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Hindawi Publishing Corporation International Journal of Chemical Engineering Volume 2010, Article ID 242963, 8 pages doi:10.1155/2010/242963

Research Article

Hydrodynamic Cavitation-Assisted Synthesis of Nanocalcite

Shirish H. Sonawane,1 Sarang P. Gumfekar,1 Kunal H. Kate,1 Satish P. Meshram,1 Kshitij J. Kunte,1 Laxminarayan Ramjee,1 Candrashekhar M. Mahajan,1

Madan G. Parande,1 and Muthupandian Ashokkumar2

1 Nanoscience and Engineering Research Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, 666-Upper Indira Nagar, Pune-411037, India

2 School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne VIC 3010, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Muthupandian Ashokkumar, Received 11 November 2009; Revised 5 January 2010; Accepted 5 January 2010

Academic Editor: D. Murzin

Copyright © 2010 Shirish H. Sonawane et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

A systematic study was made on the synthesis of nanocalcite using a hydrodynamic cavitation reactor. The effects of various parameters such as diameter and geometry of orifice, CO2 flow rate, and Ca(OH)2 concentration were investigated. It was observed that the orifice diameter and its geometry had significant effect on the carbonation process. The reaction rate was significantly faster than that observed in a conventional carbonation process. The particle size was significantly affected by the reactor geometry. The results showed that an orifice with 5 holes of 1 mm size resulted in the particle size reduction to 37 nm. The experimental investigation reveals that hydrodynamic cavitation may be more energy efficient.

1. Introduction

The effect of acoustic cavitation on different chemical reactions is well established. Gedanken [1] has reviewed the use of sonochemistry for fabrication of inorganic nanomaterials of various shapes, size, structure, and phases. Acoustic cavitation in liquids leads to two of major effects: physical (streaming, turbulence, microjet, shear, etc.) and chemical (radical production). While acoustic cavitation- induced chemical reactions have been successfully achieved, hydrodynamic cavitation is found to be efficient for appli- cations involving continuous processing such as industrial carbonation operation. It is expected that hydrodynamic cavitation would increase the rate of carbonization reaction by lowering the mass transfer resistance. Hydrodynamic cavitation, in which a liquid is passed through constrictions, such as orifice plate or Venturi, has been found useful in specific chemical reactions. Hydrodynamic cavitation occurs due to the changes in the pressure of liquid flow in a pipe fitted with orifice or Venturi. A liquid experiences a sudden drop in pressure at downstream resulting in the collapse of formed cavities. The collapse of the cavities generates

highly reactive radicals, which are responsible for specific chemical reactions. In gas-solid reactions, the dissolution of solids is enhanced due to the turbulent mixing generated by hydrodynamic cavitation. The vigorous mixing enhances the transport of gas solutes to the solid surface that results in an increase in the mass transfer and hence the overall reaction rate [2–4].

Hydrodynamic cavitation has been found useful in the hydrolysis of fatty oils [5] and polymer solutions [6] and in the formation of styrene butadiene rubber nanosuspensions [7]. Morison and Hutchinson [8] have shown the limitations of the Weissler reaction as a model reaction for measuring efficiency of hydrodynamic cavitation. Senthil kumar et al. [9] and Moholkar et al. [10] have reported that the generation of cavities in a hydrodynamic reactor is very much dependent upon the design and the geometry of the reactors. Gogate and Pandit [11] have reviewed the effect of hydrodynamic cavitation on different industrially important reactions, such as the oxidation of toluene, xylene, and transesterification. Suslick et al. [12] studied dependence of tri iodide formation rate on the hydrodynamic pressure used to induce cavitation. Find and Moser [13] have reported on

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