2nd Semester
AY 20092010
AGITATED AND
STIRRED VESSELS
Engr.RonnieV.Flores
T E C H N O L O G I C A L I N S T I T U T E O F T H E P H I L I P P I N E S M A N I L A
D E P A R T M E N T O F C H E M I C A L E N G I N E E R I N G
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REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DESIGN OF AGITATED VESSELS:
1. Impeller Design
a. Type of Impeller
b. Impeller Diameter
c. Position of impellers
2. Power requirement to drive the agitation
3. Stirrer Speed
4. Baffle design (if needed)
5. Mixing Time
SELECTION OF TYPE OF IMPELLER
Use figure 10.57 Coulson and Richardsons Chemical Engineering Volume 3, 4
th
edition a function of
tank diameter and liquids viscosity
IMPELLER SIZE
For standard turbine design (source: Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition)
t
=
1
S
E
t
= 1
[
t
=
1
12
L
t
=
1
3
w
u
=
1
S
I
u
=
1
4
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From Chemical Process Equipment Selection and Design by Stanley Walas,
THE VESSEL
; A dished bottom requires less power than a flat one.
; When a single impeller is to be used, a liquid level equal to the diameter is optimum, with the impeller
located at the center for an allliquid system. Economic and manufacturing considerations, however,
often dictate higher ratio of depth to diameter.
BAFFLES
; Except at very high Reynolds numbers, baffles are needed to prevent vortexing and rotation of the
liquid mass as a whole.
; A baffle width onetwelfth the tank diameter, w = 4/12; a length extending from one half the impeller
diameter, d/2, from the tangent line at the bottom to the liquid level, but sometimes terminated just
above the level of the eye of the uppermost impeller.
; When solids are present or when a heat transfer jacket is used, the baffles are offset from the wall a
distance equal to one sixth the baffle width.
; Four radial baffles at equal spacing are standard; six are only slightly more effective, and three
appreciably less so.
; When the mixer shaft is located off center (onefourth to onehalf the tank radius), the resulting flow
pattern has less swirl, and baffles may not be needed, particularly at low viscosities.
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DRAFT TUBES
; A draft tube is a cylindrical housing around and slightly larger in diameter than the impeller.
; Its height may be little more than the diameter of the impeller or it may extend the full depth of the
liquid, depending on the flow pattern that is required.
; Usually draft tubes are used with axial impellers to direct suction and discharge streams.
; An impellerdraft tube system behaves as an axial flow pump of somewhat low efficiency. Its top to
bottom circulation behavior is of particular value in deep tanks for suspension of solids and for
dispersion of gases.
IMPELLER LOCATION
Source: Chemical Process Equipment Selection and Design by Stanley Walas
Viscosity, cP
Maximum level,
H/Dt
Number of
impellers
Impeller clearance
Lower Upper
<25,000 1.4 1 H/3
<25,000 2.1 2 Dt/3 (2/3)H
<25,000 0.8 1 H/3
<25,000 1.6 2 Dt/3 (2/3)H
; Another rule is that a second impeller is needed when the liquid must travel more than 4 ft before
deflection.
; Side entering propellors are placed 1824 in. above a flat tank floor with the shaft horizontal and at a
10 horizontal angle with the centerline of the tank; such mixers are used only for viscosities below
500 CP or so.
; In dispersing gases, the gas should be fed directly below the impeller or at the periphery of the
impeller. Such arrangements also are desirable for mixing liquids.
POWER REQUIRED TO ROTATE AN AGITATOR IMPELLER
1. Determine the turbulent power number, NP, for impeller geometry.
Figure 9.13 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition) Power Number versus Reynolds
number for turbines and high efficiency impellers
Figure 9.14 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition) Power Number versus Reynolds
number for marine propellers and helical ribbons
Figure 9.15 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition) for pseudoplastics fluids
For nonnewtonian fluids, Re can be calculated using equation 9.23 (Unit Operations for ChE by
McCabe 7
th
edition)
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Re
n
=
nD
a
2
p
u
a
u
a
= K' 
du
dy
1
au
n

1
Where:
u
a
 apparent viscosity of nonnewtonian fluid
K'  flow consistency index of nonnewtonian fluid
I
du
dy
]
au
 average shear rate
2. Compute the shaft horsepower required to rotate the impeller
N
P
=
P
n
3
D
a
5
p
Where:
N
P
 Power number
n  rotational speed, revolution per unit time
P  Power requirement, kW or ftlbf/s
D
a
 impeller diameter
p  density of the liquid
o for Re less than 10, use equation 9.20 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe 7
th
edition)
P = K
L
n
2
D
a
3
u
Where:
K
L
 taken from table 9.2 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCable, 7
th
edition)
u  viscosity of the liquid
o for Re more than 10,000, use equation 9.22 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe 7
th
edition)
P = K
T
n
3
D
a
5
p
Where:
K
T
 taken from table 9.2 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCable, 7
th
edition)
3. Select a standard motor horsepower
Assume 85% efficiency due to losses through the gear reducer, slight deviations in actual speed
and fluctuations in process conditions
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DESIGNING AN AGITATOR TO BLEND TWO LIQUIDS
1. Determine the required agitation intensity
One measure of the amount of liquid motion in an agitated tank is velocity. However, by the very
nature of mixing requirements, liquid velocities must be somewhat random in both direction and
magnitude.
Since actual velocity is difficult to measure and depends on location in the tank, an artificial,
defined velocity called bulk velocity has been found to be a more practical measure of agitation
intensity. Bulk velocity is defined as the impeller pumping capacity (volumetric flow rate) divided
by the crosssectional area of the tank.
The magnitude of bulk velocity can be used as a measure of agitation intensity for most problems
involving liquid blending. Bulk velocities in the range from 0.1 to 1.0 ft/s (0.03 to 0.3 m/s) are
typical of those found in agitated tanks. An agitator that produces a bulk velocity of 0.1 ft/s is
normally the smallest agitator that will move liquid throughout the tank. An agitator capable of
producing a bulk velocity of 1.0 ft/s is the largest practical size for most applications.
Reference: Table 12.1 (Handbook of Chemical Engineering Calculations by Nicolas Chopey, 3
rd
edition)
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2. Compute for the required impeller pumping capacity
F
qud
=
a
4
D
eq
3
D
eq
=
4F
eq
a
3
O =
a
4
D
eq
2
u
huk
Where:
O  impeller pumping capacity
D
eq
 equivalent tank diameter
u
huk
 bulk velocity (table 12)
3. Select impeller diameter and determine required agitator speed
a. Select an impeller diameter
b. Compute initial estimate of impeller Reynolds number; assume initial agitator speed
c. Determine pumping number, Nq, and compute speed
i. Use figure 12.3 to get Nq
ii. Compute for agitator speed
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N
q
=
O
nD
a
3
Where:
N
q
 flow number
d. Recalculate if n computed is not the same with the assumed n
4. Select standard speed and motor horsepower
5. Specify the number and location of impellers
TIME REQUIRED FOR UNIFORM BLENDING
1. Compute for the Reynolds number
2. Determine blending time factor ntT (Figure 9.17 Unit Operations for ChE, 7
th
edition)
3. Compute for blending time using equation 9.16 (Unit Operations for ChE, 7
th
edition)
t
T
=
nt
T
n
o Fig 9.17 (Unit Operations for ChE, 7
th
edition) Correlation of blending times for miscible
liquids in a turbineagitated baffled vessel; Re plotted vs blending time factor, fT
J
t
=
t
T
(nD
a
2
)
2
3
g
1
D
a
1
2
H
1
2
D
t
3
2
(Equation 9.31)
Where:
nt
T
 blending time factor (from fig 9.16)
t
T
 blending time
n  rotational speed, revolution per unit time
J
T
 blending time factor (from fig 9.17)
AGITATED SOLID SUSPENSION
1. critical stirrer speed (Equation 9.35, Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition)
n
c
u
0.85
= S:
0.1
p
0.2
g
1
0.45
B
0.13
Where:
n
c
 critical stirrer speed
S  shape factor (Table 9.4, Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition)
u  kinematic viscosity
D
p
 average particle size
p  density difference
p  density of liquid
B  100 x weight of solid/weight of liquid
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2. Power Consumption Fig 9.20 (Unit Operations for ChE by McCabe, 7
th
edition); tank diameter
plotted vs power per unit volume; use the Buurman curve with sand as reference
SHAFT DESIGN FOR TURBINE AGITATOR
1. Determine the hydraulic loads (torque and moment) on the shaft to rotate the agitator, the shaft
must transmit torque from the drive to the impellers.
z =
P
mutur
n
M = `. 3
P
n
n
1 
L
n
D
n
1
Where:
z  maximum torque
M  bending moment on the shaft
P
n
 motor power (divided by the number of impellers)
n  agitator speed
L
n
 distance of impeller from the agitator drive
2. Determine the minimum shaft diameter for strength
d
x
=
1(z
2
+ M
2
)
1
2
ao
x
3
d
t
=
1M+ (z
2
+ M
2
)
1
2

ao
t
3
Where:
d
x
 shaft diameter due to shear stress
d
t
 shaft diameter due to tensile stress
o
x
 allowable shear stress
o
t
 allowable tensile stress
CHOOSE THE LARGER SHAFT DIAMETER
3. Calculate the natural frequency of the agitator shaft
n
c
=
37. 8d
2
L
F
p
m
W
e
(L +L
h
)
2
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P
Where:
n
c
 critical speed
d  shaft diameter
F  Modulus of Elasticity
L  shaft extension (length)
L
h
 spacing of bearings that support the shaft
p
m
 density of material
W
e
 equivalent weight of impellers and shaft at shaft extension
For two impeller system,
W
e
= W

+ W
u
I
L
u
L
]
3
+ w
x
I
L
4
] =
Where:
W

 Weight of the lower impeller
W
u
 Weight of the upper impeller
L
u
 distance of the upper impeller from the drive
w
x
 unit weight of the shaft
NOTE: DESIGN SPEED < 65% OF CRITICAL SPEED
RULES OF THUMB FOR AGITATOR AND MIXERS
1. Mild agitation is obtained by circulating the liquid with an impeller a: superficial velocities of 0.10.2
ft/sec, and intense agitation at 0.71.0 ft/sec.
2. Intensities of agitation with impellers in baffled tanks are measured by power input, HP/1000 gal, and
impeller tip speeds:
Operation HP/1000 gal Tip speed (ft/min)
Blending 0.2 0.5
Homogenous reaction 0.5 1.5 7.5 10.0
Liquidliquid mixtures 5.0 15 20
Liquidgas mixtures 5.0 10.0 15 20
Slurries 10.0
3. Proportions of a stirred tank relative to the diameter D: liquid level = D; turbine impeller diameter D/3;
impeller level above bottom = W/3; impeller blade width = D/l5; four vertical baffles width = D/10.
4. Propellers are made a maximum of 18 in., turbine impellers to 9 ft.
5. Gas bubbles sparged at the bottom of the vessel will result in mild agitation at a superficial gas
velocity of 1ft/min, severe agitation at 4 ft/min.
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P
6. Suspension of solids with a settling velocity of 0.03ft/sec is accomplished with either turbine or
propeller impellers, but when the settling velocity is above 0.15 ft/sec intense agitation with a
propeller is needed.
7. Power to drive a mixture of a gas and a liquid can be 25 50% less than the power to drive the liquid
alone.
8. Inline blenders are adequate when a second or two contact time is sufficient, with power inputs of
0.10.2HP/gal.
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P
from Coulson and Richardsons Chemical Engineering Volume 3, 4
th
edition