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EQUATI"u N FOR PACKED BEDS

Is It Really So Simple?

In teaching an

introductory, graduate-level

course in diffusional operations over the past several

years, I have been struck by the lack of a dci ivation

of the complete difli ential equation dosci-ibing dlSportion olicts in beds and othei multiple-phase systems. Most authors simply give a simpli find equation applicable to some special case, with no dei ivtion and with only a briefly-stated mentlon of the

equation folliiwing fFGm a water ial balance on a

component in the fluid phase in question, oi- with a

statement i efei i-ing to the comparable equation for- a

singlephase fluid.

For example, Sherwood, Pigfoi-d, and

Wilko II ]

give

simplified case to which it applies, but unless care is

exercised, there is g'rciit dangci- ct or i-oi- when aclclitional terms are added to include the effcts of chemical reaction or a sour-cc (such its the inti oduction of a tiacoi- material ). In addition, two Standar d for ins of

the dispei-sion-model equation ai'e commonly found

in the liter-ature whet c the terms fi ore one of these

equations ate ft equently used inconsistently in the

othei- standai d form. Finally, thCfC hlIS been considerable confusion in applying the solutions ft-ore massand heat-ti ansfoi ches in unpacked conduits

to

similar cases in packed 1ods.

For those i-oasons, in my classes I have liiund lt

necessary to pi-esent a simple derivation of the applicable differential equation. The dei-ivation will be

given in this paper , and then the two Standar d forms

of the differential oijuation will be stated, the i elationship between thom will he developed, and some

of the potential on ore in writing the equations v ill

224

of the comparable di ffoi cntial equation ft-ore heat

conduction to provide a solution to a dispci-sion pi oblean in a packed bed will be presented to illusti ate

the need for car o in using such solutions.

DERIVATION

Dot i ving the appl icablo differ-ential

equation for desci i bing the concenti-ation ot

some component A in fluid phase i as a

function of location and time for a packed or

fluldized bed, in both phases for a gas-sparged

llquid, and for all phases in othei simi- lar

systems, may be done simply by const dering a

water-ial balance on a dlffei-on tial volume of

the sys- tem using the well -knovi n, shellbalance techniQue f2J i olcri ing to an element

of II uid phase i. In such a treatment, each fluid

phase may be consider cd sepa- rately. The

equation for fluid phase i is, in svoi-d hmm,

Iiite o i /n /i r//s :i.s/ii / + {liiic oj i in I

ect/on /

rein

the combined effects of diffusion and dispel-sion duo

to convoctivo stir-i-i ng caused by the relative flows of

William 1. Rice is a pro/essor o/ c/cervical engineer

/ng af Al//anova L/niversfj'. w/ere he has been snce

Polytechnic Institute and his PhD from Princeton

University, all degrees being in chemical engineering. He teaches thermodynamics. separation processes, dilfusional operations. and Ia0oraiory. His

published research has been on Iluidized beds. solar

energy. and fluid mechanics

combined effects

are

accounted

for

mathematically

using a dispersion coefficient

which relates a mass flux to a concentration

gradient in the same form in one dimension as the

well-known Fick's first law: Flux = - (D)x

concentration gradient). In this use, the dispersion

coefficients are used in place of the

diffusion coefficient, D, giving: Flux = - (E)x (concentration gradient). The dispersion coefficient, E, is

frequently different in different directions, whereas

diffusion coefficients are the same in all directions.

To simplify the remainder of the derivation, let

us assume that the system consists of a cylindrical

conduit with the concentration of component A in

fluid phase i symmetric about the z-axis and with

the net flow only in the axial direction. Then, for

very small r and z, the various terms in Equation

2 expressed for a chosen ring element of volume =

2iirArAz are

d CA

-E,(2xrsAz)

=

d

CA

(2ii c rArAz)

where

c

occupied by fluid phase i, taken as a

continuous function of space and time

(i.e. , fluid phase i is treated as a continuum fluid with

smoothly

varying

properties in space and timed.

Cq = local concentration of A in fluid phase i

E,, E, = local effective axial and radial

dispersion coeffi- cients, respectively

U, = actual local velocity in the z-direction of

fluid phase i (e.g., if fluid phase i is the

fluid phase in a packed bed, then U, is the

local velocity in the z-direction of fluid

phase i in the interstices between the

bed particles)

R = local net rate of production of A by

chemical reac- tion in fluid phase i per

unit volume of that phase

SA = local rate of introduction of A into fluid

within fluid phase

i per unit volume of that

phase

= local net rate of introduction ofA into

fluid phase i from another phase or

region outside fluid phase i

per unit volume of fluid phase i (e.g., this

term al- lows for mass transfer being

units of (moles ofA)/(time). Equation 3 can

now be simplified by dividing all terms by

2irArAz to obtain

E,c(r + Ar)

dCA

(length)/

[(volume of entire system)ttime)].

Now, Ar and Az in Equation 4 are

allowed to approach zero as a limit, and

Equation 4 becomes

where each term still has the units of

Creoles of A)(length)/[(volume of entire

system)ttime)].

As additional simplifications, which are

nearly always made, E,, E,, and c are

and U, is replaced by U; , the average

axial velocity of fluid in fluid phase i. This

allows Equation 5 to be written for a fluid

phase i of constant density as

considered from an- other phase into fluid

phase i)

r, z = radial and axial distances,

respectively t = time

Fall 1990

E,

eE,

br

+c R + c SA '

A '0

(6)

A)/ [(volume of entire system I time)J. The above

deriva- tion is an independently derived extension of

the equation for an adsorption column given by

Holland and Liapis [3].

Clearly,

an

equivalent

form

of

Equation 6 can be obtained by dividing by

c to obtain

where each term has the units of Creoles of A)/[(volume of phase i)ttime J.

Equations 6 and 7 represent two different

forms Of th8 complete differential equation

They are the basis for the two standard

forms of these equations

found

in the

literature. Various forms of these with certain

terms omitted are the usual starting

differential

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