Coherent structure characteristics of the swirling flow during turbulent mixing in a multi-inlet vortex reactor

Hitimana, Emmanuel
Fox, Rodney
Hill, James
Fox, Rodney
Olsen, Michael
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Fox, Rodney
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Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical EngineeringChemical and Biological Engineering

Improving the efficiency of the production of uniformly sized functional nanoparticles for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications has been a problem of great interest. The macroscale multi-inlet vortex Reactor (macro-MIVR) could potentially be used for this purpose due to its ability to achieve the rapid mixing necessary for the flash nanoprecipitation nanoparticle fabrication technique. In the presented work, the coherent structures, a key contributor to the turbulent mixing, were investigated for the turbulent swirling flow within the MIVR. The two-point spatial correlations of velocity and concentration fluctuations at various basepoints were measured from instantaneous velocity and concentration fields obtained using simultaneous stereoscopic particle image velocimetry and planar laser-induced fluorescence. The basepoint locations were chosen as the middle and at the edge of the partially mixed concentration spiral arms. The correlations were found to be elliptical in shape, inclined, and peaked at the basepoints. A region near the basepoint was positively correlated and was surrounded by negatively correlated regions. Autocorrelations of concentration were also elliptical and curved toward the center of the reactor. The linear stochastic estimation was used to interpret the coherent structure features that would result in the observed spatial correlations. The linear stochastic estimates of the velocity fields were computed directly from the cross correlations of the tangential velocity fluctuations with the concentration fluctuations. The estimated conditional velocity fields revealed obliquely oriented counter-rotating vortical structures that stir the fluid from high-concentration regions to low-concentration regions, and the orientation of these vortical structures depended on the local concentration gradient.


This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in Hitimana, Emmanuel, Rodney O. Fox, James C. Hill, and Michael G. Olsen. "Coherent structure characteristics of the swirling flow during turbulent mixing in a multi-inlet vortex reactor." Physics of Fluids 33, no. 6 (2021): 065119 and may be found at DOI: 10.1063/5.0049014. Posted with permission.