any temperature in the range studied (0"
to 65' C,), where K is the reaction velocity constant, 8 is the fluidity of the solvent, and T is the absolute temperature. King
and Braverman also found a similar viscosity effect (6'7). Finally, Hixson and Wilkens (67) measured the effects of vessel size,
viscosity, and agitation speed on the rate with which tablets of
benzoic acid dissolved in water and various oils.
Solid-Liquid Suspension Method. White and co-workers (118121) and Hixson and Tenney (56) tested several agitators by their
ability to suspend particles of sand in fluid mediums. White and

co-workers (121) measured the distribution in water of approximately 65-mesh sand in a tank fitted with a paddle agitator, rotating a t constant speed. They found that the sand concentration reached a maximum within 2 minutes after the paddle was
started, an indication of the surprising efficiency of paddle agitators as previously confirmed by Badger and co-workers (126)
and Hill (60). They also found some classification of the sand
with this apparatus, leading to the suggested use of the simple
paddle agitator as a classifier (120). Later these investigators
(129) extended their work to include variation in particle size and
the relative amounts of sand and water. They suggested the use
of the agitation speed, a t which the maximum saturation of sand
in water occurs, as a measure of agitation intensity. Finally,
White and Sumerford (118) tested simple paddle agitators of
various size in cylindrical vessels to determine the optimum dimensions by the sand suspension method. To summarize: If R
feet represents the tank diameter, best suspension will occur if
the agitator blade is made R feet long and
R feet wide, and the
clearance between paddle and tank bottom is l/g R feet. These
data, coupled with power requirements for simple paddle agitators (116, 117, 118) can be used to determine optimum dcsign.
The importance of proper sampling in the suspension method
was pointed out by Gunness and Baker ( 4 5 ) . The use of sample
tubes inserted in the side of a tank, as used by White and coworkers, has several objectionable features. .Hixson and Tenney
(66) used a better technique in which a simple plunger device was
inserted to the desired position in the tank, and a sample was
withdrawn almost instantaneously. These investigators measured the sand-suspending characteristics of a 45" propeller in a
cylindrical tank, with both water and sucrose solutions as the suspending fluid. The ratio of sand to liquid was kept constant in
all experiments a t 1 part of sand to 10 parts of liquid by weight.
The mixing index proposed and used by Hixson and Tenney differs from that of White and co-workers; the latter suggested the

Vol. 36, No. 6

agitator speed required to reach the limiting value of sand concentration as the index, whereas the former proposed the ratio
of average sand or liquid concentration a t several points in the
apparatus to the concentration that would exist if even distribution occurred. The method suggested by Hixson and Tenney
seems to be more universally applicable since it is adaptable to
the measurement of agitation intensity a t any stirrer speed (45).
Liquid-Liquid Systems. The time necessary to mix two miscible liquids completely or the ability of a stirrer to emulsify
two nonmiscible liquids have been suggested as criteria of
agitation. Wood, Whitternore, and Badger (126) tested a paddle
stirrer by measuring the time necessary to mix a salt solution
completely with water. The salt solution was introduced into
the bottom center of a stirred tank of water, and the distribution
of salt was measured by electrical conductivity cells, located at
several points throughout the tank. The time necessary for the
conductivity cells to come to a constant reading was used as an
indication of solution turbulence.
Hixson and Cervi (20) measured intensity of agitation with a
propeller type agitator. They varied propeller speed and measured the effect of this variation on the degree of distribution of
kerosene in water.
Dodd (26) measured the degree of mixing of two miscible
liquids by noting the time necessary for the striations due to
density differences to disappear. He used the systems gasolinecarbon disulfide and brine-water to form the striae, which he made
discernible by projection on a screen with a strong beam of light.
A reciprocating stirrer was used, and the disappearance of the
striae occurred abruptly, determinable within 3% of the total
mixing time. Bissell (6) showed an adaptation of the striae
method to measure the lines of flow in an agitated vessel.
Kambara, Oyamada, and Matsui (61) tested various types of
agitating impellers by noting their ability to cause suspensions
of oil and water. The oil was dyed, and the degree of suspension
in water was determined by the intensity of color as measured by
a photoelectric cell. Of the wide variety of impeller shapes
tested, propellers were found to be most efficient.
Brothman (11) gave a method for selecting emulsifying equipment by small laboratory tests, based on their ability to produce
emulsions.
Other Methods. Various methods for testing agitators have
been proposed and used. Hill (50) cited a case where adsorption
of a dye on a solid, u-hich was kept in suspension in a liquid by a
simple paddle agitator, was used to test agitation efficiency. Esselen and Hildebrand (34) applied ultraslow-motion photography
t o a study of agitators. Hixson and Luedeke (55) suggested
total power to the driving element, less the power consumed by
wall friction, as a criterion of mixing efficiency. MacLean and
Lyons (73) proposed pumping capacity in conjunction with entrainment as a measure of mixing efficiency. Bissell (6) suggested the bleaching action of fuller's earth on vegetable oils to
determine mixer efficiency, since this action is dependent on the
degree of agitation. Time to bleach to a certain color could be
used as a reference point. Gunness and Baker (45) surveyed
and criticized previously proposed criteria of agitation and suggested a method for determining the optimum operating conditions for agitating devices already in use.
The mixing of gases prior t o reaction was studied by Chilton
and Genereaux (21) by a visual method. They caused two
streams of different gases to come together by means of T- and
Y-connections, and measured efficiency of mixing by noting the
distance downstream where complete mixing occurred. With
T-connections and a velocity of the added stream 2.5 times that
of the main stream, best mixing took place.
POWER REQUIREMENTS Q F SYSTEMS UNDERGOING AGITATION

It is important to realize that power input to a system undergoing agitation may not be a criterion of the efficiency or degree

June, 1944

493

of the agitation (106). Thus, with fairly viscous fluids, a large


amount of power may be consumed in producing a vigorous local
action in the vicinity of the mixing element, with little or no action outside this region. This would satisfy but one of the requisites for good mixing (105), since a suitable motion of the entire
body of material must be maintained.
There is a growing tendency in chemical industry t o standardize types of equipment used. Unfortunately standardization of
mixing equipment is difficult since a large variety of agitating
machinery is available to perform any one particular task. As a
result of lack of standards of efficiency and power requirements,
it is almost always impossible to pick the best mixer for a specific
task. Of all the types of equipment, those in most common use
are paddle agitators, the propeller, and the turbine mixer. With
the exception of the paddle type agitator, little work has been
done on the power requirements of systems undergoing agitation.
I n addition t o the above three important types, several other
types of apparatus are encountered in industry but usually under
strenuous conditions where high viscosity .exists or it is desirous
to produce a grinding action simultaneously with a mixing action.
Other exceptional cases do exist but not with the frequency of
the above two. Power requirements for equipment such as
kneaders, dough mills, pug mills, pebble mills, rotary pan mills,
emulsifiers, colloid mills, tumbling barrels, and others, are usually
impossible to determine without running a load test on the actual
equipment. This is a disadvantage as far as design work is concerned, but because of the complexity of the subject, it seems that
no other solution will be immediately available.
Where standard pieces of chemical equipment other than mixers are used to provide agitation, the power requirements are
usually easy to determine. Thus, in using a n outside circulating
centrifugal pump in connection with a tank, the horsepower is
easily calculated from a knowledge of the pumping capacity and
the pressure drop. Similarly, in using a packed tower t o mix
gases, extensive data are available for calculating pressure drop
through packed towers that can easily be used to determine power
requirements. I n general, however, it is inadvisable t o secure
mixing by the above methods. For example, Valentine and MacLean state that the power required by a turbine mixer is approximately one thirtieth that required by an outside circulating pump
delivering the same volume of liquid (106).
Some work has been done on the power requirements of bodies
rotating in various fluids, but mainly in connection with turbines
and centrifugal pumps. Thomson (99) was probably the first
to study the friction of rotating disks. He measured the torque
produced on the containing vessel by rotating a smooth disk in
water. The data he obtained fit the equation

3.4

10-10n*~5

(9)

between limits of nD from 192 to 518. Thomson stated that the


friction was only slightly affected by the clearance between the
rotating disk and the containing vessel, a n observation unconfirmed by later investigators.
The data of Froude and Coulomb, cited by Unwin (101), indicated a difference between frictional resistance a t low and high
speeds. Coulomb found by oscillating thin disks, suspended by
fine wires in fluids, that the frictional resistance varied directly
with the velocity, was sensitive to viscosity, and was nearly independent of the surface roughness. Because of the nature of the
apparatus, the speeds were necessarily slow. Froude's results
with towed boards at higher velocities indicated that the frictional resistance varied nearly as the square of the velocity and
was sensitive to the nature of the surface roughness. Froude also
found that the critical speed at which the nature of the fluid motion changed varied as the surface roughness. These results are
in close agreement with those indicated for fluid flow i n round
pipes by the Fanning friction equation d F = 2f( Va/g) ( d N / D )
(113). For speeds below the critical (streamline or laminar flow)
this equation indicates that the friction varies directly as the

velocity and viscosity, whereas for speeds above the critical (turbulent flow), the equation indicates that the friction varies as
approximately the 1.8 power of the velocity. The exact value
of this exponent varies with the degree of surface roughness.
I n a study of the effect of surface roughness on the friction of rotating disks, Unwin (101) rotated disks varying from 10 to 20
inches in diameter in both water and sugar solutions, using a n
adaptation of Froude's dynamometer t o measure torque. The
surface roughness was varied from turned and polished brass to
sand and gravel cemented on metal. For any given disk of
specified roughness, the data fitted the equation
I

kn3D4.85

(10)

with the exact exponent of n varying for different surfaces. Unwin also found a difference in fluid friction at high and low speeds.
Thus, at high speeds an increase in chamber size caused a n increase in friction, but at low speeds the resistance decreased considerably as the size of the chamber was increased. When the
chamber was roughened, the resistance of the rotating disk increased considerably, in some cases almost as much as when the
disk was roughened. Unwin found that a n increase in viscosity
caused a n increase in resistance to rotation, but no mathematical
relation was given.
Odell (81) also confirmed a critical speed for rotating disks.
He rotated cardboard disks varying from 15 to 47 inches in diameter in air and measured the power consumed. At low speeds the
power absorbed varied as the square of the peripheral velocity
and at higher speeds, as the 3.5 power. Odell showed that the
product nD2 had the same value at the critical speed for all disks.
This product is analagous to the Reynolds number ( D v p / ~or
nD2p/p), since in Odell's work the density and viscosity of the
fluid were always constant. For speeds above the critical the
data are correlated by a n equation of the type:

P = kv3D2
(11)
Zahm (1a7) investigated the friction of air on long plates subject to a rectilinear air stream while suspended in a closed channel.
The flow in all experiments wax turbulent. Stodola (98) integrated Zahm's equation for the case of a rotating disk and obtained the equation:
P = 3 32 x 1 0 - ~ ~ 2 ~ 2 . 8 5
(12)
Zahm also stipulated the friction loss was approximately linear
with respect t o fluid density-a phenomenon confirmed dimensionally by Rayleigh (86) and experimentally by Stodola (98).
Gibson and Ryan (43) investigated the effect of clearance and
surface on power losses of rotating disks. They found that the
smaller the clearance between the rotating disk and the casing,
the lower the power consumed due t o windage. A 12-inchdiameter, rough, cast-iron disk rotating at 2000 r.p.m. in a rough
casing with */B-inch clearance required 40% more power to overcome windage losses than did a painted disk and casing under
similar conditions. The effect of clearance was more pronounced
on the power consumption of smooth disks than for rough disks.
Addition of vanes to the rotating disks increased windage losses
enormously. Thus, when four radial vanes, I/, inch deep, were
added to a 12-inch-diameter brass disk, the power consumed was
increased 350%. These experiments show the importance of
surface and clearance on power consumption of rotating bodies.
Odell (81),Kerr (64), Buckingham ( I T ) , and Stodola (98) have
investigated the windage losses of unenclosed disks and turbine
wheels. I n general, they found that this loss is composed of two
parts: the friction of the vanes and the friction of the disk on
which vanes are mounted. Although there is a fairly definite critical value of Reynolds number for smooth rotating disks, for ordinary turbine wheels consisting of vanes and disk there is no
sharply defined critical speed. Buckingham's equation for windage
losses of rotating turbine wheels is probably most comprehensive:
p = apO.QnZ.QD4.8
P 0.1
113)

Vol. 36, No. 6

INDUSTRIAL AND ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY

494

This equation can be arranged in terms of a Reynolds number:

P = 5600 av3D2 (:UP)

The exponents of Equation 14 check those given by Spannhake


(93) and Hanocq (46), with the exception of that on the Reynolds number which these investigators found to be 0.2.
Integration of the Fanning friction equation for flow in circular
pipes for the case of a rotating disk yields the equation
P = 2.94 X 10-10~2,S~4.Sp0.8y0.2
(15)
which can be rearranged to

in which the exponent on the Reynolds number checks that of


Spannhake. Validity of Equation 16 is substantiated by the
data of Ode11 (81), who found that 0.305 horsepower was required
to rotate a 47-inch-diameter cardboard disk a t 740 r.p.m. in air
a t room temperature, whereas Equation 15 indicates a consumption of 0.29 horsepower under the given conditions.
The effect of adding blades on the power consumed by a rotating disk was indicated by Buckingham in terms of coefficient
a. He expressed CY as a function of the blade length and the turbine diameter,
a = A
1/D
(17)

The total expression for the power consumed by a rotating turbine wheel can then be given by

Paddle Agitators. As far back as the sixteenth century Agricola used paddles for agitation which were strikingly similar to
those of today (104). Notwithstanding the antiquity of this
type, only in recent years has any systematic method for studying
its characteristics been introduced.
Wood, Whittemore, and Badger (116)were the first to attempt
to systematize the problem. They determined the power consumption and mixing efficiency of a paddle stirrer with beveled
edges by measuring the net power delivered by the driving motor
and the length of time necessary to mix brine solutions with
water. Difficulties were encountered in attempting to measure
power consumption by this method, since the recording meters
fluctuated widely. I n general, these investigators found that,
above a certain speed (about 30 r.p.m. for their apparatus), the
power requirements increased considerably but without a corresponding increase in mixing efficiency.
White and co-workers (117) measured the power requirements
of simple paddle agitators by determining the torque required to
drive the vertical shaft. These investigators varied fluid properties, paddle size, paddle location, speed, tank diameter, and
fluid depth. They correlated the data by plotting the modified
Reynolds number, L z N p l p , against PIL3N3pDt1.1Wo.3H0.6.
A
curve was obtained similar to the usual friction factor plot, with
a break separating the conditions of streamline and turbulent
flow (113). The exact location of the transition point is not
sharply defined but occurs a t a Reynolds number, L2Np/p, of
about 50. The equation that fitted all data best was given by
p = O.OOO129L2.7ZPO.14N2.86p0.86Dt1.1WO.
3HO.6
(19)

The exponents on this equation for p , p , and N are in close agreement with those of Buckingham for power requirements of rotating disks. Although not for the same type of agitating device, data of Wood, Whittemore, and Badger (126) and of Hixson
and Wilkens (67) are included in Equation 19 fairly well.
Propeller Type Agitators.

As early as 1681 Robert Hooke pro-

posed the idea of making a screw similar in construction to a


windmill to work in water (51). From then on, the development

of propeller use was confined mainly to the propulsion of marine


vessels. Only during the present century has the propeller been
put to any extensive use as a n agitating device.
The design of propellers, from the viewpoint of marine propulsion, has been well investigated by Froude (4l),Dyson ( S I ) ,
Durand (SO), Curtis and Hawkins (as), and others. Few investigators have, however, measured the power requirements of
propellers used as an agitating device, and no comprehensive
formula similar to that for paddle agitators can be given.
Wood, Whittemore, and Badger (126) used a semipaddle
propeller type stirrer in their experiments. Notwithstanding
the fact that one face of this paddle was planed off to a 45" angle,
the data for power consumption are fairly well correlat,ed by the
equation of White and co-workers (117).
Hixson and Wilkens (57)measured the power absorbed by fourbladed propellers having a pitch of 45" and rotated jn cylindrical
vessels. All the apparatus were dimensionally similar in respect
to the size and position of the propeller, liquid depth, and container diameter. Measurements were made both with and without baffles. Power consumption was given in terms of watts per
100 gallons, plotted against r.p.m., for water. I n general, they
found that the power consumption per unit volume increased r a p
idly as the size of the system was increased and as the free rotational flow was modified with baffles. Although no factor for surface roughness is included in the equation of White and co-workers
(ll?),the data of Hixson and Wilkens (57) for systems coated
with varnish is fitted by the equation for paddle agitators fairly
well, although this equation is for a system with far greater surface roughness.
Valentine and MacLean (105) give a nomographic chart for
determining power requirements of propeller agitators in terms of
pitch, diameter, and speed. This chart can be used only for the
roughest estimates, since it does not include the important variables, density and viscosity.
Hixson and Tenney (56) measured power consumption of a 45"
propeller in liquids varying in viscosity from 0.9 to 44 centipoises.
The curves of power against speed are similar to those of Hixson
and Wilkens (67). Hixson and Tenney (66) found that the power
consumption varied as the 2.8 power of the stirrer speed, a result
well in agreement with that of White and co-workers (117) who
found a n exponent of 2.86 for paddle agitators.
Hixson and Luedeke (66) studied wall friction in liquid agitation systems. They obtained data for friction drag in systems
using 45O, 60", and 90' (paddle) stirrers, all arranged with
geometrically similar dimensions as previously used by Hixson
and Wilkens (67). Power going to wall friction was expressed by

p =

kp0.1Qcc0.211a2.1eDf3.60(D
4H)

sin e

(20)

The value of constant k was not determinable, since it is necessary


to know the liquid velocity immediately adjacent to the stagnant
film at the vessel wall, a figure that was not determined by these
investigators. The authors showed the existence of two distinct
modes of flow in a system undergoing agitation-laminar
and
turbulent. Equation 20 is for turbulent flow only, which occurs
at'Reynolds numbers, pND2/p, greater than 3 X 106. It is interesting to note t h a t the exponents of p , p , and N agree with those
of Equation 5.
Turbine Type Agitators. Although the turbine type of machine has been known since the Renaissance, its application as a
mixing device has taken place only during the past fifty years.
As a mixing device, it is used in a similar manner like a centrifugal
pump to impart a pumping motion to the fluid. Essentially it
consists of a rotating impeller, similar in construction to that of a
centrifugal pump, and a deflecting ring. Actually the impeller
can be used without the deflecting ring, but tests (57) have shown
that, above certain speeds, the use of the deflecting ring is advantageous because of the better agitation secured. The motion
produced by the turbine type mixer is similar t o that of the pro-

495

June, 1944
peller; whereas the latter pumps fluid parallel to the driving
shaft, the former imparts a motion radial to the driving shaft.
Until recently the only information available on the power
consumption of turbine agitators was the limited data of Valentine and MacLean (106)and that found in manufacturers catalogs. I n 1942 Hixson and Baum (69), using a turntable dynamometer, measured the torque requirements of turbine agitators
under a variety of conditions. They used a modification of the
method of Hixson and Luedeke (90)and of Buche (16) for the
correlation of their experimental results which was based on an
integration of Newtons law expressing the friction drag resulting
from relative motion between a body and a fluid in contact. An
equation for the power requirements of a series of dimensionally
similar agitators was derived. A standard turbine agitator design waa established, and the effects of single variations on power
requirements were detymined. They developed an empirical
method for predicting the power requirements of other agitators
which differ in more than one manner from the standard design.
The comparisons they made between predicted and measured
horsepower for plant-size equipment compared favorably.
These are the accomplishments on the theoretical side toward
the determination and evaluatipn of the basic factors of agitation. Substantial progress has been made toward establishing
this unit operation on a quantitative basis. Much remains to
be done.
NOMENCLATURE FOR POWER REQUIREMENTS

A , B = constants
D
= disk diameter or turbine diameter a t root of blades, ft.
= pipe diameter, ft.

$
g

H
k
1

N,

cy

@
p

e
cc

= tank diameter, ft.


= Fanning friction factor, no dimensions
= friction loss, ft.-lb./fb.
= acceleration due to gravity = 32.2 ft./sec./sec.
= height of liquid in tank, ft.
= constant
= turbine bucker length, ft.
= paddle le th, ft.

= stirrer or%sk speed, revolutions/min.


= stirrer or disk s ed, revolutions/sec.
= length of pipe,
= pressure drop, lb./per sq. ft.
= horsepower = 550 ft.-lb./sec.
= peri heral velocity, ft./sec.
= fiuitvelooity, ft./sec.
= paddle width, ft.
= stirrer pitch angle, degrees
= factor in Buckin ham equation
= exponent in Bucfingham equation
= fluid density, lb./cu. ft.
= (1.13 x
12) in Hixson-Luedeke equation
= viscosity, lb./sec./ft.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE WORK

What should be the direction and nature of future research on


this important unit operation? A few suggestions are ventured
which should yield results of practical value:
1. Determination of the effects of design variations on the
value of dissolution constant K. The method would be similar
to that employed in measuring the power input to agitators of
various designs. Establish the rate of dissolution in the standard
turbine as the basis, and then measure the dissolution rates over
a wide range of Reynolds numbers in apparatus which differ in
one way from the standard design. Then make a correctioD
chart for the design variations and estimate the dissolution constants for commerical equipment from this chart, and compare
them with actual results.
2. Economic balance in agitator design. Select a specific
problem-say the production of a certain amount of a 10% sodium chloride solution-and determine the optimum design and
size of the agitating equipment to perform this task. The factor
to be considered would be amount of power and its cost; the rate
of solution (along with time required to discharge and charge the
materials to the agitator) would determine the size of equipment.
Then the problem would be to see whether a battery of mixers or

a sin le mixer would be best, to evaluate the optimum rotational


speef, and to determine the most efficient design. I n all cases
selection should be made on the basis of lowest cost or maximum
profit per unit of product.
3. The ability of an agitator to suspend solids. Determine
the minimum conditions of agitation to keep in suspension solid
particles of various shapes, sizes, and weights. These experiments can best be performed in a glass container. Vary the fluid
properties and the agitator speed over as wide a range as possible.
The results can probably be correlated by a modified form of the
Stokes law. A Reynolds number can be defined for agitation
systems, and a correlation based on this number seems feasible.
The work can be extended to studies in geometrically similar
systems to see whether the results in models can be used to predict the results in large-scale equipment.
4. Heat transfer in jacketed and coil-heated agitation vessels.
Hixson and Baum suggested that a modified form of the Nusselt
type equation be used to correlate heat transfer data in heated
agitation vessels. A verificatioh of this would be extremely
helpful. This research should be carried out with a series of
liquids to give a wide range of fluid properties, and if possible, in78
series of geometrically similar vessels. A steam-heated coil or
jacket could be used.
5. Simultaneous mass transfer and chemical reaction. Derive the equations for the case where a material is simultaneously
diffusin and undergoing a chemical reaction. Hixson and
Baum cf!d this for the c a y of benzoic acid dissolving in a caustic
solution; for such a system the rate of reaction depends on the
rates of diffusion of the components. This work should be extended to other systems, and the effect of agitation measured on
the rate of this type of mass transfer. Problems of this type are
of extreme importance industrially-for example, the reduction
of or anic oompounds by the suspension of iron filings in the
liquicfb agitation, etc.
6. d e power requirements of propeller agitators. No accurate data on the power requirements of propeller agitators has
yet been published. It would be necessary to design a dynamometer to measure power input when the drive shaft enters the
vessel a t an an le. Otherwise, the procedure would be similar to
that used by &xson and Baum.
7. The power requirements for liquids not having true viscosity characteristic#. The power requirements for agitation of
slurries, sludges, @astic liquids, pseudo- lastic liquids, and inverted plastic liquids is an important iniustrial problem. The
studies to date have been mostly concerned with only truly viscous liquids. It should be extended to studies of other liquids.
The same apparatus could easily be used.
8. Mass transfer in liquid-liquid agitation systems. A
problem of increasing industrial importance is that concerning
the extraction of material from one liquid by a suitable solvent.
To increase the rate of extraction, the two liquids are brought
into intimate contact by means of an agitator. No data are yet
available on the rate of extraction between two liquids, except
for continuous extraction in a acked tower. The turbulence
produced in such towers is s m d b e c a u s e of the low relative velocities between the two phases due to small differences in density. The resulting transfer rates are also small. Agitators in
conjunction with settling chambers give much higher rates.
I t would be necessary to derive an equation for this case based
on the rate of material transfer to and from the liquid-liquid interface. The efficiency of an agitator for this type of phase combination could be expressed in terms of the interfacial surface
area that i t produces. This would also be of some interest in
problems of emulsification. Systems which might be most
easily studied are rate of distribution of acetic acid between
water and benzene, rate of distribution of benzoic acid between
water and benzene, etc.
The results obtained from such studies, when correlated with
those now available, should contribute much toward establishing
a rational basis for agitation equipment design and operation.
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Vol. 36, No. 6

(70) Lamb, H., Hydrodynamics, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1932.


EKG.CHEW.,16, 1215
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White, Brenner, Phillips, and Morrison, Ibid., 30,570 (1934).
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Wilhelm. Conklin. and Sauer. IND.ENG.CHEM..33,453 (1941).
.
,
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Zahm, A. F., Phil. Mag., 43, 62 (1904).
~

Id.,