The simulations and experiments of a turbulent bubbly flow are carried out in a cylindrical mixing vessel. Dynamics of the turbulent bubbly flow is visualized using a novel two-phase Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) with a combination of back lighting, digital masking and fluorescent tracer particles. Using an advanced technique, Mie’s scattering at surfaces of bubbles is totally filtered out and, henceforth, images of tracer particles and of bubbles are obtained with high quality. In parallel to the comprehensive experimental studies, numerical results are obtained from large eddy simulations (LES) of the two-phase air-water mixer. The impeller-induced flow at the blade tip radius is modeled by using sliding mesh method. The results demonstrate the existence of large structures such as tip-vortex tips, and also some finer details. In addition, the stability of the jet is found to be connected with the fluctuations of the tip votices whose dynamics are affected by the presence of bubbles. Numerical results are used to interpret the measurement data and to guide the refinement of consistent theoretical analyses. Such information is invaluable in the development of advanced theories capable of describing bubbly flows in the presence of complex liquid flow. This detailed information is of real significance in facilitating the design and scale-up of practical stirred tanks.

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