“Are we looking to increase yield or improve batch time? Do we need to be concerned with low-level mixing? Should we get single or multiple tiers? And what blades will work best for our process?!” These are the questions that can be overheard when a process engineer is frantically pacing around his cubicle, mulling over the design options for a new mixing system. Okay, maybe we’re being a bit dramatic, or perhaps the engineer in our scenario is agitated about something else (no pun intended), but our point is that considerable thought needs to go into picking an agitation system.
Selecting and fitting the correct agitator for your glass-lined vessel batch process is extremely important for the optimization of your reactor performance. The duty of the agitator must first be assessed, followed by the evaluation of flow pattern and regime as well as any special requirements that need to be taken into consideration, such as blending time, product concentration, and viscosity. Based on the relevant factors that comprise your unique process, an agitator design that matches the requirements of the application can be determined.
The first step to picking out the appropriate agitator is to answer, “What is the most important job for your agitator to accomplish?
” In many situations there are multiple objectives that need to be carried out simultaneously. Here is a list of the common responses to this question:
- Extraction Liquid/Solid
- Chemical Reaction
- Extraction Liquid-Liquid
- Gas Sparging
- Heat Transfer