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Pfaudler has improved the mixing performance of a South African mining organisation’s reactors.

Pfaudler, a glass-lined reactor specialist, offered to work alongside its sister company Chemineer to appraise the existing mixing system and its associated processes to ascertain if efficiency could be improved.

Motors, mechanical seals, agitator shafts and agitator blades were all due for replacement at the mining company, which for its solid-liquid application had traditionally used radial impellers (retreat curve impeller / flat blade turbine), which pump fluid out towards the vessel’s walls.

While radial impellers are suitable for gas-liquid (dispersion) and liquid-liquid processes, Pfaudler utilised Chemineer’s Maestro mixing software to demonstrate a more effective and energy-efficient alternative.

With Maestro, Pfaudler assessed each process-step individually to discover the worst-case power draw.

This enabled it to accurately size the motor for the agitator drive while analysing a variety of impeller choices.

For this solid-liquid (suspension), liquid-liquid heat transfer process, Pfaudler recommended an axial impeller (pitched blade turbine / maxflo turbine), which pumps down to the bottom dish of the tank and then up round the vessel’s walls.

The Maestro software also calculates key mixing parameters such as: solid suspension, blend time, gas dispersion and chemscale (the Chemineer scale indicating the degree of mixing).

Within 10 minutes of entering the data, the results can then be used to produce 2-D CFD pictures that show the direction and magnitude of flow within the reactor.

With far smaller motors now in operation, the mining company is saving energy on its mixing production and is benefiting from more effective and efficient production.

Pfaudler and Chemineer designs and manufactures corrosion-resistant equipment and modular process systems to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as for a comprehensive range of process applications.


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