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Received: 2005-08-26

Revision Accepted: 2005-09-10

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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2005 Vol.6 No.12 P.1379~1385


Electrical process tomography: seeing “without eyes” inside stirred vessels

Author(s):  Mann R.

Affiliation(s):  Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester M60 1QD, UK

Corresponding email(s):   reginald.mann@manchester.ac.uk

Key Words:  Process imaging, Fluid mixing, Stired vessel

Mann R.. Electrical process tomography: seeing “without eyes” inside stirred vessels[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2005, 6(12): 1379~1385.

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Body-scanning exploiting 3-D imaging has revolutionised diagnostics and treatment in medicine. Process engineers would like to be similarly able to image chemical process units in 3-D, but without the £multi-million price tag. UMIST and Leeds University have together, through the Virtual Centre for Industrial Process Tomography (http://www.vcipt.org), pioneered several electrical process tomography techniques and used them in a variety of applications. Illustrations are presented to show how electrical resistance tomography (ERT) has been developed for typical stirred vessels widely encountered in batch process manufacturing. The technique is potentially fast and inexpensive and capable of imaging both dynamic and pseudo-stationary processes. Examples from UMIST’s two-tonne vessel will be presented for miscible tracer mixing, as well as gas-liquid and solid-liquid mixing.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


[1] Hristov, H., Mann, R., Lossev, V., Vlaev, S.D., Seichter, P., 2001. A 3D analysis of gas-liquid mixing, mass transfer and bioreaction in a stirred bio-reactor. Trans. I. Chem. E., 79(C):232-239.

[2] Hristov, H., Mann, R., Lossev, V., Vlaev, S.D., 2004. A simplified CFD for three-dimensional analysis of fluid mixing, mass transfer and bioreaction in a fermenter equipped with triple novel geometry impellers. Trans. I. Chem. E., 82(C1):21-34.

[3] Holden, P.J., Wang, M., Mann, R., Dickin, F.J., Edwards, R.B., 1998. Imaging stirred vessel macromixing using electrical resistance tomography. AIChE Journal, 44:780-789.

[4] Levenspiel, O., 1999. Chemical Reaction Engineering. 3rd Edition. Wiley, New York.

[5] Mann, R., Pillai, S.K., El-Hamouz, A.M., Ying, P., Togatorop, A., Edwards, R.B., 1995. Computational fluid mixing in stirred vessels: Progress from seeing to believing. Chemical Engineering Journal, 59:39-50.

[6] Mann, R., Dickin, F.J., Wang, M., Dyakowski, T., Williams, R.A., Edwards, R.B., Forrest, A.E., Holden, P.J., 1997. Application of electrical resistance tomography to interrogate mixing processes at plant scale. Chem. Eng. Sci., 52:2087-2097.

[7] Mann, R., Wang, M., Forrest, A.E., Holden, P.J., Dickin, F.J., Dyakowski, T., Edwards, R.B., 1999. Gas-liquid and miscible liquid mixing in a plant-scale vessel monitored using electrical resistance tomography. Chem. Eng. Commun., 175:39-48.

[8] Mann, R., Stanley, S.J., Vlaev, D., Wabo, E., Primrose, K., 2001. Augmented-reality visualisation of fluid mixing in stirred chemical reactors using electrical resistance tomography (ERT). J. Electronic Imaging, 10(3):620-629.

[9] Rahimi, M., Mann, R., 2001. Macro-mixing, partial segregation and 3D selectivity fields inside a semi-batch stirred reactor. Chem. Eng. Sci., 56:763-771.

[10] Stanley, S.J., Mann, R., Primrose, K., 2002. Tomographic imaging of fluid mixing in 3-D for single-feed semi-batch operation of a stirred vessel. Trans. I. Chem. E., 80(A):903-909.

[11] Wang, M., Dorward, A., Vlaev, D.S., Mann, R., 2000. Measurements of gas-liquid mixing in a stirred vessel using electrical resistance tomography. Chemical Engineering Journal, 77:93-98.

[12] Williams, R.A., Mann, R., Dyakowski, T., Dickin, F.J., Edwards, R.B., 1997. Development of mixing models using electrical resistance tomography. Chem. Eng. Sci., 52:2073-2085.

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