Effects of agitator blade scaling on mixing in dissolving tanks, TAPPI Journal April 2022

Application: A smelt dissolving tank model has been developed to predict how tank hydrodynamics and smelt concentrations respond to the presence of agitator scaling.

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Author: Patrick Gareau, Markus Bussmann, and Nikolai DeMartini
Effects of agitator blade scaling on mixing in dissolving ta
ABSTRACT: Hard calcium carbonate scale often forms on the agitators in smelt dissolving tanks. The effects of this scale on mixing are not well understood. While mixing in tanks has often been modeled in the literature, there have been no studies involving agitator scaling. To better understand the impact of agitator scaling on hydrodynamics and tank concentrations, a steady state, three-dimensional (3D) model has been developed for a smelt dissolving tank at a kraft pulp mill. In this work, four cases are compared: an agitator with no scaling, mild scaling, moderate scaling, and extreme scaling. The extreme scaling case is representative of scale buildup on a dissolving tank agitator that was significant enough that the agitator had to be stopped and cleaned. The reduction in the agitator fluid jet velocity is relatively small for the mild and moderate scaling cases, but it becomes more significant for the extreme scaling case, for which the results indicate that the mixing of the smelt with the weak wash is likely poor and that there would thus be a risk of smelt pooling.

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