Practical chaotic mixing

M. M. Alvarez-Hernández, T. Shinbrot, J. Zalc, F. J. Muzzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We present experimental and computational analyses of three-dimensional chaotic laminar mixing in one of the most widely utilized mixing devices, the stirred tank. We find that 98% of the power expended in mechanical stirring produces no detectable mixing at all, and in fact convective mixing is generated solely by tiny perturbations to a dominant non-chaotic flow. By analyzing the role of these perturbations, dramatic improvements in performance are easily achieved: for example, minor judicious, changes in agitator design produce order of magnitude improvements in mixing effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3749-3753
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 13 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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