7th Semester,
B.Sc. Chemical Engineering
Session 2008

Delivered by:
Mr. Usman Ali
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore
Humidification Operations
Unit Operation.
Simultaneous heat and mass transfer
Transfer between pure liquid phase and a
fixed gas that is insoluble in liquid.
Air-water contacting:
o Water Cooling
o Humidification
o Dehumidification
o Gas Cooling
The degree of moisture has a strong effect on
o heating, cooling, and comfort
o insulation, roofing, stability and deformation of
building materials
o sound absorption, odor levels, ventilation
o industry and agriculture

Humidification Operations
Dry Air and Water Vapor
Nitrogen 78.084 28.0134
Oxygen 20.448 31.9988
Argon 0.934 39.9430
Carbon Dioxide 0.031 44.0100

Dry Air
Component % by vol MW
Effective MW 28.9645
Water Vapor 18.0153
Saturated gas
Saturation Humidity
Relative humidity
Percentage humidity
Humid heat
Humid volume

Dew point / Saturation temperature
Total Enthalpy
Dry-bulb Temperature
Wet-bulb Temperature

Adiabatic Saturator

In a vessel at 101.3 kN/m
and 300 K, the
percentage relative humidity of the water vapour in
the air is 25. If the partial pressure of water vapour
when air is saturated with vapour at 300 K is 3.6
, calculate:
(a) the partial pressure of the water vapour in the vessel;
(b) the specific volumes of the air and water vapour;
(c) the humidity of the air; and
(d) the percentage humidity.
In a process in which it is used as a solvent,
benzene is evaporated into dry nitrogen. At 297
K and 101.3 kN/m
, the resulting mixture has a
percentage relative humidity of 60. It is required
to recover 80 per cent of the benzene present
by cooling to 283 K and compressing to a
suitable pressure. What should this pressure be?
The vapour pressure of benzene is 12.2 kN/m
297 K and 6.0 kN/m
at 283 K.
Humidity charts / Psychrometric charts
 Abscissa – temperature
 Ordinate – humidity
 Percentage humidity
 Adiabatic cooling lines
 Specific volume of dry
air & saturated volume
 Humid heat vs humidity
 Point on chart
 At saturation line
 Above
 Below

Use of humidity charts
Any pressure
Any system other than air-water

Vapor pressure & Latent heat of vaporization
Specific heats of dry gas & vapor
Molecular weights of gas & vapor
Humidity charts other than air-water

Wet-bulb temperature
• Steady-state , non-equilibrium temperature reached by
small amount of liquid immersed under adiabatic
conditions in a continuous stream of gas.

• It is very close to the adiabatic saturation temperature
for the air-water system, but not for most other vapor-
gas systems
How to measure ?
• Adiabatic conditions
• Covered by wick
• Must be saturated with pure

Heat of vaporization
sensible heat of vapors
sensible heat flowing from gas to

1. The wick must be completely
2. Velocity of gas should be large.
3. Make up water should be at wet-
bulb temperature.

Cooling Towers

Dry cooling
Evaporative cooling
Compression cooling
Evaporative Cooling
 Reduced ground area (higher thermal power/m²)
 More efficient heat exchange
 Less electrical consumption
 Limits set by wet bulb temperature

 Substantial water consumption
 Water treatment may be necessary
Cooling in Industry

A cooling tower is an equipment used to reduce the
temperature of a water stream by extracting heat
from water and emitting it to the atmosphere.

Principle : Evaporation

Cooling Towers

Cooling Towers
Cooling towers are
evaporative coolers used for
cooling water or other
working medium to near the
ambient wet-bulb
temperature of the air.
Important Factors for Operation
Dry bulb and wet bulb temperature of air
Temperature of warm water
Efficiency of contact between air and water
Uniformity of distribution of phases
Air pressure drop
Desired temperature of cooled water

Types of Cooling Towers
Induced Draft
Cooling Towers
Natural Draft Mechanical Draft
Forced Draft
Counter Current
Cross Flow

Spray Ponds

Atmospheric Cooling Tower
Rectangular chamber with
Cheap and inefficient
Performance depends on
direction and velocity of wind
Natural draft Cooling Tower

Natural draft Cooling Tower
Large reinforced concrete shell of hyperbolic
At bottom , small part is filled with high void
Factors for Natural Draft:
i. Rise in T and H of air in column reduces its
ii. Wind velocity at tower bottom
Natural draft Cooling Tower
Hyperbolic Shape:
More packing in bigger area as in bottom
Entering air gets smoothly directed towards
centre and creating a strong draft
Greater strength ant stability

Mechanical draft towers have large fans to force
or draw air through circulated water.

Types :
Forced draft
Induced draft

Mechanical Draft Cooling Tower

Air blown through tower by centrifugal fan at air
 Suited for high air resistance
 Velocity head is converted in press. Head on
entering tower.
 Fans are relatively quiet and less vibration
 Recirculation due to high air-entry
 Air flow through fill may not be uniform.
 Low air-exit velocities
Forced Draft Cooling Tower

Forced Draft Cooling Tower


 Less recirculation than forced
draft towers
 Fans and motor drive
mechanism require weather-

Induced draft Cooling Tower
Counter-flow Cooling Tower

Dry air contacts coldest water at bottom and
Humid air contacts warm water at top
Creating maximum average driving force for
both heat and mass transfer
More horse power of fan as there is restricted
area for air flow at bottom

Counter-flow Cooling Tower
Cross-Flow Cooling Tower

Less horse power of fan as compared to
counter flow.
Growth of algae on fill is more

Cross-Flow Cooling Tower
Components of a cooling tower
 Shell, Frame and casing: support exterior enclosures
 Tower Fill: facilitate heat transfer by maximizing water / air contact
o Splash fill
o Film fill
 Cold Water Basin: receives water at bottom of tower
 Drift Eliminators: capture droplets in air stream
 Air Inlet: entry point of air
 Louvers: equalize air flow into the fill and retain water within tower
 Water Distributor(Nozzles): spray water to wet the fill
 Fans
 Mechanical Support
Performance of cooling towers
Difference in temperature
between the inlet hot water
and the outlet cold water.

Difference in temperature
between the outlet cold
water and the wet bulb
temperature of the entering
This is the ratio between the range and the ideal range
(in percentage)

Evaporation loss.
This is the water quantity evaporated for cooling duty.
Theoretically the evaporation quantity works out to 1.8 m3 for every
1,000,000 kCal heat rejected.

= Range / (Range + Approach)
Water droplets blown out of the cooling tower by wind, generally at the air
inlet openings. Water may also be lost, in the absence of wind, through
splashing or misting.

Devices such as wind screens, louvers, splash deflectors and water diverters
are used to limit these losses.
The portion of the circulating water flow that is removed in order to maintain
the amount of dissolved solids and other impurities at an acceptable level.


The stream of saturated exhaust air leaving the cooling tower.

The plume is visible when water vapor it contains condenses in contact with
cooler ambient air, like the saturated air in one's breath fogs on a cold day.

Problems Related To Cooling Water
Interference and Recirculation

Others Problems

1. Scale
2. Fouling
3. Microbiological growth
4. Corrosion

Problems Related To Cooling Water

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