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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS VOL. 43, 2015

Chief Editors: Sauro Pierucci, Jiří J. Klemeš

Copyright © 2015, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l., ISBN 978-88-95608-34-1; ISSN 2283-9216

A publication of

The Italian Association of Chemical Engineering Online at www.aidic.it/cet

DOI: 10.3303/CET1543127

757

CFD Model of a Spinning Disk Reactor for Nanoparticle Production

Benedetta de Caprariis*, Marco Stoller, Angelo Chianese, Nicola Verdone

Department of Chemical Enrgineering, Sapienza University of Rome, via Eudossiana 18, 00184, Roma Italy benedetta.decaprariis@uniroma1.it

The use of a spinning disk reactor (SDR) was investigated for the continuous production of nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite. SDR is an effective apparatus for the production of nanoparticles by wet chemical synthesis. Rotation of the disc surface at high speed creates high centrifugal fields, which promote thin film flow with a thickness in the range 50 – 500 μm. Films are highly sheared and have numerous unstable surface ripples, giving rise to intense mixing. SDR performances are strongly affected by the adopted operating conditions such as the influence of rotation speed that determines the attainment of micro-mixing and the feeding point location that has a great influence on the particle size distribution of the product. The experimental device consists of a cylindrical vessel with an inner disk, 8.5 cm in diameter, made by PVC coated by an acrylic layer. The rotational velocity of the disc is controlled and ranges from 0 to 147 rad/s. The reagent solutions are fed over the disk at a distance of 5 mm from the disc surface through tubes, 1 mm in diameter.

A computational fluid dynamic model, validated in a previous work, was used to optimize the operative conditions of SDR. Through the CFD model it is possible to analyse the hydrodynamic of the thin liquid film formed on the disk at different speed rotations and to individuate the best mixing conditions between the reagents varying the feeding point positions. The production of hydroxyapatite was also investigated adding the reaction kinetic to model the product formation in the liquid phase and the population balance equation to predict particle size distribution. The simulation results were compared with available experimental data showing that the CFD model is fully capable to describe the process and qualifies as a suitable engineering tool to perform the SDR process design.

1. Introduction

In previous works, the use of a spinning disk reactor (SDR) for the continuous production of nanoparticles of several compounds such as titania (Stoller et al., 2009) and hydroxyapatite (HAP) was reported (Parisi et al., 2011). The so produced nanoparticles were successively applied in several processes with success (Vaiano et al, 2014), such as those reported in some works concerning the photocatalysis of different wastewater streams for purification purposes (Stoller et al., 2011) in particular for the purification of olive mill wastewater (Ruzmanova et al., 2013a; Ruzmanova et al., 2013b). The SDR has many advantages when compared with other mixing devices used for precipitation process: i) a small liquid residence time, limiting the growth rate after nucleation, that leads to the production of narrow PDSs of nanoparticles at a specific target size; ii) micro-mixing conditions attained by means of a limited energy consumption; iii) continuous operation, compatible to industrial practice, can be performed.

SDR performances are strongly affected by the adopted operating conditions such as the rotation speed that determines the attainment of micro-mixing and the feeding point location that has a great influence on the particle size distribution of the product, as recently shown by de Caprariis et al. (2012). As a consequence, a fine description of the thin film hydrodynamics is needed in order to optimize the operating conditions of the SDR.

Please cite this article as: De Caprariis B., Stoller M., Chianese A., Verdone N., 2015, Cfd model of a spinning disk reactor for nanoparticle production, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 757-762 DOI: 10.3303/CET1543127

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