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Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2007, 46, 2618-2627

Inline Bitumen Emulsification Using Static Mixers
Jean-Philippe Gingras,† Louis Fradette,† Philippe Tanguy,*,† and Jacques Bousquet‡
URPEI-TOTAL Chair, Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal, Canada H3C 3A7, and TOTAL, BP 22, 69360 Ä Solaize, France

Highly concentrated bitumen-in-water emulsions were produced with static mixers in continuous mode. The effect of the following process parameters on the average droplet size was studied: emulsion flowrate, static mixers configuration, and surfactant concentration as well as bitumen hardness, concentration, and temperature. Several static mixer configurations were investigated consisting of combinations of SMX (Sulzer Chemtech Ltd.) and helical elements with empty sections. The drop size results revealed that the mean droplet size could be scaled with the energy or the power draw depending on the static mixer configuration. Moreover, it was shown that the energy draw could capture the effect of emulsion flowrate and bitumen concentration on the mean droplet size, whereas the power draw (or the specific power) captured the effect of the emulsion flowrate and bitumen temperature. It was also demonstrated that the specific energy, or pressure drop, was minimized when SMX mixers were inserted after helical mixers.
Introduction Bitumen emulsions for road surfacing are usually produced with rotor-stator technologies in continuous mode. These emulsions are stabilized oil-in-water dispersions that are liquid at ambient temperature and can be applied by means of a variety of cold methods. The typical dispersed phase content in the emulsion is 55-70%, and the average droplet size ranges between 5 and 50 µm, yielding a product with a viscosity less than 0.1 Pa‚s particularly easy to manipulate as a paving material. A challenge related with the production of modern bitumen emulsions is to reach a droplet size of the order of 1 µm or less without changing the emulsion formulation. Gingras et al.1 conducted experimental trials on a bench-scale unit equipped with an inline rotor-stator and an industrial formulation following the practice in the road industry. Rotorstator devices are composed of a rotating blade impeller or toothed crown enclosed in a static cage with small gaps, typically a slotted cylinder. The results revealed that the droplet size was limited by the short residence time, which promoted recoalescence. The coalescing phenomenon was particularly pronounced when the residence time in the dispersing zone was of the same order of magnitude as the droplet breakup time and the surfactant adsorption time. The study illustrated the lack of knowledge of the hydrodynamics in inline rotor-stator geometries, explaining why the droplet size calibration and the process scaleup are often carried out by trial-and-error in industry. To overcome these difficulties, Gingras et al.2 developed an innovative approach in which a high-internal-phase-ratio (HIPR) emulsion is processed in a coaxial mixer. HIPR emulsions are characterized by a network of polyhedral droplets.3 This unconventional drop pattern confers viscoelastic and shearthinning behaviors not seen with classical emulsions. HIPR based emulsification processes are particularly suitable to produce small droplets with conventional mixing technology, because their high effective viscosities during emulsification allow reaching high shear stresses without having to apply extremely large shear rates. This also implies that the viscous
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: philippe.tanguy@polymtl.ca. Fax: 514-340-4105. † Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. Ä ´ ‡ TOTAL.

forces are dominant leading to a process operated in the laminar regime. The approach elaborated by Gingras et al.2 consists of two steps, namely the formation of the right droplet size by mixing a HIPR emulsion at an optimized composition and a water dilution stage at a concentration allowing emulsion pumpability. The HIPR emulsion is formed by gradually adding bitumen to an aqueous phase, followed by mixing during a few minutes to reach the desired droplet size range. By comparison with the conventional bitumen emulsification process,4-6 this approach is characterized by a longer residence time in the dispersing zone, a higher dispersed phase concentration (during emulsification), and lower shear rates. It should be mentioned that an important limitation of stirred tank technologies is the segregated zones that may appear within the dispersion volume. These flow anomalies are a source of nonuniform droplet distributions throughout the vessel volume, which may yield to a polydisperse end-product and make the process scaleup difficult. Due to their complex rheology, HIPR emulsions are particularly prone to segregations and cavern formation.7 It is clear from the above that a compromise must be established that combines the advantage of an inline process where it is possible to emulsify in a smaller working volume per unit time and the stirred vessel approach with low hydrodynamic severity. Static mixers may be used for this purpose. Indeed, not only do they offer the same advantages in terms of space requirement and throughput than rotor-stators, but the added benefits include a shear level significantly lower,8 a larger dispersion volume, and well-established scaleup procedures.9 A wide variety of geometries are available as reported in a recent review paper on static mixers.10 The objective of this paper is to investigate whether it is possible to obtain a HIPR bitumen emulsion in the micrometer range with static mixers in continuous mode and control the droplet size. Before describing the experimental approach that we developed, it seems appropriate to review briefly the literature on HIPR emulsions in order to put in evidence the main factors governing the droplet size. The classical approach11,12 to predict the droplet size in laminar flow, based on the critical capillary number, is not considered in this paper because it relies on several conditions (constant deformation forces, absence of droplet interaction, initial spherical shape, etc.) that are quasi-impossible to obtain

10.1021/ie0611913 CCC: $37.00 © 2007 American Chemical Society Published on Web 03/17/2007

in agreement with drop breakup models in quasi-static flow. using the following: Grace highlighted the different behavior of dispersions of low (η < 10-1) and high (η > 5) viscosity ratios. For the first stages. the surfactant mass fraction was included along with dissipated energy to increase the correlation accuracy.. mostly in stirred vessels.18 developed a close-clearance agitation geometry to study the effect of rotation speed on the droplet size in mayonnaise sauce (a HIPR emulsion) operated in batch E) ∆pπD2L 4 (12) It was found that C9 increased as η decreased and φ increased. but the inventors suggest that any commercially available static mixers can be employed for both stages. phenomena related to HIPR emulsification that are still not fully understood (droplet breakup mechanism and dynamic interfacial tension) are required to apply this approach.2 also linked the median diameter with the energy dissipated by the closeclearance impeller for a constant mass of emulsion. No. To keep using eq 9 for the prediction of d. The effect of process parameters on the droplet size in laminar flow was also studied by Fradette et al.20 for SMX elements.2 (3) It was shown that C4 decreases as the dispersed phase concentration φ increases. 8. the following relationship is proposed: mode. the review will focus on studies conducted on a scalable emulsification process aiming to identify the key factors affecting the droplet size. the average shear rate corresponds to14 V 4Q γ ) C3 ) C3 3 ˘ D πD (2) where C6 depends on the dispersed and continuous phase viscosities. they recommend to keep the ratio between “the active surface” of the static mixer and the flowrate constant. C7 has to be estimated for each configuration of static mixers. the master curve obtained by Grace with pressure . Res.16 A few articles have been published on the droplet size calibration in a larger dispersion volume for HIPR emulsion.2 The objective herein is to review the parameters and models proposed to predict the droplet size.e. Alternatively. The following equation was proposed: d ) C9E-0. A detailed summary of these studies is given elsewhere. for η > 5. a ) 0.13 described a two-stage static mixer process for HIPR emulsions. a ) 1 was found.15. Interestingly. The limited number of publications on this topic includes the work of Grace14 in which several liquid-liquid dispersions experiments at low dispersed phase concentration with Kenics static mixers were conducted. The literature on inline HIPR emulsification is scarce. Karbstein and Schubert19 combined the specific power and the residence time in the dispersing zone to establish the mean specific energy (E) in a rotor-stator device: ˆ E ) j × hR ) ˆ t P Q (7) which was related with the average droplet size in laminar flow by d) C6 E ˆ (8) d ) C1 + C2 γ ˘ (1) In a static mixer.25 where the energy dissipated was computed by (11) dmed ) C6E -0. whereas.62yS-4. Gingras et al.2 found that the deformation based on the average shear rate of the close-clearance impeller in a coaxial system is the governing parameter. A correlation that takes into account the effect of the deformation and the composition was proposed: dmed ) C5γcorr-0.5.42 yS -4. These exponents were determined by modifying the flowrate (Q) on the same static mixer configuration. In semibatch mode.8 (4) It should be noted that the deformation as defined in eq 4 depends on φ. d ) C8∆p-b (10) ˆ d32 ) C4(φ)E-0. Moreover.17 suggested the following relationship when the HIPR emulsion was formed in a tank equipped with a single Rushton turbine: d ) C7 ( ) σ µcγ ˘ a (9) where µc is the continuous phase viscosity. C7 or C8 decreased for static mixer assemblies with relaxation zones. For η > 5. Catafalmo et al. Briceno et al. Adler-Nissen et al. The first stage of static mixers is required to premix the immiscible phases while the average droplet size scales with the shear rate in the second stage. Eng. Therefore. Several experiments were performed with the same agitation time yielding to the following model: dmed ) 11 γ-0.Ind. Grace found that the relaxation zone led to smaller droplets for the same flowrate or pressure drop.66 ˘ (6) The emulsification studies for inline production of standard emulsions (non-HIPR) in laminar flows can also be helpful to identify the governing factors that control the droplet size. The numerous results presented graphically by Grace can be summarized by the following equations: where C3 depends on the geometry of the static mixer and can be determined with the Metzner and Otto approach. the interfacial tension.). i. no scientific publication focuses on inline HIPR emulsification based on static mixers with the exception of patents. Grace also noticed that the length of the static mixer and relaxation zone between mixers affected the mean droplet size. For the second stage. The examples given in the patent report the use of SMX elements (Sulzer Chemtech Ltd.5. Chem.. Gingras et al. he observed that the experimental points collapsed on a master curve when d was plotted versus the pressure drop in the static mixer of various lengths without a relaxation zone and that eq 10 was more appropriate with b ) 0. and others parameters not captured by the specific energy. To the best of our knowledge. 2007 2619 in a real emulsification process characterized by complex hydrodynamics.2 (5) As for eq 4. 46. Vol. At low η.

20 between the average droplet size and the energy shows that the approach of Karbstein and Schubert19 for rotor-stators is also relevant for static mixers in laminar flows. comprised a fatty polyamine surfactant (alkoxylated alkyl(ene) polyamines) provided by CECA (France). The good fit obtained by Grace14 and Fradette et al. Figure 2. Eng. and the bitumen tank were all provided with heating systems. In our experiments. Schematic representation of the bench-scale unit. The emulsification takes place in the mixing section by means of static mixers inserted in “mixing cells” where the bitumen and the soap are fed simultaneously. as no heat exchanger was installed before the outlet of the mixing section. To prevent water evaporation. Between the pump and the outlet of the loop. Two types of static mixers were selected (Figure 2). Vol. Methodology The experiments were carried out with a single formulation. Each SMX is composed of six elements having a length equal to its diameter (L ) D ) Figure 1.. 46. Bitumen ii was harder (more viscous) than bitumen i at room (and the emulsification) temperature. water. The dispersed phase was composed of various batches of bitumen PG 64-22 (McAsphalt. the soap preparation process. while the helical one has four elements with a length larger than its diameter (L/D ) 1. the ratio between the bitumen (QB) flowrate and the .94 0. The bitumen and mixing section piping. For this purpose. Canada). The surfactant concentration was estimated by assuming that the mass of surfactant was equal to the mass of fatty polyamine added during the soap preparation. tap water. Each trial was started with the heating of bitumen until the desired bitumen temperature was obtained. The pressure drop was monitored by means of two pressure transducers (Omega Engineering) installed upstream and downstream the mixing cells. This mixing section is designed with six consecutive identical cells in which a static mixer assembly (an assembly is composed of several elements) can be inserted. Emulsion Composition Ranges Investigated weight fractions min bitumen (xB) surfactant (xS) water 0. The helical element has a geometry similar to the well-known KM elements from Chemineer Inc. i. An experimental setup allowing operation in a fully continuous mode was designed and built (Figure 1). It comprised three parts: the bitumen heater. referred to as i and ii.13 Therefore.4). 8. many scenarios are conceivable to control the droplet size in HIPR emulsification with static mixers. the emulsification temperature depended mainly on the bitumen temperature because there was no heating system in the soap loop.e. The final pH of the soap was adjusted between 0.pout Q e ) QB + QS The total length (L) of static mixer was estimated by (13) (14) L ) NSMXD + 1. a Coriolis mass flowmeter (Micro Motion) and a three-way valve are installed in sequence. Chem. 2007 Table 1. Res.13 drop (eq 10) as the predicting variable was more accurate (R2 is larger) when the energy dissipated was taken as the independent variable. we ensured that the temperature at the outlet of the mixing section did not exceed 100 °C.8 and 1. the water concentration included the tap water and the hydrochloric acid added during soap preparation. The dimensions of a mixing cell are indicated in Figure 1.6. The concentrations of the three components (bitumen.. To feed the mixing section.017 0. Although the bitumen grade was kept the same. the bitumen and the soap sections can be operated in loop mode.053 0. The pressures and flowrates measurements were recorded with a data acquisition system during the bench-scale unit operation allowing the pressure drop (∆p) and the emulsion flowrate (Qe) measurements by ∆p ) pin . The samples were classified in two categories. while a gear pump (Pulsafeeder Inc.2620 Ind.) is used for the bitumen. and surfactant) expressed on a weight basis are given in Table 1.81 0.4NHD (15) where NSMX and NH are respectively the number of SMX and helical elements. the mixing cells. 15. Photograph of the SMX and helical static mixers tested in this work. and hydrochloric acid to activate the surfactant hydrophilic head. No. This finding is contradictory with the dependence between the average droplet size and the shear rate reported for HIPR emulsification with static mixers. The exponent obtained in this case was -0.8 mm). namely helical elements (Statiflo International) and SMX elements (Sulzer).04 max 0. also called the “soap”. The continuous phase. the analysis of the batches revealed differences likely originating from variable sources of crude oil at the refining stage. The three-way valve gives the option of feeding the soap or the bitumen back to the storage tank or the mixing section. a progressive cavity pump (PCM Moineau) is installed in the soap section. As it can be seen in Figure 1. and the emulsification section.

In this article. For the range of Qe and xB reported in Table 2.2 Few of the drops of the diluted emulsion were dispersed in a solution slightly above the critical micellar concentration. The influence of Qe on the mean diameter was captured by the pressure drop measurement. Many configurations were discarded due to the insufficient deformation forces created at the maximum HIPR emulsion flowrate allowed on the setup. These MCCs were chosen among the 36 ) 729 possibilities (a cell could be empty or occupied by a SMX or a helical mixer). Results The effect of six experimental parameters (Table 2) on the emulsion droplet size was investigated for a total of 74 runs. Figure 4. we selected the volume median diameter (dmed) as the basis for the average droplet diameter.370 kg/h see Table 1 A-J i and ii 26. 46. A MCC in which a helical mixer is inserted in each cell (a total of 24 elements) is an example of such an inadequate MCC: for Qe ) 350 kg/h and xB ) 0. and 31 (wt %) 90 and 97 °C total flowrate (QB + QS) was first set at 0. 8.9. Res. Influence of the energy dissipated (E) on dmed for ten mixing cells configurations: fitting curve on MCC G (+). These observations are in agreement with a CFD work in which key hydrodynamic parameters were computed for SMX and helical mixers geometries. the average droplet size can be controlled by the emulsion flowrate and the bitumen concentration via the energy draw (or the pressure drop) measurements. the values of dmed obtained for a given level of energy for two different MCCs are not necessarily similar. Vol. However. 2 and 1/2 and 4 helical elements have to be used to reach the same level of distributive mixing and stretching of a single SMX element. This dilution was performed in batch mode with a commercial hand mixer at low rotational speed.75 ( 0. This result shows that. Eng. Chem. Although the range of xB values investigated is rather large. larger values of dmed are obtained for the same .. 2007 2621 Table 2. the energy dissipated in the static mixers (evaluated with eq 12) is plotted versus dmed in Figure 4 for MCC A-J. The MCC G for which most of the runs were conducted will be taken as the reference MCC in the result analysis presented below. 29. The term dmed is the diameter that corresponds to 50% of the volume cumulative distribution and is a reference mark widely used among bitumen emulsion practitioners. These highly diluted emulsions were analyzed with a Mastersizer S (Malvern Instruments) to obtain the droplet size distribution (DSD). a plateau is reached even if more SMX elements are added to increase the energy dissipated.05 to avoid high initial pressure peaks and the backflow of bitumen in the soap section. Figure 3 shows the mixing cells configuration (MCC) tested for various values of Qe and xB (other experimental parameters were initially kept constant). Rauline et al. The negligible effect of the dilution step on the droplet size had also been noticed in a coaxial mixer benchscale unit. Simulating viscous fluids flowing in the laminar regime. Once a steady-state operation was reached. It should be noted that repeated measurements from the same sample led to DSD values with very small deviation. The configurations shown in Figure Figure 3. Mixing cells configurations (MCCs) investigated. respectively. It was verified that the dilution step did not influence the average droplet size (results not shown). the experimental points collapse on the same curve for the reference MCC. they also obtained that. The dashed line in Figure 4 is fitted on the data of reference MCC with a power trend showing that dmed decreases as E increases. MCC I and J.g.Ind. No. The flowrates were then adjusted at a desired set point by modifying the rotational speed of the pumps in order to increase QB/QS gradually. for a given cell configuration. Tap water at 60 °C was added directly in the container to dilute the bitumen emulsion to the concentration commonly used in road surfacing applications. At E ≈ 175 J. an average droplet size of 25 µm was obtained.. a sample of about 500 g of concentrated emulsion was taken in a one-L container. When the number of SMX elements (NSMX) is significantly higher that of the helical elements (NH). The polydispersity of the distributions was quantified by the ratio between the mean volume-weighted (d43) and surface-weighted diameters (d32). It was established that at least two SMX mixers (12 elements) have to be inserted in an MCC in order to fall in an acceptable range of dmed. Range or Levels of Experimental Parameters Investigated experimental parameters emulsion flowrate (Qe) emulsion bitumen concentration (xB) mixing cells configuration (MCC) bitumen hardness soap surfactant concentration (yS) bitumen temperature (TB) range or levels 90 .8 showed that the average shear rate provided by a SMX element is twice that of a helical type. We also verified that the delay between the sampling and the analysis had also no influence on the DSD. Many average diameters can be extracted from the DSD measurement. 3 were selected to highlight the effect of the number of elements and the combination of helical and SMX mixers on the droplet size. e.

it is interesting to see that configurations A. The effect on dmed of the parameters that were kept constant in the results presented above.21 i. and bitumen temperature (TB) on MCC G: fitting curve on first series (+). and E led to distributions with lower dmed values and larger polydispersity by comparison with the reference configuration. Vol. Influence of the power dissipated (P) on dmed for ten mixing cells configurations: fitting curve on MCC G (+). D. bitumen hardness. by comparison with the cases where there are two or less SMX elements per helical element in the mixing cells. the MCCs without empty cells collapse on the same curve when the polydispersity is plotted versus E or P (see also Figure 7).e.g. The data corresponding to the configurations without empty cells (MCC C and MCC G-J) collapse on the same curve. MCC C and G. e.7 µm. soap surfactant concentration (yS).. soap surfactant concentration (yS). Influence of the energy dissipated (E) on dmed for different combinations of bitumen hardness (i or ii). The cause of this limitation will be discussed below. soap surfactant concentration. the results indicate that the design of mixing cells limits the median droplet size to around 1. Figure 6. Figure 5. 46. For the same level of energy or power dissipated (obtained with various combinations of Qe and xB on the reference MCC).. and bitumen temperature. could be seen in Figures 8and 9. It can be seen in Figure 5 that the droplet size diameter decreases as the power is increased. Figure 8. . Eng. The MCC with empty cells characterized by a lower range of E yielded larger polydispersity.. Figure 6 shows that the polydispersity reaches a plateau when E > 100 J. and the diameters obtained fall below the experimental points of the other configuration for which larger values of dmed are obtained for the same power level. i. Chem. No. the emulsification of harder bitumen leads to larger droplets and the effect of yS corresponds to the same findings as with the stirred tank emulsification. Influence of the energy dissipated (E) on the polydispersity for ten mixing cells configurations: fitting curve on MCC G (+). 2007 Figure 7. and bitumen temperature (TB) on MCC G: fitting curve on first series (+).2. Influence of the power dissipated (P) on dmed for different combinations of bitumen hardness (i or ii). Influence of the power (P) on the polydispersity for ten mixing cells configurations: fitting curve on MCC G (+). The power draw in the static mixer has been estimated by ∆pQ. For the same level of energy. The same set of experimental data is plotted versus the power draw in Figure 5. energy consumption. Given that the maximum outputs of the pumps were reached in our trials. 8.e.2622 Ind.. Figure 9. Res. As for the effect of the power on dmed.

A covariance analysis had to be performed. Because most of these parameters are extracted from study involving mechanical agitation technologies. γ is evaluated by γ ) 45NSMX + 22 × 1. the total . This parameter can be expressed in a dimensionless form by the following: 4Qe γ ) 22 3 ˘ πD (18) otherwise. four other governing factor candidates are considered based on models proposed in the literature to predict the droplet size. Four of these parameters can be estimated with the pressure drop measurements. it was shown that the energy (E) or the specific energy (E) could be advantageously taken as governing paramˆ eters. the covariance model is written as [ln(dmed)]ij ) β0 + MCCi + β1([ln(GFk)]ij . For eq 20. yS and. Moreover. The logarithmic form of the quantitative variables was chosen because most models and scaling laws to which our results will be compared have power law expressions. because they captured the effect of xB and yielded the KP ) D2∆p πD4∆p ) µVL 4µQL (16) The replacement of ∆p by the ratio deduced from eq 16 gives the dependence of the listed governing parameters on the static mixer geometry and dimensions (D. In a first attempt. yS. The covariance analysis of eq 20 was performed successively for each governing parameter with the strategy of Figure 10. For the effect of TB. the product of f and Re yields a parameter that depends on the static mixer geometry. Afterward. The indices i. the MCCs. the shear rate is estimated as the maximum shear rate 4Qe γ ) 40 3 ˘ πD Figure 10. a good fit was obtained with a power law trend in Figures 4 and 5. When both types of ˘ mixers are combined in the mixing cells. To address these issues adequately. xB. j.Ind.ln(GFk)) + β2([ln(xB)]ij . The governing factor candidates for which the estimation is not based on pressure drop measurements (γ and γ) depend on ˘ the geometrical constant of the static mixer ks. for a given configuration. we can infer that the variable is captured by the governing factors. The ks values commonly found in the literature22 for SMX and helical elements are 40 and 22.28 is not as significant as the previous parameters especially in Figure 9. It was also found that the bitumen hardness. In laminar flow. Therefore. γ and γ can be easily determined. because no governing factors captured the effect of (all) MCCs and xB on dmed. If an MCC or xB is not significant. The covariance analysis for the model of eq 20 was performed with a statistical software package (STATISTICA). Strategy for the identification of the key factors affecting the median droplet size. Average Droplet Size Modeling The modeling strategy employed is described in Figure 10 for the 53 trials in which the bitumen hardness. Vol. However. 8.4NH (19) The range of each governing factor candidate is reported in the last column of Table 3. On the other hand. A covariance model23 combines categorical factors and quantitative variables to predict the quantitative response variable. the shear rate could be considered to predict the average droplet size. the second column shows the particular expression of these parameters for static mixers. If a single type of mixer is installed in the mixing cells. the gap between 97 °C (lozenges) and 90 °C (“X” symbols) for the same bitumen hardness and yS ) 0. f is inversely proportional to the Reynolds number (Re). In addition to energy and power. (17) if at least one SMX mixer is inserted in the mixing cells and increasing yS allows the formation of smaller droplets.ln(xB)) (20) where β0 is the overall mean and β1 and β2 are the regression coefficients. These relations are given in the third column of Table 3. Res. the model obtained is analyzed to verify if the variables are statistically significant. 46. The best-case scenario mentioned above was not obtained in this work. 2007 2623 emulsion flowrate (Q ) Qe). A crucial assumption of covariance models is the constant slopes for each level of the categorical factors. jth observation of the ith level. it is not clear whether they are the unique factors or other governing factors like the specific energy. Eng. TB had no significant effect of the polydispersity (results not shown). The deformation is estimated as the total deformation caused by each element. The effect of MCC could also be seen in Figure 11 in which the dmed was evaluated (with the 95% confidence limit) for the average governing factor and xB for each configuration. and TB have been considered as constant. and Table 4 highlights the key results. and kth governing factor listed in Table 3. For the conditions described above. and the effective emulsification viscosity (µ ) µeff). because MCC was a categorical factor and xB and the governing factor were continuous variables. An explanation for this finding is given below. a statistical analysis has been carried out. The best-case scenario would be that a governing factor includes the effect of modifying the MCC. and other critical process parameters on the average droplet size. Chem. and k stand for the ith level of MCC (between A and J). By combining the relationship of Table 3 and eq 15. The pressure drop in a pipe (with or without static mixers) depends on the friction factor (f). The above results seem to indicate that either the energy or the power could be used as a variable to predict the droplet size for a given MCC. dmed is correlated with three variables: the governing factor candidate. They are all listed in Table 3. L. No.. and the xB. this means that β1 and β2 are similar for each MCC. and KP).

-0.91 0.28 [-0.+95% CL] n/ap n/ap -1. The discrepancy between the values reported in Table 5 can be attributed to the fact that several factors related with the emulsification process affect the exponent of the energy.64 [-0.67 [-0. The regression coefficient β1 (or log-log slope) of E or E obtained in this work can be compared with those found ˆ in the literature (Table 5).64 [-0. (d) specific power.-0.97 0.-4.. (b) specific energy.16 × 106-24.7 W 48-285. 8.05] highest R2.95] β2 [-95% CL. Eng. (c) power.84 [-2.09 [-1.09 [-1.59] -0.-0.44 [-0. Res. Key Results of the Covariance Model of Equation 20 significant effect GF in eq 20 specific energy energy specific power power shear rate deformation GF yes yes yes yes yes yes MCC yes yes yes yes yes no xB no no yes yes yes yes R2 0. For the same formulation of the bitumen emulsion.-0.82 0.80] -2.34 β1 [-95% CL.-0.59] -0. Equation 20 dmed prediction for the mixing cells configurations A-J for the (a) energy.+95% CL] -0. Governing Factor Candidates.84. 2007 Figure 11.24] -0.34] -1.-0.61. Table 3.34] -0.88.52.91 0.28 [-0.5 J 786-1620 356-1447 s-1 Table 4.39.-0. the P and are good predictors for a given configuration when the dispersed phase concentration is added as a complementary factor in the model. and Ranges Investigated in this Work GF candidates specific energy specific power power energy deformation shear rate expression for static mixers E ) ∆p ˆ ) 4∆pQe/πD2L P ) ∆pQe E ) ∆pπD2L/4 γ ) ksL/D γ ) ksV/D ) ks4Qe/πD3 ˘ developed relationship for laminar flow E ) 4KPµeffQeL/πD4 ˆ ) 16KPµeffQe2/π2D6 P ) 4KPµeffQe2L/πD4 E ) KPµeffQeL2/D2 range tested in this work 4. (e) shear rate.33 [-0. Chem.5-161.-0.84.97 0.24] -0. No.2624 Ind.69. the coefficient found with static mixers is higher than the one obtained in the coaxial mixer.73 × 106-26 × 106 J m-3 1. and (f) deformation as governing factors (GF).31. The scaling found between the mean droplet size and the deformation in .7 × 106 W m-3 12. Calculation Method for Static Mixers.34] -1.-0.69. 46.31. Vol. Despite their slightly lower R2.

Before the equilibrium state. Vol. The larger R2 corresponding to energy-related factors can be explained by the fact that µeffQe is directly proportional to the shear stress expression in laminar flow (µγ). the following equation is proposed: dmed ) C10(yS. “Capture Matrix” of the Bitumen Hardness. the mean level of energy (120 J) yielded a dmed in a close range except for configuration B in which the SMX mixers were put before the helical mixers (see the square area in Figure 11a).2 Despite the significantly lower shear rate in the vessel. This implies that γ ) constant.64 Table 6. composition. it can be evaluated by the product of the pressure drop and the flowrate. The results summarized in Table 6 demonstrate that the bitumen hardness and the yS need to be added as complementary factors in the prediction model. Nevertheless. the specific energy cannot be taken as the grouping governing parameter for the MCC in group 1. smaller droplets (dmed_min ) 0. and temperature as those of this study were produced in a coaxial mixer. the emulsion flowrate and the bitumen concentration were varied on the reference MCC. the same approach was taken to verify if these experimental factors could be captured by the governing factors. Nevertheless. This can be interpreted as if there was a critical threshold below which the dmed scales with the energy and above which the dmed scales with the power or specific power.8 For configurations A-G (group 1). an increase of µd (without changing TB) caused an increase of dmed (see Figures 8 and 9).24 Interestingly. The combination of an extended residence time in the dispersing zone and a low shear rate which enhance . Given that the helical mixer is less efficient than the SMX one for dispersion applications in laminar flow. This shows that before an equilibrium state is reached. The 95% confidence limits of the coefficients of eqs 21 and 22 are reported in Table 4. The energy cost for a continuous emulsification process with static mixer depends on the pumps’ power consumption. 46. This shows the benefits of adding lowshear mixers before high-shear mixers for HIPR emulsification. No. and TB) could be compared for this specific aspect.Ind. a single model cannot be proposed due to the effect of the mixing cells configurations. The specific energy in static mixers corresponds to the pressure drop across the MCC as indicated in Table 3. MCC C should be chosen in this case. Among the MCCs tested.6. is a key aspect for HIPR emulsification with static mixers and is in agreement with the two-stage approach proposed by Catafalmo et al. As can be seen in the various graphs of Figure 11. 2007 2625 Table 5. In most applications. Log-Log Slopes for Scaling Relation between the Average Droplet Size and the Energy or Specific Energy Found in the Literature and in this Work emulsification parameters inline rotor-stator in laminar flow19 static mixer (helical) in laminar flow14 static mixer (SMX) in laminar flow20 coaxial mixer/HIPR emulsion2 stirred-tank/HIPR emulsion17 this work log-log slopes 1 0. the average droplet size scales with L-1.TB)E-0.. In summary. Obviously.28xB-1. we explained this behavior by an equilibrium state between rupture and coalescence reached above the threshold. the strategy similar to the one shown in Figure 10 was performed with a covariance analysis. The experimental plan was not designed to assess the effect of relaxation volume on the droplet size.4 µm) were obtained. this choice will be adequate if the energy or the power dissipated is sufficient to reach the desired droplet size. this result demonstrates that a premixing step. The same observations can also be made for configurations C and G-J (group 2) considering the power or the specific power (see the square area in Figure 11c and d). P can be replaced by in eq 22. the flowrates are set to reach the desired throughput of emulsion with a drop size target. they are considered as categorical factors with respectively three and two levels (see Table 2).42 0. For TB. yS.13 As it can also be seen in Figure 11b for configuration B.2 rather than L-0. the confidence intervals overlap showing that there is no significant difference between an MCC with no relaxation zone and an MCC with two nonconsecutive relaxation zones on dmed. An inspection of Figure 11b reveals that the energy-efficient MCCs are those in which helical mixers are in front of SMX mixers and NH ≈ NSMX. Even if the soap surfactant concentration and the bitumen temperature can be treated as quantitative factors. yS. because a smaller droplet was predicted for the same level of ∆p (see Figure 11b).6 0. For the MCC above this threshold (group 2). The expected benefits of increasing the effective viscosity by decreasing the emulsification temperature are counterbalanced by the effect of increasing the dispersed phase viscosity. the decrease in pressure drop expected by combining helical and SMX mixers can be lost by inserting the helical mixers after the SMX ones. As for static mixers. the results shown in Figure 11b can be very useful from a practical standpoint. Alternatively. the power and shear rate captured the effect of modifying the bitumen temperature. trials performed on MCC D and E (at constant bitumen hardness. It should be recalled that HIPR emulsions with the same formulation. Eng. For the soap surfactant concentration (yS).09 (22) where C10 and C11 also depend on the bitumen hardness.2 0. This assumption is strengthened by the fact that the specific power is commonly used to predict the drop size in a stirred tank under the equilibrium state. To scan these governing factors. decreasing the droplet size by adding more static mixers is not an adequate approach. and P ) for each run. Res. These features could be explained by the fact that a progressive shear stress favors the formation of smaller droplets for HIPR emulsification. E ) E. By analogy with the kinetics of emulsification in stirred vessels. Chem. and TB for Three Governing Factor Candidates captured by process parameters bitumen hardness yS TB energy no no no power no no yes shear rate no no yes the coaxial mixer cannot be applied to predict accurately dmed in the static mixer given that a very low R2 is obtained. This latter ˘ explanation is based on the direct dependence between the average shear rate and the fluid velocity for static mixers. whereas more energy was required to reach the same dmed at a lower bitumen temperature. As observed for the effect of the bitumen hardness. In order to ˆ determine if these process parameters could be captured by the governing factors candidates. 8. This apparent discrepancy can be explained by the fact that TB affects two parameters with an antagonist effect on the droplet size: the effective viscosity (µeff) and the dispersed phase viscosity (µd). characterized by a low shear rate. Energy saving can be achieved by minimizing the pressure drop across the mixers. the bitumen temperature (TB) and the bitumen hardness.64 and at the equilibrium state (21) dmed ) C11(yS)P-0.25 0.

N. (5) Durand. Concentrated bitumen-in-water emulsification in coaxial mixers. M. Galaktionov. Fradette. E. (10) Thakur. Tanguy. 8. In Encyclopedic handbook of emulsion technology. No. energy or specific energy. Andersen. i.β3 ) regression coefficients (-) ) specific power (W/m3) η ) viscosity ratio (-) µ ) viscosity (Pa s) σ ) interfacial tension (N/m) τ ) shear stress (Pa) φ ) dispersed phase volume fraction (-) Dimensionless Number Reynolds number. 1988. J. 2007 time dependent phenomena such as the droplet breakup or the surfactant adsorption is the primary approach to obtain smaller droplets. Chem. W. Mariotti. Bordeaux. September 23-26. Yeadon. L. J. i. 60. water and surfactant through static mixers.. J.. J. L... Res. Eng. 1997.. (6) Poirier. que reste´ t-il a comprendre? Proceedings of the 3rd world congress on emulsion. E. I. by feeding bitumen. 2127. M. 389. Ch. Ind. This transition was attributed to an equilibrium state in which the droplets are not affected by factors involving the residence time in the dispersing zone. France. A more conservative approach would be to decrease the residence by 1 order of magnitude or less and use very lowshear mixing conditions especially at the beginning of the emulsification process.. Several static mixer configurations were considered based on SMX elements or a combination of helical and SMX elements. Chem. Forgarini... 47.e. P.. mechanics. Analysing mixing in periodic flows by distribution matrices: mapping method. Eng. Chem.. The structure. F. M. Eng. Meijer.e.. Marchal. J. Rauline.1 µm. (4) Marchal. Cardenas. AIChE J.... H. Lenfant. 787. A. Lyon. Nomenclature Latin Symbols C1. Static mixers in the process industries-A review. A. Briceno. G.-M. J. Vial. Chaverot. K. Chapter ¨ 11. E. It was shown that energy and power (or the specific power) are appropriate governing factors if the mixing cells configurations tested were divided in two groups. Vol. September 24-27. J.. Des... in press. T. 2007. Effect of process parameters on bitumen emulsions.. Bullon... 81. P. J. E.. 979. H. Process. KP ) Re× 2f ) D2∆p/µVL ) πD4∆p/ 4µQL AbbreViations DSD ) droplet size distribution GF ) governing factor H ) helical HIPR ) high-internal-phase-ratio MCC ) mixing cells configuration. G. Marcel Dekker: New York. Richard. (3) Princen. Tanguy. and otherwise. France. Mourand.. P. Le Blevec.β2. Les emulsions de bitume et la matiere molle. I. If the equilibrium state is not attained. Tanguy. G. A... Sjoblom. Ed. the median volume diameters were included between 1. Peters. B.. Re ) FVD/µ pressure drop number. E. 46. Chem.. Patent EP283247-A2. M. Manufacturing Process and Emulsions Properties. 2005. Poirier. 2001. G. 44. Bitumen emulsion with low average particle size is prepd. M. S. 105. Eng.25 Acknowledgment The authors would like to thank Matthieu Lelievre for his ` technical assistance.2626 Ind. the power dissipated (or the specific power) is the right factor.. Res. 2001. The results showed that in the range of the experimental parameters tested. Lepert. S. (8) Rauline. J. Res. in a premixing step. K. G.. More efficient preparation of parenteral emulsions or how to improve a pharmaceutical recipe by formulation engineering.. J. and rheology of concentrated emulsions and fluids foams.-P.. J. P.C11 ) constants (-) d ) droplet diameter (m) d32 ) mean surface-weighted diameter (m) d43 ) mean volume-weighted diameter (m) dmed ) median volume diameter (m) D ) conduit diameter (m) E ) energy draw (J) E ) specific energy (J/m3) ˆ f ) fanning friction factor with inserts (-) ks ) shear rate constant (-) L ) overall static mixer length (m) N ) number of static mixer elements (-) p ) fluid pressure (Pa) P ) power draw (W) Q ) flowrate (m3/s) tR ) residence time (s) T ) temperature (°C) V ) fluid velocity (m/s) x ) weight fraction in the emulsion (kg/kg) y ) weight fraction in the soap (kg/kg) Subscripts B ) bitumen corr ) corrected by the dispersed phase content e ) emulsion eff ) effective H ) helical in ) static mixers section inlet out ) static mixer section outlet S ) surfactant Superscripts a. D. Nauman. The main conclusion of this work is that the transposition from a stirred vessel to a continuous inline emulsification process at HIPR conditions cannot be based on the shear stress especially if the residence time differs by a few orders of magnitude.. 2002. P.. Bousquet. Chem. Literature Cited (1) Gingras. Sci. A..-P. R. b ) log-log slope Greek Symbols γ ) deformation (-) γ ) shear rate (s-1) ˘ β1... (2) Gingras. D. p 243. Numerical investigation of the performance of several static mixers. P. H. Chem. 2005. Proceedings of the 2nd World Congress on Emulsion. A. 1998. Eng.. P. 78. J..C2. the energy dissipated is the adequate factor to calibrate the average droplet size. A. (7) Cuellar. 2003. (9) Kruijt. Jorda. Nigam. M. Djelveh. Lapie. A.. O. . J. A covariance analysis was carried out in which the mixing cells configurations were treated as a categorical factor. Eng. Can.7 and 4. D. Conclusion The aim of this article was to evaluate the capabilities of static mixer technology to produce micrometer range HIPR bitumen emulsions in continuous mode and identify the key factors controlling the average droplet size. A loop configuration could be designed for this purpose as it has been done successfully in other emulsification processes..

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