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CHAPTER 4: GAS ABSORPTION

CHAPTER / CONTENT
Definition, Application and Notation Used in Gas
Absorption
Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas
According to Raoults Law
The Mechanism of Absorption
Packed tower Description and Design

Plate tower Description and Design

Definition, Application and Notation Used in Gas


Absorption
A type of mass transfer operation (separation) between gas and liquid system.
The removal of one or more selected components from a mixture of gases.
Or A soluble vapor is absorbed from its mixture with an inert gas by means
of a liquid the soluble gas is more soluble.
Common example of gas absorption:
Ammonia Air System
Ammonia can be absorbed by passing the gases (NH3 air) into
water where ammonia will be dissolved in water.
The ammonia (solute) can then be recovered by distillation and the
absorbing liquid can be either discarded or reused.
Acetone Air mixture

Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas


According to Raoults Law
The two phases (gas and liquid) when brought into contact tend to reach
equilibrium.

Consider air water system, the water in contact with air evaporates until
the air is saturated with water vapor, and the air is absorbed by the water
until it becomes saturated with the individual gases.
In any mixture of gases, the degree to which each gas is absorbed is
determined by its partial pressure at a given temperature and pressure.
When a single gas (solute) and a liquid (solvent) are brought into contact
(until equilibrium), the resulting concentration of dissolved gas (solvent) in
liquid is called gas solubility (at T and P).
At fixed temperature, solubility concentration increased when pressure
increased .

Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas


According to Raoults Law
Partial pressure of
solute in gas phase
(kN/m2)
1.3
6.7
13.3
26.7
66.7

Concentration of solute in water kg/1000 kg water


Ammonia

Sulfur dioxide

Oxygen

11
50
93
160
315

1.9
6.8
12
24.4
56

0.08
0.13
0.33

Ammonia Very soluble


Sulfur Dioxide A moderate soluble
Oxygen Slightly soluble

Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas


According to Raoults Law
In any mixture of gases the solubility of each gas depends on partial
pressure
Solubility also depends on Temperature (Solubility as T ).
Recall Raoults Law for ideal solution:

p A x A PAo
p A partial pressureof A in gas phase
x A mol fraction of A in liquid phase
PAo vapor pressureA at that temperature

In G.A.;

P P x where P Equilibriu m partial pressure


o

Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas


According to Raoults Law
Equilibrium Distribution (Solubility Curve)
In G.A, feed is a gas and enters at bottom of column and the solvent is
fed at top column, the absorbed gas and solvent leave out the bottom and
unabsorbed components leave as gas from the top.
Liquid / solvent is well below its boiling point and gas molecules are
diffusing into liquid.

Equilibrium curve

(y,x)

x
Figure 1 Equilibrium curve

Conditions of Equilibrium Between Liquid and Gas


According to Raoults Law
Film concept / Theory in mass transfer
Due to this concept:
Gas molecules must diffuse from main body of the gas phase to the gas
liquid interphase, then
Cross this interface into the liquid side and finally diffuse from the
interface into the main body of the liquid.
For dilute concentration of most gases, and over a wide range for some
gases, equilibrium relationship is given by Henrys Law.

pA H CA
p A partial pressureof A in gas phase
C A concentration of componentin liquid
H Henry's constant

The Mechanism of Absorption

THE TWO FILM THEORY

RATE OF ABSORPTION

EVALUATION OF MASS TRANSFER COEFFICIENT

The Two Film Theory


Developed by Whitman.

MAIN BULK
OF GAS

GAS FILM BOUNDARY

PARTIAL PRESSURE (P)


OF SOLUBLE GAS

Pi

LIQUID
FILM
B
D

GAS
FILM

MAIN BULK
OF LIQUID

Ci
E

CL

MOLAR CONCENTRATION
OF SOLUTE IN A LIQUID

PG

LIQUID FILM
BOUNDARY

According to this theory, material is transferred in the bulk of the phase by


convection currents, and concentration differences are considered as
negligible.

Figure 2 Concentration profile for absorbed component A


On either side of this interface it suppose that the currents die out and that
there exists a thin film of fluid flowing through which the transfer occurs
only to molecular diffusion.

The Two Film Theory


According to Ficks Law, the rate transfer by diffusion is proportional to the
concentration gradient and to the area of interface over which the diffusion
is occurring.
The direction of transfer of material across the interface, is, however, not
dependent on the concentration difference, but on the equilibrium
relationship.
The controlling factor the rate of diffusion through the two film.
From Figure 2:
PG - Partial pressure in the bulk of the gas phase
Pi - Partial pressure at interface

CL - Concentration in the bulk of the liquid phase


Ci - Concentration at interface

The Two Film Theory


According to the two film theory:
The concentration at the interface are in equilibrium
The resistance to transfer is centred in the thin films on either side of
the wall
Assumptions of two film theory:
Steady state concentration at any position do not change with time
Interface between the gas and liquid phase is a sharp boundary
Laminar film exist at the interface on both sides of the interface
Equation exist at the interface
No chemical reaction
(rate of diff. across gas phase = rate of diff. across liquid phase)

MAIN BULK
OF GAS

GAS FILM BOUNDARY

PARTIAL PRESSURE (P)


OF SOLUBLE GAS

Pi

LIQUID
FILM
B
D

GAS
FILM

MAIN BULK
OF LIQUID

Ci
E

Figure 2 Concentration profile for absorbed component A

CL

MOLAR CONCENTRATION
OF SOLUTE IN A LIQUID

PG

LIQUID FILM
BOUNDARY

The Two Film Theory

Rate of Absorption
The process of absorption may be regarded as the diffusion of a soluble gas
A into a liquid.
The molecules of A have to diffuse through a stagnant gas film and then
through a stagnant liquid film before entering the main bulk of liquid.
The rate of absorption of A per unit time over unit area is given:
N A' kG PA1 PA2

kG - Gas film transfercoefficient

The rate of diffusion in liquids is much slower than in gases, and mixtures
of liquids may take a long time to reach equilibrium.
For the rate of absorption of A into liquid:
N A' k L C A1 C A2

kL

- liquid film transfercoefficient

Rate of Absorption
In steady state process of absorption, the rate of transfer of material
through the gas film will be the same as that through the liquid film.
The general equation for mass transfer can be written as:

N A' kG PG Pi k L Ci CL
PG - Partial pressure in the bulk of the gas phase

Pi - Partial pressure at interface


CL - Concentration in the bulk of the liquid phase
Ci - Concentration at interface
NA - Overall rate of mass transfer (mol/unit area.time)
Therefore:

kG Ci CL

k L PG Pi

Rate of Absorption
This condition can be shown graphically as below where ABF is
equilibrium curve.

Figure 3 Driving forces


in the gas and liquid
phase

PG Pi

PG

E
Ci CL

Pi
PB

F
CL

Ci

Ce

Point D ( CL , PG ) represents conditions in bulk of gas and liquid


Point A ( Ce, PG ) represents concentration Ce in the liquid in equilibrium with PG in the
gas.
Point B ( Ci, Pi ) represents concentration Ci in the liquid in equilibrium with Pi in the
gas, and gives conditions at the interface.
Point F (CL, Pe ) represents the partial pressure Pe in the gas in equilibrium with CL in the
liquid.

Rate of Absorption
Then the driving force causing transfer in the gas phase:

PG Pi DE
The driving force causing transfer in the liquid phase:

Ci CL BE
Then,

PG Pi k L
Ci CL kG

The concentration at the interface (point B) are found by drawing a line


through D of slope kL/kG to cut the equilibrium curve in B.

Rate of Absorption
Overall Coefficients
To obtain a direct measurement of the values kL and kG, we require the
measurement of the concentration at the interface.
Need to define two overall coefficient, KL and KG
N A' KG PG Pe K L Ce CL

K G - Overallgas phasecoefficient
K L - Overallliquid phase coefficient

The rate of transfer A can now be written as:

N A' kG PG Pi k L Ci CL KG PG Pe K L Ce CL

Eq.1

Rate of Absorption
kG PG Pi K G PG Pe
1
1 PG Pe

K G kG PG Pi
1
1 PG Pi 1

K G kG PG Pi kG

From Eq. (1):

Pi Pe

PG Pi

kG PG Pi k L Ci CL
1
1 P P
G i
kG k L Ci CL

Insert equation above into Eq. (2):


1
1 PG Pi 1 Pi Pe

K G kG PG Pi kG PG Pi
1
1
1 P P P P

G i i e
K G kG k L Ci C L PG Pi
1
1
1 P P

i e
K G k G k L Ci C L

Eq.3

Eq.2

Rate of Absorption
where term Pi Pe = average slope of equilibrium curve and,

Ci C L

if the solution obeys Henrys Law (H):


H

dP Pi Pe

dC Ci CL

Therefore Eq. (3) becomes:


1
1
1 P P

i e
K G kG k L Ci CL
1
1 H

K G kG k L

Similarly:
1
1
1

K L k L HkG

and

1
H

KG K L

Eq.3

Rate of Absorption
Factors Influencing the Mass Transfer coefficient
Very soluble gas (e.g NH3 in H2O).
- resistance is so small where H negligible. So kG KG
Low solubility gas (e.g O2 in H2O)
- resistance is in the liquid H is large. So kL KL
Moderately soluble gas
- both film offer resistance, so kG KG and kL KL
Example:
Show that from rate of transfer of A:
a)

1
1 H

K G kG k L

b)

1
1
1

K L k L HkG

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Mass transfer coefficient Diffusivity (D) 1/film thickness (zg) for gas
For gas:

kG

Dg

For liquid:

zg

kL

DL
zL

Problem arises when measuring kG, kL since we do not know the value of
film thickness.
However, one piece of equipment where the surface area is known as the:
Wetted Wall column
D
Slow flowing film of water
- laminar flow condition

H
Sometimes
turbulent flow
could occur

GAS

Glass tube

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Surface area of film D H
Flux, N KG P P*
N unit in mol/(m2.s)

P* = Equilibrium pressure

Method:
Measure gas concentration entering
Measure gas concentration leaving
Surface area of film is its area of the tube
Calculate the concentration driving force at inlet and outlet and
take log mean difference
KG

NA
P P*

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Example
The data given below were obtained from a wetted wall column
with a constant liquid flow rate.
Molar Gas Flow rate, G (kmol/s)

Overall Mass Transfer Coefficient, KG


(kmol/s.m2 (kN/m2)

0.03
0.06
0.12
0.18

157.8
210.6
261.0
285.6

kG also related to the gas flow rate by:

kG AG

0.82

where A is constant

For molar gas flow rate of G = 0.1 kmol/s, evaluate the individual
mass transfer coefficient (kG and kL) and overall mass transfer
coefficient (KG) if H = 20 (kN/m2)/kmol

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
From Rate of Absorption:

1
1 H

K G kG k L
Assuming kL constant and given,
kG AG

0.82

where A is constant

1
1
H

K G AG 0.82 k L

Eq.a

Equation (a) is straight line equation (y=mx+c) where:


y 1 KG

1A

0.82
x 1G

H kL

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
Construct graph:
y axis 1 K G
0.82
x axis 1 G

G
(kmol/s)

KG x106
(kmol/s.m2 (kN/m2))

1 G 0.82

0.03

157.8

17.732

6.337 x 10-3

0.06

210.6

10.044

4.748 x 10-3

0.12

261.0

5.689

3.831 x 10-3

0.18

285.6

4.080

3.501 x 10-3

1 KG

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
7.0E-03
6.0E-03

1/KG x 10 -6

5.0E-03
4.0E-03

y = 2.079E-04x + 2.653E-03

3.0E-03
2.0E-03
1.0E-03
0.0E+00
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

1/G0.82

From the graph, straight line obtained: y = 2.079x10-4x + 2.653 x 10-3

m = 1 A = 2.079x10-4
c = H kL

= 2.653 x 10-3

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
For molar gas flow rate of G = 0.1 kmol/s, evaluate the individual
mass transfer coefficient (kG) and overall mass transfer coefficient (KG)
if H = 20 (kN/m2)/kmol
G
(kmol/s)

KG x106
(kmol/s.m2 (kN/m2))

1 G 0.82

0.10

248.3

6.607

1 K G x 10-6
4.027 x 10-3

From equation obtained: y = 2.079x10-4x + 2.653 x 10-3


y 2.079 10 4 x 2.653 10 3
y 2.079 10 4 (6.607) 2.653 10 3
y 4.027 10 3
1
4.027 10 3
KG
K G 248.3

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
From equation, slope:
1
2.079 10 4
A
1
A
4810
4
2.079 10

Individual mass transfer coefficient for gas, kG:


kG AG

0.82

kG 48100.10

0.82

kG 728.0

Evaluation of Mass Transfer Coefficient


Solution
From equation, y intercept
c

H
2.653 10 3
kL

Individual mass transfer coefficient for liquid, kL:

For H 20 kN/m 2 /kmol


H
20
kL

c 2.653 10 3
k L 7538.6

Packed tower Description and Design

INTRODUCTION TO PACKED TOWER

PRESSURE DROP AND FLOODING IN


DETERMINATION OF TOWER DIAMETER

DETERMINATION OF HEIGHT OF TOWER

PACKED TOWER

Introduction to Packed Tower


Packed towers are used for continuous counter current in absorption.
The tower in Figure 4 consists of a cylindrical column containing:
A gas inlet and distributing space at
the bottom
A liquid inlet and distributing device
at the top
A gas outlet at the top
A liquid outlet at the bottom
A packing filling in the tower.
A large intimate contact between the
liquid and gas is provided by the
packing

Figure 4 Packed tower flows

Introduction to Packed Tower


Common types of packing which are dumped at random in the tower are
shown in Figure 5.
Packing are available in size of 3 mm to about 75 mm and mostly are made
of materials such as clay, porcelain, metal or plastic.
High void spaces of 65 95% are characteristics of good packings.
The packings permit relatively large volumes of liquid to pass
countercurrent to the gas flow through the openings with relatively low
pressure drops for the gas.

Figure 5 Typical random or dumped tower packings


(a) Rashig Ring (b) Berl Saddle (c) Pall Ring (d) Intalox Metal (e) Jaeger Metal Tri - Pack

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


In a given packed tower with a given type and size of packing and with a
definite flow of liquid, there is an upper limit to the rate of gas flow, called
the flooding velocity.

The tower cannot be operated at gas flow velocity above flooding velocity.
At a low gas velocities, the liquid flows downward through the packing,
essentially uninfluenced by the upward gas flow.

As the gas flow rate is increased at low gas velocities, the pressure drop is
proportional to the flow rate to the 1.8 power.
At a gas flow rate called the loading point, the gas starts to hinder the
liquid down flow, and local accumulations or pools of liquid start to appear
in the packing (liquid holdup).
The pressure drop of the gas starts to rise at a faster rate.
As the flow rate of gas increased, the liquid holdup or accumulation
increases.

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


At the flooding point, the liquid can no longer flow down through the
packing and is blown out with the gas.
In actual operating tower, the gas velocity is well below flooding velocity.
The optimum economic gas velocity is about one half or more of flooding
velocity.
Flooding velocity depends on:
Type of packing / packing factor
Size of packing
Liquid mass velocity
Limiting pressure drop,
Pflood 0.115Fp0.7
where Pflood : Pressuredrop at flooding
Fp

: Packing Factor

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Example 1
Ammonia is being absorbed in a tower using pure water at 25OC
and 1 atm abs pressure.
The feed rate is 1440 lbm/h (653.2 kg/h) and contains 3.0 mol% of
ammonia in air.

The process design specifies a liquid to gas mass flow rate ratio
GL / GG of 2/1 and use 1-in. metal Pall rings.
Calculate the pressure drop in the packing and the gas mass velocity
at flooding. Using 50% of the flooding velocity, calculate the pressure
drop, gas and liquid flows, and tower diameter.
Repeat (a) above by use Mellapak 250Y structured packing.

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 1
Find the required data to be used in Figure 10.6-5 (Geankoplis pp.
660)

Given mol fraction for ammonia = 0.03


Given mol fraction for air = 0.97

Mwt ammonia = 17
Mwt air = 29

Average molecular weight of entering gas:


M av yi x Mwti 0.03 x 17 0.97 x 29 28.64

PM

RT

1 atm 28.64
3

82.06

g
mol

cm atm
298.15 K
mol.K

1.17110 3 g cm 3 @ 0.0730 lbm/ft 3

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 1
From Appendix A.2-4, the water viscosity = 0.8937 cP. From A.2-3,
the water density is 0.99708 g/cm3
1lbm
g 106 cm 3 0.3048 m3
L 0.99078 3 x
x
x
61.85 lbm /ft 3
3
3
cm
1m
1 ft
453.59237 g
3

1 Centistokes = 10-2 cm2/s

1
cm 3 10- 2 g
0.8937cP x
x
0.902 x 10- 2 cm 2 s 0.902 centistok es

0.99078 g 1 cP cm.s

From Table 10.6-1, for 1-in, Pall rings, Fp=56 ft-1. Using equation
10.6-1,
Pflood 0.115Fp0.7 0.115 56

0.7

1.925 in. H2 O / ft packing height

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 1
x-axis for Figure 10.6-5:
GL G


G
G L

0 .5

2 0.0730

1 61.85

0 .5

0.06871

For flow parameter of 0.06871 (abscissa) and pressure drop 1.925


in/ft at flooding, a capacity parameter (ordinate) of 1.7 is read off
the plot.
From y axis:

1.7 G G L G Fp 0.05
0.5

0.5

1.7 G 0.07310 61.85 0.07310 560.50.9020.05 0.2561


0.5

G 6.6381 ft s

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 1
GG G G 0.07310

lbm
ft
lbm

6
.
6381

0
.
4852
at flooding
ft 3
s
ft 2 s

Using 50% of the flooding velocity for design,


GG 0.5 0.4852

lbm
lbm

0
.
2426
ft 2 s
ft 2 s

Liquid flow rate, GL 2 0.2426

lbm
lbm
0.4852 2
2
ft s
ft s

To calculate the pressure drop at 50% flooding, GG 0.2426 lbm


2

ft s
lbm
and GL 0.4852 2 . The new capacity parameter is 0.5 x 1.7 = 0.85.
ft s

By using value of 0.85 and flow parameter of 0.06871 (abscissa), a


value of 18 in H2O/ft is obtained.

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 1
The tower cross sectional area, At
Feedrate 1440lb m
ft 2 s
1 hr
At

x
1.6488 ft 2
GG
hr
0.2426 lb m 3600 s
At

Dt 2

Dt
2

4
4 At

4 1.6488
2.099 ft 2
3.142

Dt 2.099 ft 2

0.5

`1.448 ft

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Example 2
Ammonia (NH3) is being removed from air by scrubbing with
water in a packed tower with 6 mm ceramic Berl Saddles (Cf = 900.
The gas entering at 1.2 m3/s contains 15% NH3.
The water enters at a rate of 4 kg/s and has a specific gravity of 1,
viscosity of 2.5 x 10-3 kg/m.s.
The gas mixture enters at 27OC and 1 bar (0.987 atm). Given
Molecular weight for ammonia = 17, water = 18.
Calculate the diameter of the packed tower when 80% of NH3 is
removed and the pressure drop is 400 N/m2 per m packing.

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 2

Lin = 4 kg/s
xA = 0

Gout = ?
yA = ?

27OC
0.987 atm
80% NH3 is
removed

Lout = L
Lwater = 4 kg/s
xA = ?

Gin = 1.2 m3/s


yA = 0.15

Find the required data to be used.


Given mol fraction for ammonia = 0.15
Given mol fraction for air = 0.85

Mwt ammonia = 17
Mwt air = 29

Average molecular weight of entering gas:


M av yi x Mwti 0.15 x 17 0.85 x 29 27.2

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 2
g

PM

RT

0.987 atm 27.2


3

82.06

g
mol

cm atm
300.15 K
mol.K

1.090 10 3 g cm3

Given Gin = 1.2 m3/s


g
m 3 10 6 cm3
Mass of G in g V 1.090 10
1.2

1308 g/s @ 1.308 kg/s


cm3
s
1 m3
3

cm3
0.987 atm 1.2x10
PV
s 48.0871 mol/s @ 0.04809 kmol/s
Mol of G in , n

3
cm atm
RT
82.06
300.15 K
mol.K
6

Mass of G NH3 in 0.15 x0.04809

kg
kmol
x17
0.1226 kg/s
s
kmol

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 2
Mass of NH 3 absorbedin water 0.80 x 0.1226 kg/s 0.0981 kg/s

Mass of Gout Mass of gas in Mass of NH 3 absorbed 1.308 0.0981 1.2099 kg/s

Mass of Lout Mass of water Mass of NH 3 absorbed 0.0981 4 4.0981 kg

From information, the water viscosity = 2.5 x 10-3 kg/m.s. Water


density is 1000 kg/m3. Since the larger flow quantities are at the bottom
of absorber, the diameter will be chosen to accommodate the bottom
condition. From Treybal:
L' G
abscissa (x-coordinate) =
(Refer to bottom condition)
0 .5
G' L G
0 .5

0.5
kg
1.090 x 10 -3
s

0.10
kg
- 3 0.5
1.308
1 1.090 x 10
s

4.0981

G ' 2C f L0.1 J

G L G g C

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers

Pressure Drop and Flooding in Packed Towers


Solution 2
N m2
At pressure drop of 400
and x-coordinate = 0.10,
m

y-coordinate = 0.066
0 .1

G' 2C f L J

G L G g c

0.066

g 0.066 1.091000 1.091


2
G '' 0.066 G L 0.1G c
0.145
3 0.1
C J

900 2.5 10
1
f L

kg
G '' 0.38 2
m s
kg
1.308
G'
s 3.442 m 2
Cross sectional area, A

G'' 0.38 kg
m 2 .s

D 2
A
4

4A

4 3.442

D 2.09 m

Exercise

A packed tower is to be designed for a counter current contact of an NH3- air mixture with
water to wash out NH3 from the gas.
The conditions are:
Gas in:
Gas out: All NH3 is removed.
Flow rate = 1.5 m3/s
Temperature = 27 C
Pressure = 1 bar (0.987 atm)
Contains 8 mol % NH3
Liquid in:
Flow rate = 4.8 kg/s
Density = 996 kg/m3
Viscosity = 2.5 x 10-3 kg/m.s
Packing used is 38mm Raschig ring (Cf = 95, gc = 1)
(a) Calculate the flow rate of liquid out.
(b) If the pressure drop of the packed tower is 400 N/m2, by using the diagram, calculate
the required diameter for the tower.

Determination of Height of Tower


Component denoted in Figure 6:
Gm = Mols of inert gas / (unit time) (unit cross
section of tower)

Lm = Mols of inert liquid / (unit time) (unit cross


section of tower)

Gm

Lm

y2

x2

x
dZ

y + dy

x + dx

Y = Mols of soluble gas A / mol of inert gas B


in gas phase
X = Mols of soute A / mol of inert solvent C in
liquid phase
Mass balance over differential / small
section of column:
N A' AdZ kG aPG Pi Adz

N A' AdZ k L aCi CL Adz

Gm

Lm

y1

x1

Figure 6 Countercurrent absorption tower

wh ere Adz Vol. of small


sectionof tower

NA = mol / (m2.s)
a = Interfacial area / Volume of
column

Determination of Height of Tower


From the tower,

N A' AdZ Gm Ady

kG aPG Pi A dZ Gm Ady

From Dalton and Raoults Law,

Therefore,

PG
PT

yPT PG

yi

Pi
PT

yi PT Pi

and

Gm dy kG aPT y yi dZ
dZ

Gm
dy

kG aPT y yi

Integrating both sides; get:

Gm
Z
kG aPT

y1

y2

dy
y yi

Z = height of tower

Determination of Height of Tower


Similarly for concentration in liquid phase:

Lm
dx
k L a xi x

Normally, Z is written in terms of KG.a & KL.a & in terms of mol fraction:

Gm
dy

K G aPT
y y*

Z H OG NOG

Z = height of tower
HOG = height of transfer unit constant.
NOG = number of transfer unit constant

Determination of Height of Tower


And for concentration in liquid phase:

Lm
K L aCT

dx
x* x

Simplifying:

Z H OG NOG

For gas phase based on equilibrium concentration

Z H OL NOL

For liquid phase based on equilibrium concentration

The number of transfer unit (NOG) can be calculated using several method
which will be discussed later.

Methods for Evaluation of NOG

Graphical Method

Log Mean Driving Force Method

Colburns Method

Graphical Methods
Based on interface concentration:

Z H G NG H L N L
Based on Area, A:

Gm y1 y Lm x1 x

y1 y

Lm
x1 x
Gm

y y
Lm
1
Gm x1 x

Operating line equation relates concentration in gas phase to that in liquid


phase. From operating line above:

Graphical Methods
y L x1 x y1
G

L
L

x x1 y1 ope ratingline
G
G

L
whe re :
gradie nt @ slope
G
L

x1 y1 inte rse ction with y - axis


G

Operating
line

Equilibrium line normally


linear at dilute concentration

Graphical Methods
Example
An acetone air mixture containing 0.015 mol fraction of acetone will
be reduced to 1% of this value by countercurrent absorption in fresh
pure water in packed tower.
The gas flow rate is 1.0 kg/m2.s and the liquid flow rate is 1.6 kg/m2.s.
For the system, Henrys law holds and y* = 1.75 x where y* is the mol
fraction of acetone in the vapor in equilibrium with x mol fraction in
liquid.
Calculate the height of the tower / absorber if HOG = 0.3 m.

Data given:
Cross sectional A of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18

Graphical Methods
Solution
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s
x2 = 0

y2 = 0.00015
2

Given:

Reduced
to 1%
1
y1 = 0.015
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

x1 = ?
Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s

Cross sectional A
of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18
HOG = 0.3 m
y* = 1.75 x

Graphical Methods
Solution
The given mass flow rate in kg/m2.s. Need to convert into kmol /s.
Gm

Gm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.03448 kmol
Gm
kg
s
29
kmol
1.0

Find slope of the graph.


L
L

x x1 y1 ope ratingline
G
G

L 0.08889 kmol / s
slope
2.578
G 0.03448 kmol / s
y

Lm

Lm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.08889 kmol
Lm
kg
s
18
kmol
1.6

Graphical Methods
Solution
Calculate the mol ratio for each location.
Location 1

Location 2

y1

A
0.015

0.0152
Gm 1 0.015

y2

A
0.00015

0.00015
Gm 1 0.00015

x1

A
?
Lm

x2

A
0

0
Lm 1 0

Need to find x1 in order to plot operating line.


L
L

x x1 y1
G
G

y 2.578 x C
y

Graphical Methods
Solution
Use coordinate at location 2 in order to find C value.
y 2.578 x C
0.00015 2.5780 C
C 0.00015

Operating line, y 2.578x 0.00015

Insert value at location 1 in order to find x1 value


y1 2.578 x1 0.00015
0.015 2.578 x1 0.00015
x1

0.015 0.00015 0.00576


2.578

Construct operating line by plotting coordinate at location 1 and 2

Location 1

Location 2

x1, y1 0.00576 , 0.015

x2 , y2 0 , 0.00015

Graphical Methods

Operating line

Equilibrium line

No. of stages = 11

NOG = 11

Graphical Methods
Solution
Height of absorber, Z

Z H OG N OG

Z 0.3m 11
Z 3.3m

Log Mean Driving Force Method


dy
y y*

or

dx
x* x

To evaluate NOG, we can take an average driving force in log mean.

N OG

y1 y2

y y* 1 y y*

y
1
ln
y y*

N OG

y1

(y - y*)1
(y - y*)

y1 y2

ln y y *

y1* Hx1

y - line

y2* Hx2

y2
(y - y*)2

y* - line

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Example
An acetone air mixture containing 0.015 mol fraction of acetone will
be reduced to 1% of this value by countercurrent absorption in fresh
pure water in packed tower.
The gas flow rate is 1.0 kg/m2.s and the liquid flow rate is 1.6 kg/m2.s.
For the system, Henrys law holds and y* = 1.75 x where y* is the mol
fraction of acetone in the vapor in equilibrium with x mol fraction in
liquid.
Calculate the height of the tower / absorber if HOG = 0.3 m.

Data given:
Cross sectional A of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s
x2 = 0

y2 = 0.00015
2

Given:

Reduced
to 1%
1
y1 = 0.015
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

x1 = ?
Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s

Cross sectional A
of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18
HOG = 0.3 m
y* = 1.75 x

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
The given mass flow rate in kg/m2.s. Need to convert into kmol /s.
Gm

Gm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.03448 kmol
Gm
kg
s
29
kmol
1.0

Find slope of the graph.


L
L

x x1 y1 ope ratingline
G
G

L 0.08889 kmol / s
slope
2.578
G 0.03448 kmol / s
y

Lm

Lm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.08889 kmol
Lm
kg
s
18
kmol
1.6

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Calculate the mol ratio for each location.
Location 1

Location 2

y1

A
0.015

0.0152
Gm 1 0.015

y2

A
0.00015

0.00015
Gm 1 0.00015

x1

A
?
Lm

x2

A
0

0
Lm 1 0

Need to find x2 in order to plot operating line.


L
L

x x1 y1
G
G

y 2.578 x C
y

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Use coordinate at location 2 in order to find C value.
y 2.578 x C
0.00015 2.5780 C
C 0.00015

Operating line, y 2.578x 0.00015

Insert value at location 1 in order to find x1 value


y1 2.578 x1 0.00015
0.015 2.578 x1 0.00015
x1

0.015 0.00015 0.00576


2.578

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Need to find y1* and y2* using equilibrium line given in question.

y1* Hx1

y * 1.75 x

y1* 1.75 x1 1.750.00576


y1* 0.010
y2* 1.75 x2 1.750
y2* 0

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Calculate NOG.
N OG

y1 y2

ln y y *

y y y y 0.0152 0.010 0.00015 0


ln y y
y y
0.0152 0.010
ln
ln

0.00015 0

5.05 10
ln y y
1.4242 10

5.2 10 3

ln
0
.
00015

Log Mean Driving Force Method


Solution
Calculate NOG.
N OG

y1 y2 0.0152 0.00015 10.57 11 stages

ln y y *

1.4242 103

Height of absorber, Z

Z H OG N OG

Z 0.3m 11
Z 3.3m

Colburns Method
Objective to evaluate:
y1

y2

dy
y y*

Assume mol fraction are so small fraction; mol fraction = mol ratio

Gm y1 y2 Lm x1 x2
Also, y*=Hx, but instead of H, use m. So y*=mx

y*

mGm
y y2
Lm

If we substitute, we get
y1

y2

dy
mGm
y y2
y
Lm

Solution as log function and represented as a nomogram (graphical solution)

Colburns Method
Example
An acetone air mixture containing 0.015 mol fraction of acetone will
be reduced to 1% of this value by countercurrent absorption in fresh
pure water in packed tower.
The gas flow rate is 1.0 kg/m2.s and the liquid flow rate is 1.6 kg/m2.s.
For the system, Henrys law holds and y* = 1.75 x where y* is the mol
fraction of acetone in the vapor in equilibrium with x mol fraction in
liquid.
Calculate the height of the tower / absorber if HOG = 0.3 m.

Data given:
Cross sectional A of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18

Colburns Method
Solution
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s
x2 = 0

y2 = 0.00015
2

Given:

Reduced
to 1%
1
y1 = 0.015
Gm=1.0 kg/m2.s

x1 = ?
Lm=1.6 kg/m2.s

Cross sectional A
of column = 1 m2
Mwt air = 29
Mwt acetone = 58
Mwt H2O = 18
HOG = 0.3 m
y* = 1.75 x

Colburns Method
Solution
The given mass flow rate in kg/m2.s. Need to convert into kmol /s.
Gm

Gm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.03448 kmol
Gm
kg
s
29
kmol
1.0

Find mGm/Lm and y1/y2


m

Gm
0.03448
1.75
0.6788
Lm
0.08889

y1
0.015

100
y2 0.00015

Lm

Lm in mass unit
Area
M wt

kg
2
m
s 1m 2 0.08889 kmol
Lm
kg
s
18
kmol
1.6

Colburns Method

Colburns Method
Solution
From nomogram, NOG = 10.6 = 11
Height of absorber, Z

Z H OG N OG

Z 0.3m 11
Z 3.3m

Plate tower Description and Design

INTRODUCTION TO PLATE TOWER

DETERMINATION STAGES OF TOWER

MINIMUM LIQUID FLOW RATE TO OBTAIN SPECIFIC SEPARATION

Introduction to Plate tower


Bubble cap columns or sieve trays, are sometimes used for gas absorption.

Application of plate tower particularly when the load is more than can be
handled in a packed tower about 1 m diameter; and
- when there is any likelihood of deposition of solids which would quickly
choke a packing.
Plate tower are particularly useful when the liquid rate is sufficient to flood
a packed tower.

Determination stages of tower


It will be assumed that dilute solutions are used so that mole fraction and
mole ratio approximately equal.
A material balance for the absorbed component from the bottom to a plane
above plate n will give:

Gm yn Lm xs Gm ys 1 Lm xn 1
yn

Lm
L
xn 1 ys 1 m xs
Gm
Gm

Operatingline

Operating line also describes such a line passes through two point, 1 (top of
tower) and 2 (bottom of tower)

Determination stages of tower


Example 1
A bubble cap absorption column is to be used to absorb ammonia,
NH3 by using water.
A gaseous mixture containing 20.5 mol% NH3 and 79.5 mol% air enters
the bottom of the absorption tower.
60.5 kmol of gaseous NH3 enters the tower per hour while 5500 kg
aqueous NH3 solution containing 0.1% by mass NH3 enters the top of
the tower per hour.
The column operates at the atmospheric pressure and at a constant
temperature of 30OC.
It is desired to absorb 95% of the entering gas NH3. Assume that the
effect of water vapor in the gases is negligible.

Determination stages of tower


Example
Determine:
The molar flow rate of entering gaseous mixture

The molar flow rate of the raffinate


The molar flow rate of the extract
The mol ratio of NH3 in the raffinate and extract
The number of ideal stages required
The equilibrium data given as follows:
Mol NH3
mol water

0.000

0.053

0.111

0.177

0.250

Mol NH3
mol air

0.000

0.044

0.089

0.159

0.280

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Lm

Gm

Feed of NH3 aq in= 5500 kg/h

y2 = 0.00015

xA2 = 0.001 kg A/kg

xB2 = 0.999 kg B/kg

95%
removal
T=30OC
P=1 atm
1
x1 = ?
Gm
yA1 = 0.205 kmol A/kmol
yB1 = 0.795 kmol B/kmol
Feed of NH3 in= 60.5 kmol/h

Lm

A = NH3
B = Air
C = H2O

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Determine:

The molar flow rate of entering gaseous mixture, G1


From Gaseous mixture inlet (at point 1),Feed NH3 in = 60.5 kmol/h

kmol A
kmol A
G1 60.5
kmol
h
kmol A
1
kmol
G1 60.5

h
0.205 kmol A
kmol A
G1 295.12
h
0.205

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Determine:
The molar flow rate of the raffinate, G2
From information, 95% of the entering NH3 is being absorbed.
Unabsorbed NH3 = 0.05 60.5

kmol
kmol
3.025
h
h

The molar flow rate of the raffinate, G2 = Gm + unabsorbed NH3


Gm 0.795

kmol B
kmol B
kmol
kmol B
G1 0.795
295.12
234.62
kmol
kmol
h
h

G2 Gm unabsorbe dNH 3 234.62 3.025


G2 237.645

kmol
h

kmol
h

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Determine:
The molar flow rate of the extract, L1
Absorbed NH3 = 0.95 60.5

kmol
kmol
57.475
h
h

From information at L2, feed NH3 aq. in = 5500 kg/h


Lm 0.999

kg C
kg C
kg
kg C
L2 0.999
5500
5494.5
kg
kg
h
h

LA2 0.001

kg A
kg A
kg
kg A
L2 0.001
5500
5.5
kg
kg
h
h

Convert Lm and LA2 in kmol/h unit. Given:


Mwt NH3 = 17

Mwt H2O = 18

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Lm 5494.5
LA2 5.5

kg C 1 kmol C
kmol C

305.25
h
18 kg C
h

kg A 1 kmol A
kmol A

0.324
h
17 kg A
h

The molar flow rate of the extract, L1


L1 Lm LA2 Absorbe dNH 3
L1 305.25 0.324 57.475
L1 363.049

kmol
h

kmol
h

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Determine:

The mol ratio of NH3 in all stream

Location 1
Gas Feed stream, G1
Mol of NH3 = 60.5 kmol/h
Mol of Air, Gm = 234.62 kmol/h

Extract stream, L1
Mol of NH3 = 0.324 + 57.475 kmol/h
= 57.799 kmol/h
Mol of Water, Lm = 305.25 kmol/h

mol of NH 3
mol of Air
60.5 kmol
Y1'
234.62 kmol
Y1' 0.258
Y1'

Coordinate for Location 1 = (X1, Y1) = (0.189,0.258)

mol of NH 3
mol of wate r
57.799 kmol
X 1'
305.25 kmol
X 1' 0.189
X 1'

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Location 2
Raffinate stream, G2

Liquid feed stream, L2

Mol of NH3 = 3.025 kmol/h

Mol of NH3 = 0.324 kmol/h

Mol of Air, Gm = 234.62 kmol/h

Mol of Water, Lm = 305.25 kmol/h

mol of NH 3
Y
mol of Air
3.025 kmol
Y2'
234.62 kmol
Y2' 0.013
'
2

Coordinate for Location 2 = (X2, Y2) = (0.001,0.013)

mol of NH 3
mol of wate r
0.324 kmol
X 2'
305.25 kmol
X 2' 0.001
X 2'

Determination stages of tower


Solution
Plot the equilibrium line and the operating line in order to
calculate number of stages
No of theoretical stages = 5 theoretical stages

Determination stages of tower


0.3
0.275
0.25
0.225
0.2

0.175
0.15
0.125
0.1
0.075
0.05
0.025
0
0

0.025 0.05 0.075

0.1

0.125 0.15 0.175


x

0.2

0.225 0.25 0.275

0.3

Determination stages of tower


Example 2
A bubble cap absorption column is to be used to absorb ammonia,
NH3 by using water.
A gaseous mixture containing 15 mol% NH3 and 85 mol% air enters
the bottom of the absorption tower.
57 mol of gaseous NH3 enters the tower per hour, while 3.7 kg of pure
water enters the top of the tower per hour.
The column operates at the atmospheric pressure and at a constant
temperature of 30OC.
It is desired to absorb NH3 such as only 2.5% NH3 leaves the tower
with air. Determine the number of theoretical plates required for the
above process.
Equilibrium data is given as in Example 1. Assume that the effect of
water vapor in the gases is negligible.

Minimum Liquid Flow rate


Min. flow rate = Infinite number of stages = Minimum reflux in distillation.

as L decreases, line approaching equilibrium line

equilibrium line

x
Minimum value of flow rate is where:
Exit liquid [ ] = Equilibrium [ ]
or
Inlet gas [ ] = Equilibrium [ ]