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Report No.
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Rotor speed and supply flow rate effects on flow behavior in an annular centrifugal extractor

Misumi, Ryuta*; Kunii, Kanako*; Todoroki, Kei*; Nishi, Kazuhiko*; Kaminoyama, Meguru*; Sano, Yuichi ; Sakamoto, Atsushi ; Takeuchi, Masayuki 

Annular centrifugal extractors have been used in spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, but the relation between the extraction rate and flow pattern in the vessel remains unclear. This study quantifies characteristics of the flow pattern to clarify this relation. An extractor produces a mixing zone around the vessel bottom and a separation zone in the rotor. The horizontal velocity of the liquid in the mixing zone was measured using particle image velocimetry at various rotor speeds and supply flow rates. Flow behaviors in the mixing zone are of three types, changing with operational conditions: Type A, Type B, and a transition regime. At lower rotor speeds and high supply flow rates, the mixing zone is fully filled with liquid from the vessel bottom up to the lower edge of the rotor: the Type A flow state. At high rotor speeds and low supply flow rates, the zone with existing liquid is vertically divisible into two regions: near the vanes and around the bottom of the rotor, which is the Type B flow state. A transition regime is also observed between Type A and Type B state. In each region surrounding the two vanes on the vessel bottom and the vessel wall, the liquid flowed in the direction of rotor rotation along the vessel wall. Liquid flow altered by the vane flowed toward the center of vessel bottom. The liquid then entered the separation zone through the orifice at the rotor bottom. For the Type A state, the horizontal velocity distribution was roughly proportional to the rotor speed. For the Type B state, the horizontal velocities around the vessel bottom were lower than those of Type A and were not proportional to the rotor speed. Presumably, the liquid fed into the vessel went directly to the rotor instead of passing between the two vanes attached to the vessel bottom.

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Category:Engineering, Chemical

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