Enuironment Vol. 11, pp. 837-845.


Press 1977. Printed in Great Britain.

K. C. GOEL Advance Engineering Branch, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada* and K. G. T. HO~LANDS Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (First received 24 May and in final form 27 December 1976) A~~ct-Althou~ venturi scrubbers are capable of removing submicron particles, they do this at the expense of a high pressure drop in the gas stream, with a coincident high fan operating cost. Designs of venturi scrubbers which, for a given gas flow rate and particulate removal e@ciency, have minimum pressure drop, may be called optimal. This paper considers design procedures for optimized design. On the basis of a straight duct model, the optimum combination of liquid flow rate and gas velocity at point of liquid injection is treated. Using this combination, and using a multi-duct analysis, the optimum distance upstream of throat where nozzles for injecting the scrubbing liquid should be located is treated. Optimized design charts, based on air-water systems and pneumatic ato~~tion are presented. An important result of this treatment is the prediction of very low pressure drops, if an atomization system giving the “optimum” droplet size (rather than the larger droplet size produced by conventional pneumatic atomi~tion) is used.


submicron particles, it does it at the expense of a very large pressure loss in the gas stream, with a consequent high fan cost, particularly in running costs. Con~quently it is highly desirable to minimize the pressure loss across venturi scrubbers. The development of op~~zed venturi scrubber designs which have ~nimum pressure loss has awaited the development of a proper quanti~tive theory of their operation. Recently such theories have begun to appear: Calvert (1970); Boll (1973); Hollands and Goel (1975); God and Hollands (1974), to name a few. Although these theories are based upon a number of assumptions which are open to question, they mode1 the performance of full-size indust~al scrubbers reasonably well, provided proper care is taken in the venturi design. In particular, care must be taken so as to ensure that the scrubbing liquid is uniformly ~stributed across the venturi throat; and the internal aerod~amics of the venturi must be such as to avoid separation of the flow from the walls. These theories now appear to be adequate for obtaining at least nor-op~mum designs, if not fully optimal. The literature contains little info~ation on the optimum design of venturi scrubbers, although the existence of optimum combinations of liquid flow rate and throat velocity which minimize the. pressure loss was expe~imen~lly observed by early investigators (Eckman and Johnston, 1951; Byrd and Dewey, 1957). The complexity of determining an optimum venturi geometry was pointed out by Uchida and Wen (1974).
Al~ough the venturi is capable of removing

The object of this paper is to present an optimization scheme based upon modem theories. Because of the extreme complexity of the problem (due largely to the multipli~ty of design variables) it was found necessary to make some simp~f~ng assumptions. The most important of these is that for the purpose of determining the optimum combination of liquid flow rate and gas velocity, the venturi is modelled as a single straight duct. On the other hand, for the purpose of deter~ning the optimum dimensions of the real venturi, a multiduct analysis is used From these considerations a procedure for designing a near-optimum venturi scrubber is described An interesting result of this study is the high potential for a much reduced pressure loss if an atom~tion procedure with a controllable droplet size is used, rather than the pneumatic atomization presently use& 2. STRAIGHT DUCT MODEL OF A

* Present address:





The physical model used to obtain the optimum conditions which should prevail at the point of liquid injection, namely the optimum combination of gas veIocity, liquid flow rate and drop diameter, is shown in Fig. 1. The dust laden gas enters a straight duct of (~eoretically) infinite length and having a radius equal to the radius at that point of liquid injection of the real venturi. Liquid is assumed to be introduced in the form of droplets of diameter, d. In the first analysis of this optimization problem and droplet diameter d will be assumed independent of the gas velocity and liquid flow rate. Later, in the paper, consideration will be given to the case where pneumatic atomization is used, in which case d is fixed by these variables. The droplet velocity at the point of liquid


we use the drag coefficient expression given by Hollands and Goel (1975) as: C.c ?? + ---. To further simplify the problem. there .7 1. this simplification turns out to be fortuitously acceptable in this instance since it compensates to some extent for the recovery due to kinetic energies of the gas and the liquid which is achieved in the divergent duct of the real venturi. K” VU = i K. and small liquid volume fraction.K. (2) and may be given by using Equation (5) as: (7a) Equation (2) approximately represents the “‘standard curve” over the Reynolds number range of practical interest here. i._h:W. we will neglect for the moment the pressure loss due to wall friction. However. = 0. I..ytan- 1 N. 3.. GOI:L and K. Due to this reason and the fact that most of the momentum exchange and particulate collection of a real venturi take place in the throat region (where a zone of high relative velocity between the phases exists). Cr.ATIONS The target efficiency expression used is that given by Goel and Hollands (1974) : where qn is the target efficiency at the point of liquid injection.Pp&qa W-3 It is now useful to define a dimensionless group X by the relation : x = C.&../PJ”~5. ‘2-t 3Y :+ . T.. Inertial impaction is assumed to be the dominant particle collection mechanism. (u. X is independent of the drop diameter. 2 The differential equation for particulate collection is the same as that used by Calvert (1970). Thus: (A& = M IV&.(> ). that of uniform liquid distribution across the cross-section.. HOLLANDS ‘--- DROPLET.44 I “.15 Re'.(1 + 0.r.. Integrating this (assuming the liquid velocity at the point of injection to be zero) for a straight infinite duct (see Goel and Hollands.d. C.. ihcompressible and adiabatic flow.15 Rf$&CJ. The drag coefficient at the point of liquid injection. (3) y = !g = .. GOVERNING EQCI. .p. we get the following expression for the total number of collection units in a duct : The pressure loss for the physical model described above is given simply by the change in momentum of the liquid from zero to its value when the liquid velocity is equal to the gas velocity. = c. can be prescribed as accurately as desired. CD.') B R% vy -1 1 (6) In order to obtain an expression for the number of collection units.T = ~- 24 0. - 3 . (1) where 2. Substituting Equation (8) into Equation @I (6). The other assumptions regarding the flow and fluid properties are the same as used commonly by previous investigators and include the assumptions of one-dimensional. N C. Let us for the purposes of the present study use Calvert’s (1970) expression for q. 1974 for details) and making use of Equations (2-4. Calvert (1970) could achieve a remarkable success in comparing the results predicted by such a simplified model with experimental data on real venturis. Let us describe it by a close fit to the “standard curve” as given by Dickinson and Marshall (1968): CD.e./~i. + 0.~..22 + $1 r? + 0. DIAMETER d Fig. Equation (4) represents a correlation of Walton and Woolcock’s (1960) data as given by Calvert (1970) and its use allows for the flexibility of using as accurate a value for qa as possible. Straight duct model of a venturi scrubber injection will be assumed to be zero.

AX. the optimum drop diameter is simply the one which maximizes the number of collection units.. Since X is independent of drop diameter. when two droplets of different diameters are introduced simultaneously into a gas stream (with the same initial relative velocity).1 M * 00) Equations (1) and (10) give respectively the pressure loss and total number of collection units in a venturi scrubber due to the simplified model used. there is a unique value of qU which corresponds to maximum (N.0 plotted as a function of X and )I~. the value of ~. Therefore. 11/9--D . OPTIMUM DROP DIAMETER It is interesting to note from Equation (1) that the pressure loss is independent of drop diameter. then the smaller droplet is accelerated faster than the bigger one with 0101 Fig. 3 can be used to obtain an optimum value of the drop diameter for any set of the other variables on which q. 4.6 1. The peaks of the curves in Fig.. However. Optimum value of target efficiency at the point of liquid injection. in Fig. 3. The physical meaning of the existence of an optimum drop diameter for maximum efficiency is explained below. Figure 2 exhibits the dependence of (~~. 3. These equations will now be used to obtain optimum values of drop diameter._. The problem of practical interest is then to find out those combinations of gas Fig. 2 are plotted in Fig. there exists an optimum drop diameter which is given by Fig.. 3. I OPTIMUM COMBINATION OF GAS VELOCITY AND LIQUID FLOW RATE It is well-known that both the collection efficiency and the pressure loss of a venturi scrubber are increased by increasing either the gas velocity or the liquid flow rate or both. N&M 04 % 06 0. It is seen from this figure that for each value of X. and X depend. 3 for practical purposes will be discussed in the next section. Consequently. It is known that the target efficiency of a droplet increases by decreasing the diameter and increasing the relative velocity between the gas and the droplet.&f). liquid flow rate and gas velocity.~jM) on X and Y as given by Equation (10) where qa is related to Yby Equation (7a).Optimum design of venturi scrubbers results : 839 = 9. the result that the relative velocity goes to zero earlier in the case of smaller droplet (which is a more efficient particulate collector) than in the case of the bigger droplet (which is a less efficient particulate collector). The feasibility of using Fig.. 2.

provided the drop diameter is given its optimum value as predicted by Fig.072 N/m 2800 kg/m3 ’ 1. HOLLANDS The problem is to find optimum values of d. 4.Tanasawa (1938) equation. One possibility is to use pressure atomization such as that used in.) is in general a function of two parameters. 4 gives the value of Z (which is directly related to pressure loss) for any value of Q. and M shown in the table. The procedure is repeated for severat assumed values of t:ra to find out a feasible value of U$~. calculated of %Wpr by using Equation (7). f&e. Let the following data be specified: I . The results of this calculation are summarized in Table 1. namely. Fig. Thus combining Fig. For this purpose. smaller than that produced by pneumatic atomization. Thus although it appears that the pressure loss can be decreased (at Ieast hy~theticaiIy~ to a very low value by decreasing the gas velocity. first a value of usa is assumed. 3. However. we get Fig. The most important limitation is quite obvious and is due to the difficulty in obtaining proper atomization. as predicted by the Nukiyama--Tanasawa equation. T. Fat this purpose. C. ejector vcnturi scrubbers (Harris. in practice.~~~~~C.~ and A4 which will give minimum pressure loss.0 x IO-‘rn 4. Fig. It appears from Fig. The last column in Table 1 gives the drop diameter produced by pneumatic atomization calculated by using the Nukiyama. minimum Z) one should use as small a value of gas velocity as possible. and the corresponding value of (AL/?)~ calculated from the definition of Z.s 1000kg/m3 (properties of water) 0.6 (99% efficiency). 2 plotted as a function of X using optimum drop diameter as given by Figure ? . for the values of I’. 3 and Equation (7a). The value of M corresponding to the assumed value of l’sD is obtained by using either of Equations (I} and (10).3 kg/m3 (properties of air) 1. c. if it is assumed that the droplet diameter is independent of gas velocity.e. 1965). eliminate M from Equations (1) and (lo).. 3. In other words.. 3 and Equations (7a) and (1 I). To illustrate this. a value of X less than a certain value may not be found feasible. the value of Z read from Fig. G. This then strongly suggests the desirability of devising a separate atomization method which will produce a controlled droplet size. the optimum value of Y may be given from Fig.X x W’Pa. 4 where the dimensionless parameter 2 is plotted as a function of X. there are certain Jimitations in doing so.840 K. the value of d. GOEL and K. 4. for it is seen from Table I that the optimum drop diameter required at low velocities is considerably smaller than that which would be produced by pneumatic atomization. the following numerical example is chosen.. 4 that to get minimum pressure loss (i. then the value of X is obtained from Equation (9) the value read from Fig. (In this case the energy requirement of the pressure atomizer will also have to be taken into account in the optimization pro- velocity and liquid flow rate which for any desired eNiciency will minimize the pressure loss. X and k: However. whereas the drop diameter given by the Nukiyama-Tanasawa equation (sometimes referred to in this paper as the N-T equation) decreases with gas velocity.. say. Table 1 shows that the optimum drop diameter and liquid flow rate increase with the gas velocity. X) used. then for any value of X. and non-dimensionalise using Equation (8) to get: It is seen from Equation (11) that the dimensionless parameter 2 = (A~)~~~/(~~.

The optimum drop diameter and the drop diameter predicted by the Nukiyama-Tanasawa equation as given in Table I are plotted as functions of arrain Fig. Illustration for optimum design r@.895 0. Optimum gas velocity at the point of liquid injection for a mixture of air and water (using N-T equation for drop diameter). 6.96 12.62 6. . Therefore a numerical search technique was used The algorithm for this is not given here for lack of space but reported elsewhere (Goel. The actual optimization procedure in this case becomes too involved to be treated analytically. . The properties of the air and water are as given in the example discussed above. Comparison of drop diameter for maximum efficiency with that produced by pneumatic atomization as predicted by Nukiyama-Tanasawa equation. .872 0.0 in HZ0 3. However._+ 15 “pa ’ +7&---i&m/s 0 2 4 N C’ 6 T 6 IO Fig.14 20.839 0.44 91. 6-8 for a mixture of air and water.80 10. . . Dependent drop diameter it was assumed that it is unaffected by the gas velocity Having discussed a hypothetical means of minimizing the pressure loss in a venturi scrubber.528 10.165 0. .5 m/s in this case). the drop diameter produced by pneumatic atomization must be a function of the gas velocity at the point of atomization or inversely the gas velocity to be used in obtaining X and Y in Equation (10) is in reality a function of the drop diameter rather than a constant as was treated before. 1975). assuming pneumatic atomization.1I 22. . m/s 15 30 45 60 90 X x IO3 2.N-T equaflon (see table I) For maximum efflclency _ I 30 oi__--.4 16.17 0. i. 135. This figure shows that the curves intersect at a well defined point (corresponding to agO = 57. The results of the computations are plotted in Figs.Optimum design of venturi scrubbers Table 1. r- ------r- I t got 4 \ .9 3.0 0. are (i) the large amount of liquid required (as seen from Table I) and (ii) the requirement of a longer venturi (a fact which is completely overlooked here due to the simplified model used for optimization) at low gas velocities.2 31. 400 usC In reality. 5. the combination used most in practical scrubbers. This point may be mistaken for the optimum operating point for a scrubber for which the NukiyamrTanasawa equation is valid and which is designed to operate according to the specifications mentioned previously.917 dw Z W”h M dN-r eqn. Fig. let us now examine Table I from a more conventional point of view. it was not possible to I I . 841 /Im 53 68 79 84 98 x 10s 2. . (Due to the dimensional nature of the Nukiyama-Tanasawa equation.86 0. Therefore.) The other limitations of the above method of reducing pressure loss by using lower gas velocities.21 4.36 7.75 40.e. the derivative of ue..75 pm 326 163 109 82 55 cedure. 5. however.48 1. a deeper thinking will reveal that this is not the case since in obtaining optimum value of the drop diameter for maximum efficiency.08 I . with respect to the drop diameter must also be involved in the optimization procedure.

Schematic diagram of a real venturi. ___.I(. 8. the corresponding pressure loss will also be higher. 6. and the integration for Nf.) In performing the actual computations. namely equation (8). G. and for other droplet size equations.r was performed normally rather than using the cfosed-form expression given by Equation (10)._~ 1. T. 7.-. was applied loc&y for the full length of the venturi. C. Minimum pressure loss obtained by using optimum gas velocity (given by Figure 6) and liquid flow rate (given by Figure 7) as predicted by Equation (I 1._ __.. the higher the liquid flow rate and gas velocity must be. HOLLANUS i 0 I 1 2 I 4 I 6 I 8 I 10 1 N C. . Optimum liquid flow rate for a mixture of air and water (using N-T equation for drop diameter)._. T N C’ T Fig. present these results in a dimensionless form. 9. values of the gas velocity at the point of liquid injection and the liquid flow rate to be used for any given requirement. OPTIMUM VENTURI DIMENSIONS The optimum values of the gas velocity and the liquid flow rate as given by Figs.----.._ .. However. 6 and 7 were obtained from a rather simplified model of a real ven- -) ---. Figures 6-8 depict that in general the smaller or lighter the particulates to be collected or the higher the number of collection units desired..~. one must bear in mind that the use of the Nukiyama-Tana~wa equation is implicit in these figures. Figures such as 6 8 can be readily prepared for other gases and scrubbing liquid. a more accurate drag law. COEL and K._c Fig. These figures can be used in the actual design of real airwater venturi scrubbers to estimate the optimum Fig. .

only conical ducts are examined. .. Effect of pP ds on optimum IL&. let us assume for the moment that: 1. lT (total length). namely Q. 6 is also applicable to the real venturi as well. a mixture of air and water. as was assumed in the beginning of this section. (A common engineering practice is to use the value of $ between 1 and 3.) is a function of five variables. on optimum ueJu4. the ratio (u.5” and 3. given in Fig. N. The real venturi is shown in Fig. = $r.Ju.J is shown in Fig. 11. I 2 1 3 4 -05 L. 10.. Effect of $ on optimum ueJus. since these can be related directly as the gas flow rate is assumed to be specified. Since (Ap). Effect of I. and r. the optimum value of urrO obtained from the simplified model and given in Fig. .Optimum design of venturi scrubbers 843 ::_ 0 . NukiyamaTanasawa equation was used for the drop diameter. It is now postulated that these optimum values of the liquid flow rate and the gas velocity at the point of liquid injection are also applicable to a real venturi. (12) Fig. the ratio of the two pressure losses plotted where $. 8) is also shown as a function of $ for fixed values of the other parameters indicated in the figure. I. In general. In general any independent set of six variables will completely define the venturi geometry. 4 . the ratio of throat length to its radius. The angle of convergence /Ii and the angle of divergence /I2 are usually taken for conical ducts to be 12. The total length (IT) is assumed to be specified as before.. 10-14 for loil~-a5 2 3 4 5 6 2x PPdP ’ IO -9 kg/m Fig. may be used in place of radii r.m turi. The effect of I(/ on the ratio (u. (throat length). 9. I . This was done by using a comprehensive method for predicting the performance of a venturi scrubber as developed by Boll (1973). and usl (the gas velocities ug’s. One such set which is convenient in the present treatment is given by /?i.r and $.5” respectively which seem to avoid unnecessary pressure loss due to flow separation. 3 1. Typical results are plotted in Figs. 2 q (or . is fixed. In addition. 8 is independent of $.. 12.) The remaining variables are ugoand uer. Therefore. and ua. pP di./r+) . the only independent variable which now needs to be determined is uat which can be easily obtained by trial and error so that the required number of collection units is obtained.) For brevity./_$ 5 ‘“os I Fig.. us. 10 where the ratio of pressure loss obtained from the resulting venturi to that predicted by the simplified model (given in Fig.However.Ju. I.. P2.

10 gives an indication of the variation of pressure loss in a real venturi scrubber with tj.) The ratio of t. etc. the length of the scrubber will be limited to different values for different applications depending upon the space available for installation. Figs. Use of the design procedure given in the prcvious section should yield design of venturi scrubbers with pneumatic atomization which are very close to optimal. The relatively slight variation in the pressure ratio shown in these figures indicates that optimized designs based on straight duct theory should not bc very far from being fully optimal.j0incrcasrs with 11~ di and N.~and !&I be determined from Figs. The maximum length available should clearly he used.K. 8 is independent of l7 as well. m d.. Howcvcr. 2. have minimum pressure loss for a given gas Row rate and particulate removal etficiency. I I should he prcpared so as to show the pressure drop penalty for short overall length. Q. dimensionless CD = drag coetficient ol droplet. Another interesting result is the effects of 1. Effect of Q.. CO&CLC’SIONS I. kg/m3 C. using a comprehensive multi-duct analysis such as given by Boll (1973) or Gael and Hollands (1974.. C. Acknowlr~~rmn~ts-This work was supported and fellowship from the NatIonal Research Canada. /lz and $ be decided by intctnal fluid Row considerations. 17. = Cunningham correctlon factor to Stokes’ Law for particulate slip between gas molecules (required only when d. If an atomization method can be used in the venturi which produces droplet of :I controllable size (smaller than that produced by pneumatic atomization).. HOLLANDS ent lengths of the real venturi scrubber. and decreases with increasing Q.. Therefore. = particulate diameter. I I.. chosen to be optimal for the given venturi application. The total length of the venturi should he decided so as to be as long as possible hut so . dimensionless C. i. T. shown in Fig. It is thus seen that the pressure loss in a venturi scrubber can be decreased by increasing Its total length.. 6 and 7. 10 that the overall pressure loss in the venturi scrubber is relatively insensitive to the value of I(/. on the two ratios. It is thus seen from Fig. GOEL and K. As in the case of $ discussed above. 1975).. 7. 6.Its value can therefore be determined from other engineering considerations such as to avoid an abrupt divergence of flow leaving the convergent duct. on optimum uJc.--- iI . should then be detetmmed b) trial-and-error... I _/-0. the pressure loss given in Fig..Jc. m Fig. dj.. it is recommended that I‘.. - ___---. < 1 /cm. Values of 1). so as to avoid separation of Row from the walls. the plot indicates the variation in pressure loss obtained by using differ- For design of air-water scrubbers of speciticd . RECOMMENDED DESIGh PROCEDl:RE in Fig.. = drag cocflicient at the point of liquid injectron d = drop diameter. 13 and 14 show that r4. (If guidance is needed for thk consideration a graph such as Fig.e../f /’ by a yrdnt Cot&ii of LIST OF NOl’ATIO\ c = particulate concentration 111 the gas ctrcam.V. 14..._ . necessary to give the required N.S to meet any external constraints such as height ot room available. 8.~. and pr. very large reductions in venturi pressure loss should result.

u. R. S. H. p# p. .E.D. (1973) Gas absorptton by alkaline solutions in a venturi scrubber. H. ! & EC Fundamentals 14. 40. Oxford. G. Greek Lerrers /I = 17= q. Ir*:. 43743.~.. inch H. (1960) The suppression of airborne dust by water spray. rs . Ontario~ Canada. dimensionless 1:. 74-WAIAPC4._ Chem.I. 447451. and Goel K. . Dept.. dimensionless (Apb p:&Y./m. Thesis. m drop Reynolds number. pp dilu. C. kg/m3 surface tension between gas and liquid.. di t&p:. . G. Goel K..w = S..I’. (1974) A general method for predicting particulate collection efficiency of venturi scrubbers. (Tokyo) 4. . and Woolcock A. Sot. Pa pressure loss. ed. m/s rclativc velocity between gas and droplet. = lug .). = (Ap)r = (Ap”). kg/s mass flow rate ratio. Harris L.1. A. of Mech. Department of National Dcfence (Canada). Pergamon Press.-50. m liquid flow rate. Mech. E. m radius of venturi at the point of liquid injection. Culvert S.O volumetric flow rate. Walton W.f. Journal 14. Ottawa.. and Marshal1 W. = Re = Re. T. dimensionless length. R. m/s gas velocity at the point of liquid injection.. (1970) Venturi and other atomizing scrubbers efficiency and pressure drop. gallon/(lOOO ft’ of gas) mass tlow rate. m/s rclativc velocity at the point of liquid injection.. F. Pas density.d P~.= . and Tanasawa Y. (1951) Collection of aerosols in a venturi scrubber. Prcg. and Hollands K. Journal 16.elop.. 53. (1975) Analysis and optimum design of venturi scrubbers. Defence Research Board. translated by E. 392-396.E. (196X) The rates of evaporation of sprays. Aerodynamic Capture of’ Particles. Goel K.. m/s liquid velocity at the point of injection. 4. Ena. (1973) Particle collection and pressure drop in venturi scrubbers. Ekman F. (1975) A general method for predicting pressure loss in venturi scrubbers.Y = Y= Z = inertial impaction parameter. degree target efficiency of droplet.r = Q= r = r.P# velocity. Y. Ind.r pp di C. 541-552. C.c. L.Ch. and Wen C. Waterloo. I & EC Fundamentals 12.)!9 p. Richardson. Byrd J. N/m Hollands K. = m. G. dimensionless p = of the particulate t = of (or at) the throat of the venturi T = total REFERENCES Boll R. 1622. dimensionless number of collection units. Der. ASME paper No. and Dewey E. m3!s radius.0. Eny. = X45 = c= %a = r10= 11. Ena. Eny. 43. F.Optimum design of venturi scrubbers K = = I= L’ = m= . Uchida S. and Johnston H. (1957) Venturi scrubber in odor control. = $ = /r = p = (i = angle of divergence... 135X-1370. Hope. Chem. of Waterloo. 129-153. 302-305. 12..r/z. C. Dickinson D. Journal APCA 15. m/s C.. C. dimensionless pressure loss. = rpu . T. 0. Ph. Subscripts TV = at the point of liquid injection (I = of the gas I = of the liquid Nukiyama S. dimensionless target efficiency at the point of liquid injection constant in Equation (12) dynamic viscosity.. (1965) Energy and efficiency characteristics of the ejector venturi scrubber.ld pO/pU.d.Ch. = = L‘. dimensionless Reynolds number at the point of liquid injection. (1938) Trans. I & EC Process Des. 1).

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