Stirred Tank: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Before buying stirred tank, read this guide.

It has all information that will help you choose high performance and quality stirred tank.

Let’ dive right in.

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What is a Stirrer Tank?

Stirred tanks are special types of units that you can use in the process of mixing different chemical ingredients.

You will use it in chemical engineering to mix different types of chemical reagents by continuously stirring them to perfection.

Stirred tank

Stirred Tank

Which Types of Compounds Can You Mix Using the Stirred Tank?

You can mix different types of compounds using the stirred tank depending on the mode of application.

Here are some of the compounds that you can comfortably mix within the stirred tank.

  • Chemical Compounds
  • Biological Compounds

You should note that the above compounds can be in the form of liquids, solutes or solution thus forming complete mixtures.

What is Residence Time Distribution in Stirred Tanks?

Every chemical or biological compound will spend a considerable amount of time within the stirrer tank.

You should note that the amount of time every compound will spend within stirred tanks vary depending on the compound.

Residence time distribution is the amount of time that discrete amounts of chemical compounds will spend in the stirred tank.

Residence time distribution within the stirred tank will depend on reactor volume as well as the fluid flow rate.

Which Industries Use the Stirred Tanks?

Stirred tank

Stirred tank

You can use the stirred tank in different applications to mix different types of compounds.

Here are the two main applications which will require the services of the stirrer tank.

·         Environmental Engineering Applications

You will use the stirred tank in the environmental engineering industry to perform functions such as:

  1. Water treatment through the process of activated sludge
  2. Waste water treatment through the lagoon treatment systems.
  3. Waste water biosolid stabilization through the use of anaerobic digesters

·         Chemical Engineering Industry

You will use the stirred tank in the chemical engineering industry to perform different functions such as:

  1. Pharmaceutical production by using loop reactors
  2. Fermentation process of different chemical compounds
  3. Production of biogas by mixing different type of biogas producing compounds.

What are the Main Components of the Stirred Tank?

In order to have a clear understanding of how the stirred container system works, you have to know the main components.

Here are the main components of the stirred tank you ought to have knowledge about.

Stirred tank

Stirred tank

·         Tank

This is the outer part of the stirred tank that you will use to hold different capacities of compounds to mix.

You can choose different varieties and capacities of tanks to use in the mixing process of different compounds.

·         Mixer Drive

This is the mechanical part of the stirred tank that will help in the rotation of the mixer which mixes different compounds.

You can comfortably control the speed of the mixer drive which will in turn control the speed of the stirring system.

·         Mixer or Stirring Blades or Agitators

You will use the mixer to assists in the process of stirring or mixing the different types of compounds within the stirrer tank.

The movement and speed of the mixer or stirrer will depend on the driving force that comes from the mixer drive.

·         Top Head Nozzles

You will depend on the top head nozzles to help in the release of pressure that might accumulate within the stirred tank.

It will get rid of the pressure in significant quantities in order to avoid the occurrence of an explosion.

·         Larger Manway

You will open the larger manway to allow the addition of different biological and chemical compounds into the stirrer tank.

It comes complete with a sight glass which allows you to view the whole mixing process in the stirrer tank.

·         Superior Fin Baffle

You will depend on the superior fin baffle for mixing purposes as well as temperature sensing during the mixing process.

It is extra-long in order to reach the deepest parts of the stirrer tank to assess temperature of the smallest batches.

·         Control Panel

You will use the control panel to configure, program, and monitor the whole mixing process.

It comes complete with a touch screen and remote control technology that allows you operate it remotely.

·         Outlet

This is the part of the stirrer tank that you will use to release the complete compound mixtures from the stirrer tanks.

You will release different compounds from the system as soon as all the compounds achieve the residence time.

·         Support System

The support system includes different parts of the stirred tank such as the stirred tank legs, internal and external jackets.

You will note that the support systems are strong enough to withstand seismic and wind conditions as well as temperature insulation.

What is the Working Principle of the Stirred Tank?

The stirred tan usually operates on a steady state basis where it mixes all the reagents that come through.

Here is a step-by-step process that you can follow to properly understand the working principle of the stirred tank.

·         Preparation of Ingredients

You will begin the whole process by preparing all the ingredients that you would like to mix in the stirred reactors.

The preparation of the ingredients includes, arranging them in the order with which you will add them to the stirred tank.

Apart from that, you must also p0repare the machine or the stirrer tank adequately by setting it up correctly.

You will use the control panel to program and configure the stirred tank and then allow it to warm up.

·         Addition of the Ingredients

You will proceed with the addition of the ingredients into the stirred tank through the inlet of the tank.

Remember that it is important to quantify the amount of ingredients that you will be adding into the stirred tank.

You must also add these ingredients in a particular order so as to avoid misfortunate occurrences.

·         Mixing Process

As you add more ingredients into the stirred tank, the stirrer will proceed with the stirring process.

It will stir all the ingredients accordingly at a speed which you will dictate from the control panel.

During the mixing process the sensors and monitors within the tanks will communicate the temperature ratings.

You can also control the temperature and pressure within the stirrer tank by releasing the pressure through top head nozzles.

The process will continue until you get a homogenous mixture or until the residence time is over.

Finally, the machine will release the mixture automatically from the tank through the outlet.

What are the Benefits of Using the Stirred Tanks?

Well, there are numerous benefits that you will derive from the use of the stirrer tank.

Here are some of the advantages of using the stirrer tank in your varying applications.

·         Proper Temperature Control

You can easily control and maintain the temperature of the whole reaction system.

It has a control panel where you will control the overall temperatures and insulating jackets for heat insulation.

·         Cheaper to Manufacture

In comparison to other types of tanks or reactors, you will spend less in the construction of the stirrer tank.

Despite the cheap cost of construction, the materials in use are of very high quality and are readily available.

·         Large Heat Capacity

You have the freedom of controlling the heat within the stirred tank due to the large heat capacities.

In addition to that, the large heat capacity is capable of accommodating reactions that produce a lot of heat.

·         Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

You can easily clean and maintain your stirrer tank with minimal hitches or problems due to ease of accessing the interior.

All you have to do is open the upper part of stirred tank and perform the cleaning and maintenance functions.

·         Low Operation Cost

You will also spend less in the operation of the stirrer tanks since it works fast and uses very little energy.

You will save on the cost of paying power bills and will also avoid expenditure on excess wastage of raw materials.

What are the Disadvantages of Using the Stirred Tanks?

Despite the numerous benefits that you will enjoy, there are particular limitations to the stirred tanks.

Here are some of the limitations that you might experience while using the stirred tanks.

·         Small Conversion of Reactants

You will note that the stirred tanks have a smaller conversion of the reactants to the final products per volume of reactants.

There are other flow reactors that have a greater conversion of the reactants to final product per volume of reactants.

·         Development of Dead Zones

There is a possibility of dead zone development within the stirred tank during the mixing process.

Dead zones are the areas within the reactor where the stirred tank cannot access the reactants for mixing purposes.

·         By- Pass of Reactants

You may also realize that the reactants flow through the stirred tank without proper mixing or reaction.

This will happen in a situation where the outlet is in the wrong position thus prompting release of reactants.

How Many Types of Stirred Reactors Do You Supply?

Stirred tank reactor

Stirred tank reactor

One of the benefits of using the stirred tank is its flexibility and versatility with availability of numerous types.

You will choose among the different types of reactors depending on the application requirements of the stirred tank.

Here are the different types of stirred tanks that you can choose depending on the application requirements.

  • Microbial Stirred Tanks or Fermenters
  • Cell Structure Stirred Tanks or Bioreactors
  • Disposable or Single Use Bioreactors
  • Bioreactors for Special Applications

What is the Difference Between Microbial Stirred Tanks and Cell Culture Stirred Tanks?

The main difference between the microbial stirred tanks and cell culture stirred tanks is operation mode.

Here is a direct comparison between the microbial stirred tanks and the cell structure stirred tanks.

Microbial Stirred Systems

You will use the microbial stirred tanks high shear, rapid mixing as well as proper oxygen transfer.

Microbial stirred tanks have various characteristics that help in the mixing of the different microbial compounds.

Some of the microbial compounds you can mix using the microbial stirred tanks are bacteria, fungi and yeast among others.

The typical characteristics of the microbial stirred tanks or bioreactors include:

  1. Tall height or diameter aspect ratio
  2. Flat bladed, multiple turbine impellors
  3. High rates of gas transfer
  4. Antifoam systems with antifoam sensors.

Cell Structure Stirred Tanks

You will use the cell structure stirred tanks to help in the reduction of system contamination over a particular period.

It employs the gentle mixing technique while using gas mix for a proper oxygen transfer experience.

The typical characteristics that you should look out for in a cell structure stirred tank include:

  1. Low speed and gentle mixing process
  2. Braid marine impellor system
  3. Use of carbon dioxide instead of acid to control the pH.
  4. Use of Nitrogen and Oxygen in the low-flow gas mixtures control of PO2.

How Do Single Use Stirred Tanks Compare to Bioreactors for Special Applications?

Apart from the two types of stirred tanks, there are other types of stirred reactors that you can use.

Here is a comparison between the single use stirred tanks and special use stirred tanks.

Single Use Stirred Tanks

You will use this type of stirred reactor in a situation where validation and speed of the process is required.

It will help in saving of preparation as well as cleaning time thus increasing the overall speed of reaction.

You must, however, replace them after every culture process for the purpose of validation.

Here are the main characteristics of the single use stirrer tanks.

  1. Pre-sterilized to save on the cleaning time
  2. Fewer options for customization
  3. Fewer sensor options
  4. Extractable or leachable considerations

Stirred Tank for Special Applications

You will the stirred tank for special applications to mix reactants that fall within a special category.

It is proper for the mixing of different types of substances such as fungi, algae, and anaerobic bacteria growing on solids.

In this case, you will have to look at different adaptation variations such as geometry, design, as well as mixing techniques.

Can You Categorize the Stirred Tanks According to Size?

Absolutely, you can also categorize different types of stirred tanks according to the different tank sizes.

Here, you will look at the quantity of the culture you need per batch of the stirred tank reactors.

In this case, you can choose among the three types which include:

  • Small-scale or Parallel Bioreactors (For applications under 1 liter)
  • Bench-scale Bioreactors (for applications ranging between 1 and 10 liters)
  • Pilot Scale Bioreactors (for applications more than 10 liters)

How Do You Categorize Stirred Reactors by the Feeding Strategy?

You can also categorize the stirred tanks according to the mode of addition and removal of the reactants.

Here are the three main categories of stirred reactors according to the feeding strategies.

Stainless steel stirred tank

Stainless steel stirred tank

·         Batch Stirred Tanks

In this case, you will not include any liquid feed within the stirrer tank and eliminate none as well.

It is the most ancient form of categorization where the larger the tank reactors the greater the results.

·         Fed-Batch Stirred Tank

Here, you will choose a feeding strategy such as step, linear, dose or exponential which you will use to add more substrates.

At the end of the reaction, you will not remove any form of culture especially in high density cultures.

You may also choose to use multiple feeds depending on the mode of application as it helps in triggering specific genes.

·         Continuous Culture Stirred Tanks

Here, you will add and remove liquid substrates at specific rates by keeping cell density or substrate concentration constant.

You will perform the continuous culture for a longer period which usually lasts for days or even months.

It is the most productive type but it will take quite a lot of time to create a perfect set up.

What is the Price Range for the Acquisition of Stirred Tanks?

Well, due to the different sizes, types, and categories of stirred tanks, you should expect a wide price range.

The better the quality of the stirrer tank, the higher the amount of money you will pay.

In this case, you will look at quality in terms of the level of technology in the stirred tanks and durability.

Apart from that, the bigger the stirred tank you are purchasing, the higher the amount of money you will pay.

In general, stirrer tanks will cost you between 5,000 and 60,000 US dollars to purchase.

How Do You Control the Operating Temperatures of the Stirred Tanks?

You can control the operating temperatures of the stirred tanks by looking at quite a number of factors.

Here are some of the options that you can use to properly control the temperature of the stirred tanks.

·         Checking the Quality of Cooling Water

You should check on the quality of cooling water that cools the stirrer tank on a regular basis.

In this case, you will look at the type of water in terms of hardness as well as organic or bio-count contents.

·         Controlling Reaction Parameters

You can also control the parameters of reaction from the control panel where you will dictate the temperature ranges.

The machine has the capability of controlling the temperatures of the reactions with the help of the sensors.

·         Stabilize the Reaction Rates

You should also stabilize the rate of reaction within the stirrer tanks by ensuring that the working parameters are perfect.

This will eliminate unstable reactions within the stirrer tank and minimize the amount of heat the stirrer tank produces.

Which Specifications Do You Look at When Choosing a Stirred Tanks?

You must also have a plan on the things that you need in a stirred tank before you make a decision.

Here are some of the specifications that you can look into when choosing the stirred tanks.

·         Dimensions of the Tank

You will look at the dimensions of the stirred tank in terms of size and capacity that the tank can handle perfectly.

There are stirred tanks that can handle less than a liter of reactants while others can handle in excess of 10 liters.

·         Type of Stirred Tanks

There are numerous types of stirred tanks that come in handy in various applications.

You should choose a stirred tank according to the industrial application requirements.

·         Type of Materials

Here, you will look at particular factors such as they type of materials in terms of function and durability.

You should choose the best types of materials that will serve its purpose for a very long time.

Which is the Best Material for Manufacturing the Stirred Tanks?

You can use different types of materials in the manufacturing process of the stirred tanks.

Some of the materials that you can use to make the stirred tank include:

  • Stainless Steel Materials
  • Carbon Steel Materials
  • Glass Materials

These materials are highly durable and also has very high mechanical and tensile strength.

Apart from that, they have very good heat conducting capabilities while withstanding the effects of high temperatures.

How Do You Clean and Maintain a Stirred Tank?

Well, cleaning and maintaining the stirred tanks is a very simple process due to the design of the stirrer tanks.

Stirred tanks allow you easy access to the internal parts thus making the whole cleaning experience simple.

Here are some of the things you will do when cleaning the stirred tanks.

First, you will have to stop all the operations of the stirred tank and allow it to cool down.

After that, you will open up the upper part of the stirred tanks to gain proper access to the internal parts.

You can refer to the daily inspection records to identify the parts of the machine that require maintenance.

After that, you can begin the cleaning process by soaking and scrubbing off the stubborn stains from the equipment.

As soon as you complete that, you will make sure that you get rid of all the residues within the pipe delivery systems.

Remember to replace the broken parts and repair the lose parts in case the damage is not extensive.

Finally, you will replace the parts of the stirred tank slowly in readiness for testing and continuous operations.

How Do You Increase the Efficiency of the Stirred Tank?

You can increase the efficiency of the stirred tanks by performing the following functions.

·         Proper Record Keeping

You ought to take daily records of the operations of the stirrer tanks which will help you identify faults.

With this information, you will be able to adjust the faults on the stirrer tank accordingly to increase efficiency.

·         Proper Configuration of the Machine

You must also use the control panel indiscriminately to optimize the functions of the stirred tanks.

Setting the configurations to work at maximum efficiency will help in improving the overall working output.

·         Cleaning on Regular Basis

You must also clean the machine on a regular basis to get rid of the impurities that might that hinder performance.

·         Replacement of Parts

You must also replace the parts of the stirrer tank regularly as soon as they are broken or worn out.

What is the Difference Between the Stirred Tanks and the Plug Flow Reactor?

Well, you can use the stirred tank reactors and plug flow reactors to mix different reactants.

Stirred tank reactors uses a tank and a stirrer to help in the mixing of different fluid and solid reagents.

You will introduce the reagents through the inlet side and allow the mixture to leave through the exit side.

Plug flow reactors, on the other hand, does not use a tank or stirrer but a whole tube for mixing purposes.

In this case, different fluid reagents will flow through the tube and collide with others.

It will result into the release of a homogenous mixture at the other end of the tube.

How Does the Batch Reactor Compare to the Stirred Tanks?

Batch reactor

Batch reactor

You can also use the batch reactor and stirred tanks in the whole reagent mixing process.

Batch reactors is the simplest form of mixer that you can use which mixes different reagents within set time period.

On the other hand, you will also use the stirred tanks to mix different reagents using a tank and stirrer.

In both cases, you must control the temperature and pressure of mixing the reagents.

Apart from that, the resident time distribution is also a very important factor to consider.

Is Chemical Reactors a Stirrer Tank?

Yes, stirrer tanks are special types of chemical reactors that you can use in the mixing of different types of reagents.

In short, stirred reactors come in a range of shapes and designs with varying performances.

You can contact FilSon Filters now for all your stirred tank needs.

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