Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Structure in turbulent mixing layers and wakes using a chemical reaction

R.  Breidenthal a1
a1 Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Article author query
breidenthal r   [Google Scholar] 


Plane turbulent mixing between two streams of water which contained dilute chemical reactants was studied in a new blow-down water tunnel. In a diffusion-limited reaction, a pH indicator, phenolphthalein, in one stream mixed and reacted with a base, sodium hydroxide, in the other stream to form a visible reaction product. The product was found to exist, as expected, in concentrated regions associated with the large, span-wise-coherent structures of the turbulence. A transition in the mixing was observed in which the aqueous mixing product increased by an order of magnitude. The transition is a consequence of the appearance and development of small-scale three-dimensional motions in the flow. Downstream of the transition, the amount of mixing product was independent of Reynolds number (for an order-of-magnitude increase in the latter) and at most only weakly dependent on Schmidt number.

(Published Online April 20 2006)
(Received March 7 1980)

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