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Chapter 16 Simultaneous heat and mass transport

(Material presented in this chapter are based on those in Chapters 20, Diffusion mass transfer in uid systems second edition by EL Cussler) Processes that involve simultaneous heat and mass transfer are plenty and commonly found in nature. Cooling towers is one such example. In this chapter, development of the heat and mass transfer relations for cooling towers will be discussed.


Design of cooling towers

Cooling towers are a very economical way to cool large quantities of water. The tower is packed with inert materials (Fig. 16.1). Hot water is sprayed into the top of the tower. Sprayed hot water trickles through the inert material. While owing through the inert material, hot water evaporates. Air enters the bottom of the tower and rise through the packing. Depending on the size of the tower, forced convection may be introduced by pumping air or the tower may experience only free or natural convection. Typical question in cooling towers is to estimate the height of the tower given the amount of water to be cooled. A steady state dierential mass balance for the conservation of water 197


Figure 16.1: Design of cooling towers vapor is given by GyH2 0 |z GyH2 0 |z+dz + (za)k (CH2 0,i CH2 O ) = 0 d(GyH2 0 ) + ka(CH2 0,i CH2 O ) = 0 (16.1) dz where, y is the mole fraction, a is the surface area per unit volume, G is the molar ux of wet air. As CyH2 0 = CH2 0 where C is the total concentration and if G na ir = molar ux of dry air, which is valid under dilute limit, then Eq. (16.1) can be written as nair dyH2 0 + kaC (yH2 0,i yH2 0 ) = 0 dz dTair + ha(Ti Tair ) = 0 dz (16.2)

Next a steady state dierential energy balance for the wet air is given by p,air nair C (16.3)

and for water, the energy balance, that is, energy lost from water is gained by the air, is p,H2 0 dTH2 0 na ir dH = 0 nH2 0 C (16.4) dz dz



As kH2 0 kair and Ti TH2 0 , multiplying Eq. (16.2) with Hvap and adding to Eq. (16.3) gives nair Hvap dyH2 0 + kaC Hvap (yH2 0,i yH2 0 )+ dz p,air dTair + ha(Ti Tair ) = 0 nair C dz d nair Cp,air Tair + Hvap yH2 0 = dz kaC Hvap (yH2 0,i yH2 0 ) + ha(TH2 0 Tair ) (16.5)

From Chilton-Colburn analogy, k v D

2 3

= Cp,air v h

2 3


p,air is dened based on the mass density. For gases, where C p,air k = C C p,air k h = C p,air is dened in terms of the concentration. where, C Using Eq. (16.7), Eq. (16.5) can be re-written as nair dH i H ) = kaC (H dz

1. Thus, (16.7)


= C p,air Tair + H vap yH2 0 , which signies the enthalpy of wet air where H i = C p,air TH2 0 + H vap yH2 0,i , which signies the per mole of dry air and H enthaly of wet air/per mole of dry air at the interface. Expression in Eq. (16.8) can be intergrated to obtain the height of the tower: out l H nair dH l = dz = (16.9) i H kaC H
0 in H