You are on page 1of 22

# Separation Processes

Vitor V. Lopes

Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Selection/estimation of the
thermodynamic equilibrium conditions
Determination of the minimum liquid
absorbent
Graphical determination of the number
of theoretical equilibrium stages
necessary to achieve specification
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Selection/estimation of the thermodynamic
equilibrium conditions

## The equilibrium constant depends of the temperature

and pressure. For diluted systems it can be given by:
sat
Pi
K i= Raoult's law
P
Hi
K i= Henry law
P
sat
Pi
K i = * Solubility
xi P
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Selection/estimation of the thermodynamic equilibrium
conditions

## Absorption: benefits from low temperatures and high

pressures. It aims to remove a species from a gas stream,
i.e. its vapor molar fraction must be small, at the exit.

i
yi= K xi
small value

increases with T

yi
P sat
i
K i= = small value of K i
xi
P
high P
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Selection/estimation of the thermodynamic equilibrium
conditions

## Stripping: benefits from high temperatures and low

pressures. It aims to remove a species from a liquid stream,
i.e. its liquid molar fraction must be small, at the exit.
yi
x i=

Ki
big value
increases with T

yi
P sat
i
K i= = big value of K i
xi
P
low P
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Determination of the minimum liquid (gas) absorbent
Two methods:
graphical approach
analytical approach

## (L ' )min (Y N +1Y 1 )

=
V' X NXO
Y N +1 /(1+Y N +1 )
K=
X N /(1+ X N )
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Determination of the number of theoretical stages
A method:
graphical approach: after fixing the liquid (gas)
absorbent molar flow...
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Determination of the number of theoretical stages

An approximate analytical method:
L' L'
Y n+1 = X n +Y 1 X0
V' V'
if : Y m X +b (diluted systems)
L' L'
Y n+1 = (Y nb)+(Y 1 X 0)
mV ' V'
L'
define : A= (absorption factor)
mV '
Y n+1 = A (Y nb)+(Y 1 A m X 0 )

Y n+1 = A Y n +Y 1 A (m X 0 +b)
Y 1*
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Determination of the number of theoretical stages

An approximate analytical method:
*
Y n+1 = A Y n +Y 1 A Y 1

Y N +1 =(1+ A ++ A N )Y 1Y *1 ( A+ A 2 ++ A N )
N +1
A 1
1+ A ++ A N =
A1
N +1 N
A 1 A 1
Y N +1 = Y 1Y *1 A
A1 A1
ln [(Y N +1Y *N +1 )/(Y 1Y *1 )]
N=
ln ( A)
Y *1=m X 0 +b Y *N +1 =m X N +b
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Determination of the number of theoretical stages

An approximate analytical method (Kremser equations):

Absorption:
ln [(Y N +1Y *N +1 )/(Y 1Y *1 )] L'
N= , A= ( absorption factor )
ln ( A) mV '
Y *1=m X 0 +b , Y *N +1=m X N +b (equilibrium concentrations)
Stripping:
ln [( X 0 X *0 )/( X N X *N )] 1 mV '
N= , S= = ( stripping factor )
ln(S) A L'
Y 1=m X *0 +b , Y N +1=m X *N +b (equilibrium concentrations)
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Exercise:
The stripping by air of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
from a wastewater is performed at 21C and 1 atm. The
tower processes 244 kmol/hr of wastewater using 6230
kmol/hr of air.
How many theoretical equilibrium stages must the tower
have to achieve a removal of at least 99.9% of each VOCs
(hint: use Kremser equations for each species)?

Data:
Conc. In Solubility in Vapor
Compound wastewater water at 21C pressure at
(mg/L) (%mol) 21C (atm)
Benzene 150 0.00040 0.104
Toluene 50 0.00012 0.03
Ethylbenzene 20 0.000035 0.01
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Packing material selection, Height, Pressure loss,
Diameter
Required for the estimation of the capital and
operating costs of the equipment
Required to actual build the equipment for the
separation operation
Depends and requires to preselect the proper
packing material for the column, and revise
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Packing material selection
All column dimensions are a consequence of the type of
packing inside the column and it is common the revise this
decision or to try different alternatives
The simplified method makes use of the packing factor Fp
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Height
H =NHETP

## The height (of packing) is the product between the number of

theoretical stages N and the Height Equivalent to a Theoretical
Plate HETP
The HETP is given by empirical relations or the packing manufacturer
Careful must be taken in the use of the right units and on the
limitations of each empirical relations

## High-efficiency random packing : HETP (ft)=1.5 D ( in )

p
in low viscosity liquids
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Diameter
The diameter (internal) will affect the liquid and gas
surface velocities inside the column.
It comes from a balance between the conditions that
lead to: flooding or column drying
It is determined based on the generalized pressure-
drop correlation (GPDC)
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Diameter
1. Determine the pressure drop at flooding conditions for
the selected packing

p

## The pressure drop at flooding conditions is given in

inches of H2O per feet of packing.
2. Locate the curve with the
the conditions similar to the
pressure drop at flooding.
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Diameter
3. Determine the flow parameter (abciss) for the GPDC plot:
0.5

L G
F lv = ( )
V L
The flow parameter represents the ratio of liquid kinetic
energy to vapor kinetic energy.

## L: liquid molar flowrate

V : vapor molar flowrate
G : vapor density
L : liquid density
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Diameter
4. With the flow parameter (abciss) and the curve corresponding
to the flood pressure drop read the value of the capacity
parameter (ordinate) and find the superficial gas velocity:

## CP=C S F 0.5 0.05

P
G 0.5
L (cP)
(
C S =uV
L G ) = 3
L (g/cm )
: liquid kinematic viscosity (cSt)
C S :C-factor (ft/s)
u V :superficial gas velocity (ft/s)
G : vapor density
L : liquid density
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Diameter
5. Compute the actual superficial gas velocity as a fraction of the
superficial gas velocity at flooding. Typically, f~0.75

uV , f =uVf

6. Use the superficial gas velocity and the gas molar flow-rate to
determine the diameter. Careful for the units to be fully compatible!!!

( )
0.5
4 V MV
DT =
uV , f V
Design of absorption/stripping
processes

## Simplified dimensioning of a packed column:

Pressure Drop
1. Use the GPDC plot to find the actual pressure drop inside the
column. Recompute the capacity parameter with the actual
superficial gas velocity and from the intersection point (ordinate
and abciss) interpolate the curves to find the pressure drop.

## 2. Multiply the pressure drop in inches of H2O per feet of packing by

the packing height to determine the column pressure drop. Careful
with the units...

## P (in. H 2 O)= P f (in. H 2 O/ft)H (ft)

Design of absorption/stripping
processes

Exercise:
40 lbmol/hr of air containing 5 mol% NH 3 enters a packed
column at 20C and 1 atm, where 90% of the ammonia is
scrubbed by a countercurrent flow of 3000 lb/h of water.

## Use the GPDC method to estimate the superficial gas flooding

velocity, the column inside diameter for operation at 70% of
flooding; and the pressure drop per foot of packing for:

## a) 1 in. ceramic Raschig rings (F p = 179 ft-1)

b) 1 in. metal IMTP packing (Fp = 41 ft-1)
Summary

## Understanding how the equations of Kramser

can be applied to determine the number of
equilibrium stages for absorption/stripping
processes.

## Procedure for the dimensioning of packing

columns based on the GPDC.