Flow following sensor particles—Validation and macro-mixing analysis in a stirred fermentation vessel with a highly viscous substrate
A group of flow following sensor particles was validated under real flow conditions in a highly viscous substrate in a 1000 L model fermenter vessel, equipped with a pitched blade impeller, which was operated at two different axial positions in an intermittent mixing regime. The neutrally buoyant sensor particles track basic hydrodynamic and process parameters, namely hydrostatic pressure (giving the axial position), temperature and acceleration. The sensors are connected to a measurement electronics, which is enclosed in a robust capsule that can resist the harsh conditions in an industrial mixing process. The results show that the sensor particles still reflect the flow conditions in the vessel qualitatively. Moreover, the sensor particle data allow estimation of macro-mixing parameters, such as circulation time distributions and average circulation times.
► We validate instrumented flow followers under real flow conditions in a stirred vessel of a highly viscous bio-substrate. ► The sensor particles resist the harsh environments of the mixing process. ► The acquired data reflect the internal conditions of the vessel correctly. ► Parameter profiles such as residence profiles and velocity profiles are extracted from the measured data. ► Flow dynamics and macro-mixing effects are evaluated from the measured data.
Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 69, 15 December 2012, Pages 159–171