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MASS TRANSFER-CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

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Design of packed tower The cross sectional view of the packed tower is shown . (I) on the basis of

individual mass transfer coefficients or (II) on the basis of overall mass transfer coefficient.

Figure 4.5: Cross sectional view of packed tower. The column is packed with packing materials (any type)

to provide more contact between gas and liquid.

hT dh

1 /, y1

2 /, x2

2 /, y2

1

2

1 /, x1

Packing sructure Page 2 of 4

Let, G/ and L/ are gas and liquid flow rate per unit area basis, mol/h.m2. is specific interfacial contact

area between gas and liquid, m2/m3. The mole fraction of solute in gas is y. Hence, solute flow rate in

gas= G/y mol/h.m2 The decrease in solute flow rate over the thickness dh=d(G/y) (4.1) For a unit

cross-sectional area (1m2), volume of differential section=1dh m3 and interfacial area of contact in

differential section= 1dh m2 If NA is solute flux and ky is individual gas-phase mass transfer

coefficient, solute transfer through differential section= dhNA. Therefore, -*G/dy+ y dG/+= dhNA

(4.2) -G/dy- y dG/= dhNA (4.3) The change in total gas flow rate (dG/) is equal to rate of solute

transfer (dhNA) as carrier gas is not soluble, i.e., - dG/= dhNA (4.4)

Putting the value of dG/ in Equation 4.3, we have,

-G/dy+dhNA y= dhNA (4.5) -G/dy = dhNA(1-y) = / 1 = / 1

() (4.6) Boundary conditions: h=0; y=y1 h=hT; y=y2 Integration of Equation 4.6 gives the

height of packed column as follows:

= 0 = / 1 ()

= / 1 () 1 2

2 1

(4.7)

Interfacial solute concentration, yi is not known; hence the integration of the right hand side of Equation

4.7 is complicated. Page 3 of 4

STEP-BY-STEP PROCEDURE (1) For a particular gas-liquid system, draw equilibrium curve on X-Y plane.

(2) Draw operating line in X-Y plane (PQ) using material balance Equation. Lower terminal Q (X2, Y2) and

upper terminal P (X1, Y1) are placed in x-y plane. Overall mass balance Equation for the absorption

tower is as follows: 1 2 = 1 2

1 11

2 12

= 1 11

2 12

(4.8)

If liquid mass flow rate, Ls is not known, minimum liquid mass flow rate (Ls)min is to be determined. Ls is

generally 1.2 to 2 times the (Ls)min.

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

Y1

X

Pinch point

P

Q

P/

Equilibrium line

Operating line with slope=Ls/Gs

X2

Y

Slope=(Ls)min/Gs

X1

Y2

Xmax

A(X,Y)

B(Xi,Yi)

Tie line

Figure 4.6: Graphical determination of (Ls)min for absorption.

In Figure 4.6, lower terminal of absorption tower is represented by Q (X2, Y2); i.e., bottom of the tower.

Operating line is PQ. If liquid rate is decreased, slope of operating line (Ls/Gs) also decreases and

operating line shifts from PQ to P/Q, when touches equilibrium line. This operating line is tangent to

equilibrium line. Page 4 of 4

Slope of / =

() The driving force for absorption is zero at P/ and is called PINCH POINT. (3) A point A (x, y)

is taken on the operating line. From the known value of kx and ky or kx and ky, a line is drawn with

slope of kx /ky to equilibrium line, B(xi,yi). Line AB is called TIE LINE and xi and yi are known for a set of

values of x and y. (4) Step (3) is repeated for other points in the operating line to get several (xi,yi) sets

for y1yy2. (5) Calculate flow rate of gas G (kg/h) at each point as G=Gs(1+y). (6) Calculate height of the

packing hT of Equation 4.7 graphically or numerically. The height of the stripping column is also

obtained in a similar way. For stripping, y2>y1 and driving force is (yi-y). The corresponding design

Equation will be = / 1 () 2 1 (4.9)

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