CFD simulation of shortstopping runaway reactions in vessels agitated with impellers and jets

Dakshinamoorthy, D. ; Khopkar, A. R. ; Louvar, J. F. ; Ranade, V. V. (2006) CFD simulation of shortstopping runaway reactions in vessels agitated with impellers and jets Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 19 (6). pp. 570-581. ISSN 0950-4230

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Runaway reactions are continuing to be a problem in the chemical industry. A recent study showed that 26% of our major chemical plant accidents are due to runaways. The consequences of runaway reactions are usually mitigated with (a) reliefs and containment systems or (b) shortstopping (reaction inhibition). This study covers the concept of shortstopping. One of the major reasons for runaways is power failure. In the advent of a power failure, mixing an inhibiting agent with the reactor contents is challenging. However, jets or impellers driven by a small generator can be used for mixing. This study compares shortstopping results in vessels agitated with jets and impellers using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A commercial CFD code, Fluent is used. For shortstopping systems relying on jet mixing, angle and diameter of jet nozzle and jet velocity are the key design/operating parameters. For the systems with impellers, type, size and RPM of impeller are the key parameters. In this work, mixing with a jet mixer is first investigated for three nozzle diameters and two angles of injection. The best jet mixer configuration on the basis of mixing time is used for shortstopping studies. The simulated shortstopping results with the jet mixer are then compared with those obtained with impeller (Rushton and pitched blade turbine) stirred vessels. Our results identify the conditions for effective shortstopping; i.e., agitation requirements, locations for adding the inhibitor, and the quantity of inhibitor. The distribution of excess inhibitor is shown to be an important and essential design criterion for effective shortstopping when using impeller stirred vessels. The comparative study with a single jet shows that jet mixer is ineffective when used for shortstopping. Efforts such as adding excess inhibitor and inhibition with higher reaction rates at the same power, proved to be ineffective when using jet mixer compared to the results with impellers.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Jet Mixer; Impeller Stirred Vessels; Runaway Reaction; Shortstopping; CFD
ID Code:64712
Deposited On:17 Oct 2011 03:58
Last Modified:17 Oct 2011 03:58

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