Z
dZ = Z = (Gm/k
G
aP)
Y1
Y2
{(1+Y)(1+Yi)/(Yi-Y)}dY
Which for weak solutions: Z = {Gm/(k
G
aP)}
Y1
Y2
{dY/(Yi-Y)}
Note: In this analysis it is assumed that k
G
is constant throughout the column and
provided the concentration changes are not too large
dZ
X
X+dX
Y
Y+dY
Gm
Y
2
Gm
Y
1
Lm
X
2
Lm
X
1
10
HEIGHT OF PACKED COLUMN
Height of column based on conditions in liquid film:
Similarly for liquid film case:
ALmdX = -k
L
a(C
Ai
- C
AL
)AdZ
Where molar concentrations C are in terms of moles of solute per unit volume of liquor.
If C
T
= (moles of solute + moles of solvent)/(volume of liquid)
Then C
AL
/(C
T
C
AL
) = Moles of solute/ Moles of solvent = X
Therefore: C
AL
= {X/(1+X)}C
T
The transfer equation may be written as:
LmdX = k
L
aC
T
[{X/(1+X)}-{Xi/(1+Xi)}]dZ
LmdX = k
L
aC
T
[(X Xi)/{(1+X)(1+Xi)}]dZ
Therefore:
0
Z
dZ = Z = {Lm/ (k
L
aC
T
)}
X1
X2
{(1+X)(1+Xi)/(X Xi)}dX
and for dilute conditions this gives: Z = {Lm/ (k
L
aC
T
)}
X1
X2
{dX/(X Xi)}
where C
T
and k
L
have been taken constant over the column.
Height based on Overall Coefficients:
If the driving force based on the gas concentration is written as (Y-Ye) and the
overall gas transfer coefficient as K
G
, then the height of the tower for dilute
concentrations becomes:
Z = {Gm/(K
G
aP)}
Y1
Y2
{dY/(Ye-Y)}
Or in terms of liquid concentration as: Z = {Lm/ (K
L
aC
T
)}
X1
X2
{dX/(X Xe)}
Equations for dilute concentrations:
As the mole fraction is approximately equal to the molar ratio at dilute
concentrations than considering the gas film.
Z = {Gm/(k
G
aP)}
y1
y2
{dy/(yi - y)} = {Gm/(K
G
aP)}
y1
y2
{dy/(ye-y)}
and considering the liquid film:
Z = {Lm/(k
L
aC
T
)}
x1
x2
{dx/(x xi)} = {Lm/(K
L
aC
T
)}
x1
x2
{dx/(xxe)}
11
HEIGHT OF PACKED COLUMN
THE OPERATING LINE AND GRAPHICAL INTEGRATION:
Taking a material balance on the solute from the bottom of the column to any plane
where the mole fractions are Y and X gives for unit area of cross-section:
Gm(Y
1
Y) = Lm(X
1
X)
Or (Y
1
Y) = (Lm/Gm)(X
1
X)
This is the equation of straight line of slope Lm/Gm, which
passes through the point (X
1
,Y
1
).
If we apply balance over the whole column it will pass through
the points (X
2
,Y
2
). This is known as the equation of operating line.
Following is the figure for the case of moist air and sulfuric acid or
caustic soda solution, where the main resistance lies in gas phase.
The equilibrium curve is represented by the line FR, and the
operating line is given by ADB, A corresponding to the
concentrations at the bottom of the column and B to those
at the top of the column. D represents the condition of the
bulk of the liquid and gas at any point in the column, and
has coordinates X and Y. Then if the gas film is
controlling the process, Yi equals Ye, and is given by a
point F on the equilibrium curve, with coordinates X and
Yi. The driving force causing transfer is then given by the
distance DF. It is therefore possible to evaluate the
expression
Y1
Y2
{dY/(Yi - Y)} by selecting
values of Y, reading of from the diagram the corresponding
values of Yi, and thus calculating 1/(Yi - Y). Then plot
Y vs 1/(Yi - Y) and find the area under the curve to find the
value of the integral term. Note that for gas absorption
Y>Yi and Yi-Y and dY in the integral are both negative.
For liquid film controlling the process, Xi = Xe and the
driving force X-Xi=DR. Then the evaluation of integral
X1
X2
{dx/(XXi)} may be
effected in the same way as for the gas film.
dZ
X
X+dX
Y
Y+dY
Gm
Y
2
Gm
Y
1
Lm
X
2
Lm
X
1
M
o
l
e
s
s
o
l
u
t
e
/
m
o
l
e
i
n
e
r
t
g
a
s
Moles solute/moles solvent
Y
1
Y
Y
2
Y
i
=Y
e
X
2
=0
X
X
i
= X
e
X
1
A
D
B
R
F
12
HEIGHT OF PACKED COLUMN
THE OPERATING LINE AND GRAPHICAL INTEGRATION:
Special Case: When equilibrium curve is straight line
Over the range of concentration considered if the equilibrium
curve is a straight line, it is possible to use an average value of
driving force over the column. For dilute concentrations, over
a small height dZ of column,
dZ = {Gm/(K
G
aP)}{dY/(Ye-Y)}
If Ye = mX + C
Then Ye
1
= mX
1
+ C
and Ye
2
= mX
2
+ C
So that m = (Ye
1
Ye
2
)/(X
1
X
2
)
Further, applying balance over the lower portion of column:
Lm(X
1
- X) = Gm(Y
1
Y)
and X = X
1
+ (Gm/Lm)(Y Y
1
)
Therefore from the equation 1:
(K
G
aP/Gm)
0
Z
dZ =
Y1
Y2
{dY/(Ye-Y)}
=
Y1
Y2
dY/[m{X
1
+(Gm/Lm)(Y-Y
1
)} + C Y]
Therefore the height of column, Z = {Gm/(K
G
aP)}{(Y
1
Y
2
)/(Y Ye)
lm
}
dZ
X
X+dX
Y
Y+dY
Gm
Y
2
Gm
Y
1
Lm
X
2
Lm
X
1
M
o
l
e
s
s
o
l
u
t
e
/
m
o
l
e
i
n
e
r
t
g
a
s
Moles solute/moles solvent
Y
1
Y
Y
2
Y
i
=Y
e
X
2
=0
X
X
i
= X
e
X
1
A
D
B
R
F
1
( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
1 1
1 2 1 2
1 1
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
1 2 1
1 2 2
1
ln
1
1
ln
1
ln
Now logmean
e
e e e e
e
e
e e e
mX C Y
mGm Gm
m X Y Y C Y
Lm Lm
Y Y
Y Y X X Y Y X X
Y Y Y Y
X X Y Y X X Y Y
Y Y
Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y
+
=
| | | |
+ +
` | |
\ . \ . )
=
| || | | || |
| | ` | |
\ .\ . \ .\ . )
=
( )
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
1 2
e e
1 2
value of Y-Y defined as Y-Y
ln{ / }
e e
lm
e e
Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y
=
2
3
4
5
13
PROBLEM 12.1
Some experiments are made on the absorption of Carbon dioxide from carbon dioxide-
air mixture in 2.5 normal caustic soda, using a 250 mm diameter tower packed to a
height of 3m with 19 mm Raschig rings. In one experiment at atmosphere pressure, the
results obtained were: Gas rate G
/
= 0.34 kg/m
2
s; Liquid rate L
/
= 3.94 kg/m
2
s.
The carbon dioxide in the inlet gas is 315 parts per million and in the exit gas 31 parts
per million. What is the value of the overall gas transfer coefficient K
G
a?
Solution: At the top of the tower: y
2
=31x10
-6
, x
2
=0,
L
/
= 3.94 kg/m
2
s;
2.5 N NaOH contains = 2.5x40g/l = 100g/l = 100kg/m
3
NaOH
Mean molecular weight of liquid = (100x40 + 900x18)/1000
MW = 20.2 kg/kgmol
Lm = L
/
/MW = 3.94/20.2 = 0.195 kmol/m
2
s.
At the bottom of the tower: y
1
=315x10
-6
G
/
=0.34 kg/m
2
s, Gm = G
/
/MW = 0.34/29 = 0.0117 kmol/m
2
s
Now from operating line relation:
x
1
=x
2
+(Gm/Lm)(y
1
-y
2
)=0+(0.0117/0.195)(315-31)x10
-6
= 0(approximately)
It may be assumed that as the solution of NaOH is fairly concentrated, there will be
negligible vapor pressure over the solution, therefore all resistance to transfer lies in the
gas phase. Also it is a dilute mixture, height of the tower will be
Z = (Gm/K
G
aP){(y
1
-y
2
)/(y-y
e
)
lm
K
G
a = (Gm/ZP){(y
1
-y
2
)/(y-y
e
)
lm
Driving force at the top of column, (y-y
e
)
2
= 31x10
-6
0 = 31x10
-6
Driving force at the bottom of column, (y-y
e
)
1
= 315x10
-6
0 = 315x10
-6
Log-mean driving force difference, (y-y
e
)
lm
= {(y-y
e
)
1
-(y-y
e
)
2
}/ln{(y-y
e
)
1
/(y-y
3
)
2
}
= (315-31)x10
-6
/ln(315/31) = 122.5x10
-6
Thus, K
G
a = (0.0117/3x101.3)(315-31)x10
-6
/(122.5x10
-6
) = 8.93x10
-5
D=250 mm
H=3m
19 mm
Raschig
Rings
x
2
=0
L
/
=3.94
kg/m
2
s
x
1
y
2
=31x10
-6
y
1
=315x10
-6
G
/
=0.34
kg/m
2
s
K
G
a = 8.93x10
-5
14
THE TRANSFER UNIT
Considering the height of packed column consist of stages of definite height such as
for a plate column. These hypothetical stages are called transfer unit. Therefore for a
packed column
Height of packed column = (Height of a transfer unit) x (Number of transfer units)
For gas phase based on overall driving force: Chilton and Colburn defined the
number of overall gas phase transfer units as N
OG
=
y1
y2
{dy/(ye - y)}
Therefore N
OG
is the integral of change in concentration per unit driving force.
The driving force (ye-y) is very small at the top of column which result in a large
number of transfer units at the top of the column.
Height of overall gas phase transfer units: H
OG
= Z/ N
OG
= Gm/K
G
aP
For conditions based of on gas film: Z = H
G
x N
G
Where number of gas film transfer
unit, N
G
=
y1
y2
{dy/(yi - y)} and height of gas film transfer unit H
G
= Gm/k
G
aP
For condition based on overall driving force in liquid phase: Z = H
OL
x N
OL
Where
height of overall liquid phase transfer unit, H
OL
= Lm/K
L
aC
T
and number of overall
liquid phase transfer unit, N
OL
=
x1
x2
{dx/(xxe)}
For conditions based on Liquid film: Z = H
L
x N
L
Where height of liquid film
transfer unit, H
L
= Lm/k
L
aC
T
and number of liquid film transfer unit, N
L
=
x1
x2
{dx/(xxi)}
The relationships between the height of overall coefficients and film coefficients can
be defined as H
OG
= H
G
+ (mG
m
/L
m
)H
L
H
OL
= H
L
+ (L
m
/mG
m
)H
G
Where m is the slope of equilibrium curve
15
THE TRANSFER UNIT
The Importance of Liquid and Gas Flowrates and Slope of Equilibrium Curve
For a packed tower operating with dilute concentrations, since x X1 and y Y1, then:
Gm(y
1
y
2
) = Lm(x
1
x
2
)
where, as before, x and y are the mole fractions of solute in the
liquid and gas phases, and Gm and Lm are the gas and liquid
molar flowrates per unit area on a solute free basis.
A material balance between the top and some plane where the
mole fractions are x, y gives:
Gm(y y
2
) = Lm(x x
2
)
If the entering solvent is free from solute, then x
2
= 0 and:
x = (Gm/Lm)(y y
2
)
But the number of overall transfer units is given by:
N
OG
=
y1
y2
{dy/(y
e
- y)}
For dilute concentrations, Henrys law holds and y
e
= mx.
Thus: N
OG
=
y1
y2
[dy/{m(G
m
/L
m
)(y y
2
)- y}]
=
y1
y2
[dy/{m(G
m
/L
m
-1) y m(G
m
/L
m
) y
2
}]
and: N
OG
= 1/ {1-m(G
m
/L
m
)} x ln [{1-m(G
m
/L
m
)} (y
1
/ y
2
)+m(G
m
/L
m
)]
COLBURN has shown that this equation may usefully be plotted as shown in figure above which is taken
from his paper. In this plot the number of transfer units NOG is shown for values of y
1
/y
2
using mG
m
/L
m
as a parameter and it may be seen that the greater mG
m
/L
m
, the greater is the value of NOG for a given
ratio of y
1
/y
2
. From the above equation:
L
m
/G
m
= (y
1
y
2
)/x
1
= (y
1
y
2
)/(y
e1
/m)
Thus: mG
m
/L
m
= y
e1
/(y
1
y
2
) where y
e1
is the value of y in equilibrium with x
1
.
On this basis, the lower the value of mG
m
/L
m
, the lower will be ye1, and hence the weaker the exit liquid.
Colburn has suggested that the economic range for mG
m
/L
m
is 0.7-0.8. If the value of HOG is known, the
quickest way of obtaining a good indication of the required height of the column is by using figure
above.
16
PROBLEM 12.2
An acetone-air mixture containing 0.015 mol fraction of acetone has the mol fraction
reduced to 1 percent of this value by countercurrent absorption with water in a packed
tower. The gas flow rate G
/
is 1 kg/m
2
s of air and the water entering is 1.6 kg/m
2
s. For
this system, Henrys Law holds and y
e
=1.75x, where y
e
is the mol fraction of acetone in
the vapor in equilibrium with a mol fraction x in the liquid. How many overall transfer
units are required?
Solution:
At the top of the tower: y
2
=0.00015, x
2
=0,
L
/
= 1.6 kg/m
2
s, Lm = L
/
/MW = 1.6/18 = 0.0889 kmol/m
2
s.
At the bottom of the tower: y
1
=0.015,
G
/
= 1.0 kg/m
2
s, Gm = G
/
/MW = 1.0/29 = 0.0345 kmol/m
2
s
Now from operating line relation:
x
1
=x
2
+(Gm/Lm)(y
1
-y
2
)=0+(0.0345/0.0889)(0.015-0.00015=0.00576
For dilute system, height of column:
Z = (Gm/K
G
aP){(y
1
-y
2
)/(y-y
e
)
lm
H
OG
= Gm/K
G
aP
N
OG
= Z/H
OG
= (y
1
-y
2
)/(y-y
e
)
lm
Driving force at the top of column, (y-y
e
)
2
= y
2
mx
2
= 0.00015 - 1.75x0 = 0.00015
Driving force at the bottom of column, (y-y
e
)
1
= y
1
mx
1
= 0.0151.75x0.00576= 0.0049
Log-mean driving force difference, (y-y
e
)
lm
= {(y-y
e
)
1
-(y-y
e
)
2
}/ln{(y-y
e
)
1
/(y-y
e
)
2
}
= (0.0049-0.00015)/ln(0.0049/0.00015)
= 0.00136
Therefore N
OG
= (0.015-0.00015)/0.00136 = 10.92 = 11(approximately)
Also, N
OL
= N
OG
(mGm/Lm) = 10.92(1.75x0.0345/0.0889) = 7.42 = 7 (approximately)
x
2
=0
L
/
=1.6
kg/m
2
s
x
1
y
2
=0.00015
y
1
=0.015
G
/
=1
kg/m
2
s
N
OG
= 11 & N
OL
= 7
1
2
17
PLATE COLUMNS FOR GAS ABSORPTION
When the load is more than can be handle in a packed column of about 1 m diameter and when
there is any likelihood of deposition of solids which would quickly choke a packing, plate
columns are preferred.
Plate columns are particularly useful when the liquid rate is sufficient
to flood a packed tower. Since the ratio of liquid rate to gas rate is
greater than with distillation, the slot area will be rather less and the
downcomers rather larger.
On the whole, plate efficiencies have been found to be less than with
the distillation equipment, and to range from 20 to 80 percent.;
The plate column is a common type of equipment for large installations,
but when the diameter of the column is less than 2m, packed columns are
more often used. For the handling of very corrosive fluids, packed
columns are frequently preferred for larger units.
The essential arrangement of the unit is indicated in figure: Let
Lm = molar flux of solute free liquid
Gm = molar flux of inert gas.
n = refers to the plate numbered from the bottom upwards.
X = molar ratio of absorbed component in liquid.
Y = molar ratio of absorbed component in gas.
s = total number of plates in the column.
Assumption: Each plate will be taken as an ideal unit.
Material balance for the absorbed component from the bottom plate to a plane above plate n:
Gm Y
n
+ LmX
1
= GmY
0
+ LmX
n+1
y
n
= (Lm/Gm)X
n+1
+ {Y
0
(Lm/Gm)X
1
}
This equation is a straight line of slope (Lm/Gm), relating the
compositions of passing streams, known as the equation of operating line.
Point A represents the conditions at the bottom of the column. The gas
rising from the bottom plate is in equilibrium with a liquid of
concentration X
1
and is shown as point B on operating line. The point 4
indicates the concentration of the liquid on the second plate from bottom.
In this way the steps may be drawn to point B, giving the gas Y
s
rising
from the top plate and the liquid X
s+1
entering the top of absorber.
A
B
Liquid
X
s+1
Liquid
X
1
Gas
Y
s
Gas
Y
0
Y
s-1
Y
n
Y
n-1
Y
1
X
2
1
n-1
n
n+1
s
X
n
X
n+1
X
s
Y
X
Y
0
X
1
X
s+1
Y
s
A
2
3
4
B
18
PROBLEM 12.3
An oil containing 2.55 mol percent of a hydrocarbon is stripped by running the oil down
a column up which live steam is passed, so that 4 kmol of steam are used per 100 kmol
of oil stripped. Determine the number of theoretical plates required to reduce the
hydrocarbon content to 0.05 mol percent, assuming that the oil is non-volatile. The
vapor-liquid relation of the hydrocarbon in the oil is given by y
e
=33x, where y
e
is the
mol-fraction in the vapor and x the mol-fraction in the liquid. The temperature is
maintained constant by internal heating, so that the steam does not condense in tower.
Solution: Data: Steam to oil ratio = 4kmol/100kmol
Vapor-liquid equilibrium relationship for hydrocarbon, y
e
= 33x
Steam does not condense due to internal heating system
From steam to oil ratio, Lm/Gm = 100/4 = 25 kmol/kmol
Since, x
s+1
= 0.0255, therefore X
s+1
= x
s+1
/(1-x
s+1
)
X
s+1
= 0.0255/(1 - 0.0255) = 0.0262
And x
1
= 0.0005, then X
1
= x
1
/(1x
1
) =0.0005/(10.0005)= 0.0005
Operating line equation is: Y
n
= (Lm/Gm)X
n+1
+ {Y
0
- (Lm/Gm)X
1
}
Y
n
= 25X
n+1
+ 0 (25)0.0005 = 25X
n+1
0.0125
From operating line equation,
Y
s
= 25X
s+1
0.0125 = 25(0.0262) - 0.0125 = 0.6423
Plot the operating line on X-Y diagram by points A and B.
From the equilibrium equation, y
e
= 33x
Y
e
/(1+Y
e
) = 33{X/(1+X)}
Y
e
= 33X/(1-32X)
From the above equation, make the table and draw the curve.
Stripper
x
s+1
=
0.0255
x
1
=
0.0005
Steam
y
0
=0
ys=0
X 0.0 0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008 0.010 0.012 0.014
Y 0.0 0.071 0.151 0.245 0.355 0.485 0.643 0.837
X
Y
8
1
Equilibrium
curve
Operating line
Number of Stages = 08
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