Acoustic Probe for Solid-Gas-Liquid Suspension Page: 4 of 375
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An inverse theory was also developed to determine the concentration and solids particle
size distribution in a solid-liquid slurry given the attenuation as a function of frequency using
regularization techniques that have been successful for bubbly liquids. We have found that the
success of solving the inverse problem is limited since it depends strongly on the physical
properties of the particles and the frequency range used in the inverse calculations. We have
determined bounds necessary for determining the particle size distribution.
The first six months of the new funding period focused on demonstrating the capability to
accurately measure volume fractions of dilute suspensions in the range of 0.004 to 0.050 percent.
The Pulse/FFT method accurately measures attenuation for soda lime glass beads (14.9 micron
radius), clays in water, and a Hanford surrogate salt simulant in this range. A linear relationship
is obtained for attenuation versus volume fraction, and the theory accurately predicts the
monodispersed soda-lime glass bead data. The linear relationship should readily permit
application of the acoustic monitor to dilute slurries.
The results of this project has relevance to the DOE mission of mobilizing, transporting
and processing solid-liquid slurries by providing a reliable and safe monitor of percent solids in
these slurries. Significant impact is expected for application as an accurate, safe and reliable
monitor which is non-invasive is required to quantify across site transfer of dilute and
concentrated slurries from storage tanks to processing facilities for high level waste treatment.
Transfer of this technology to the DOE complex is the primary objective of the second funding
period of this project whereby a proto-type acoustic monitor will be designed, commissioned and
demonstrated to accurately measure low weight percent slurries in a flow loop and on a test
4. Research Objectives
The primary objective of the research project during the first funding period was to
develop an acoustic probe to measure volume percent solids in solid-liquid slurries in the
presence of small amounts of gas bubbles. This problem was addressed because of the great
need for a non-invasive, accurate and reliable method for solids monitoring in liquid slurries in
the presence of radiolytically generated gases throughout the DOE complex. These
measurements are necessary during mobilization of salts and sediments in tanks, transport of
these slurries in transfer lines to processing facilities across a site, and, in some instances, during
high level waste processing. Although acoustic probes have been commonly used for monitoring
flows in single-phase fluids (McLeod, 1967), their application to monitor two-phase mixtures has
not yet fully realized its potential. A number of investigators in recent years have therefore been
involved in developing probes for measuring the volume fractions in liquid solid suspensions
(Atkinson and Kytomaa, 1993; Greenwood et al., 1993; Martin et al., 1995) and in liquid-liquid
suspensions (Bonnet and Tavlarides, 1987; Tavlarides and Bonnet, 1988, Yi and Tavlarides,
1990; Tsouris and Tavlarides, 1993, Tsouris et al., 1995). In particular, Atkinson and Kytomaa
(1993) showed that the acoustic technique can be used to determine both the velocity and the
volume fraction of solids while Martin et al. (1995) and Spelt et al. (1999) showed that the
acoustic probe can also be used to obtain information on the size distribution of the particles. In
a recent testing of in-line slurry monitors with radioactive slurries suspended with Pulsair Mixers
(Hylton & Bayne, 1999), an acoustic probe did not compare well with other instruments most
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Tavlarides, L.L. & Sangani, Ashok. Acoustic Probe for Solid-Gas-Liquid Suspension, report, September 14, 2003; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780899/m1/4/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.