About the HETMIX research project


Project title:  Impact of processing conditions on kinetics of heterogeneous systems in agitated batch reactors (HETMIX)


Principal Investigator:  PhD Nenad Kuzmanić, Full Professor (permanent position)


Starting date:  September 1, 2014


Finishing date:  August 31, 2018


The term heterogeneous system refers to systems in which two or more phases are involved in the process. Different combinations of those phases are possible and can be found in chemical, pharmaceutical, food and other closely related industries. From chemical and engineering point of view, systems described can be categorized as very complex. The presence of multiple phases causes a series of limitations, primarily connected to transport phenomena (momentum, heat and mass transfer), and actually those limitations are the ones that cause their distinct kinetic determination.


The primary goal of this newly proposed project is to determine the importance of process parameters that define the overall phenomenology of heterogeneous process. In other words, the aim is to analyze the influence of process parameters on kinetics of heterogeneous processes in agitated batch reactor and to determine their impact on the process result, that is on the final product quality. Reactor kinetics should be particularly accentuated since it is of the essence in development of a reactor model and quantification of reactor parameters.


Due to the complexity and the wide range of heterogeneous processes, research would be limited to solid-liquid systems, taking place in agitated batch reactors. Two heterogeneous processes are to be investigated simultaneously, one that includes and one that excludes a chemical reaction (a. Batch cooling crystallization; b. Ion exchange of heavy metals). The base intention of the proposed project is to find a link between process parameters, hydrodynamic conditions in agitated batch reactor, process kinetics and characteristics of the final product (that is, final process result). Furthermore, the intention is to examine the mentioned relation as a function of reactor scale size as well. Considering the kinetic determination of the process, special attention will be given to the investigation of the influence of hydrodynamic conditions, i.e. the influence of the mixing operation in a batch reactor on the kinetics of the investigated processes. Since one of the goals of this project is to contribute to the theory of reactor design, experimentally obtained insights could represent the criteria basis of heterogeneous solid-liquid process equipment scale up as well as the basis for the mathematical modelling of the impact of operating conditions on the heterogeneous process result. This way the functional relations between studied variables would be established.

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