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Reading: Chap 13 Gas Absorption

Definition: transfer of a gaseous


component (absorbate) from the
gas phase to a liquid (absorbent)
phase through a gas-liquid
interface.
Q: What are the key parameters that affect the effectiveness?
Q: How can we improve absorption efficiency?

Mass transfer rate:


 gas phase controlled absorption
 liquid phase controlled absorption
Q: Does it matter if it’s gas phase or liquid phase controlled?

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Gas Absorption Equipment
Spray tower Clean gas out Countercurrent
Clean gas out packed tower

Mist
Eliminator
Spray
nozzle Liquid
Spray
Packing

Dirty gas in Dirty gas in

Redistributor Liquid outlet


Q: Limitations of a
spray tower? Q: Why redistributor? Mycock et al., 1995
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Three-bed cross Liquid spray Dry Cell
flow packed tower

Packing

Berl Intalox Raschig Lessing Pall Tellerette


Saddle Saddle Ring Ring Ring
Q: Criteria for good packing materials? Mycock et al., 1995

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Known: ?? Gas out

Unknown: ??
Liquid in Gas in
Mass Balance
In = Out Liquid out
Gm1  Lm 2  Gm 2  Lm1
Gm  y1  y2   Lm x1  x2 
(for a dilute system)

Lm: molar liquid flow rate


Slope of Operating
Gm: molar gas flow rate Line = Lm/Gm
x: mole fraction of solute in pure liquid
y: mole fraction of solute in inert gas
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Dirty air

Clean air

Clean water Dirty water


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Generally, actual liquid
flow rates are specified
at 25 to 100% greater
than the required
minimum.

Q: How much is X2 if fresh


water is used? What if a
fraction of water is recycled?

• G = 84.9 m3/min (= 3538 mole/min). Pure water is used


to remove SO2 gas. The inlet gas contains 3% SO2 by
volume. Henry’s law constant is 42.7 (mole fraction of SO2 in
air/mole fraction of SO2 in water). Determine the minimum water
flow rate (in kg/min) to achieve 90% removal efficiency.
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Problems with high gas flow
• Channeling: the gas or liquid flow is much greater at some
points than at others
• Loading: the liquid flow is reduced due to the increased gas
flow; liquid is held in the void space between packing
• Flooding: the liquid stops flowing altogether and collects in
the top of the column due to very high gas flow
• Gas flow rate is 3538 mole/min and the minimum liquid flow rate
is 2448 kg/min to remove SO2 gas. The operating liquid rate is
50% more than the minimum. The packing material selected is 2”
ceramic Intalox Saddles. Find the tower diameter and pressure
drop based on 75% of flooding velocity for the gas velocity.
Properties of air:: molecular weight: 29 g/mole; density: 1.17×10-3
g/cm3. Properties of water:: density: 1 g/cm3; viscosity: 0.8 cp.
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(G ' ) 2 F 0L.1
G  L g

L: mass flow rate


of liquid
G: mass flow rate
of gas
G’: mass flux of gas
per cross sectional
area of column
F: Packing factor
: specific gravity
of the scrubbing
liquid
L: liquid viscosity
(in cP; 0.8 for water)
L G
(dimensionless)
G L
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Mass Transfer
Flux    / interfacia l   k  concentrat ion 
rate of mass
  area   difference 
 transferre d     
J  M / A  k Ci  C 
mass
J: flux ( area  time )
k: mass transfer coefficient CI
Two-Film Theory (microscopic view)
J k G  pG  pI 
(gas phase flux) CL
J k L CI  CL  pG
(liquid phase flux)

pI  HCI
pI
J
1
 pG  HC L 
1 / kG  H / k L Cussler, “Diffusion”, Cambridge U. Press, 1991.
(overall flux)
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J  KOL C*  CL 
1 pG
K OL  C* 
(overall liquid phase MT coefficient) 1 / k L  1 / kG H (equivalent concentration
H
 KOG  pG  p* 
1 to the bulk gas pressure)
K  p*  HC L

OG
(overall gas phase MT coefficient) 1 / k G H / k L (equivalent pressure to the
bulk concentration in liquid)
2 Macroscopic analysis of a packed tower
Mole balance on the solute over the
differential volume of tower

 accumulati on    flow of solute in 


 of solute   minus flow out 
   
dy dx L’m: molar flux
0  G 'm  L 'm of liquid
dz dz G’m: molar flux
G 'm of gas
 x  x1  ( y  y1 )
1 L'm
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Mole balance on the solute in the gas only
 solute    solute flow in    solute lost 
 accumulati on   minus flow out   by absorption 
     
dy
0  G 'm  K OG aP( y  y*) a: packing area per volume
dz
G 'm dy
y*  Hx
Z y
 Z   dz  
1

(tower height)
0 K OG aP  y  y *
y Z

1 1  y1  Hx1 
Z  ln  
K OG aP 1 / G 'm  H / L'm   yZ  Hx Z 
G 'm 1  y1  Hx1 
  ln  
K OG aP 1  HG 'm / L'm   yZ  Hx Z 
HTU? NTU?
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Mass balance x1 , y1
y  y1 
L'm
x  x1 
G 'm
Equilibrium
y*  Hx x1 , y1 *

G 'm y1 dy x Z, y Z
K OG aP yZ  y  y *
Z

x Z, y Z*
Alternative solution:

Z
G 'm

y1  y z
; y LM 
 y  y   y
1
*
1 z  y *
z 
K OG aP y LM  y1  y1* 
ln  
* 
Assumptions for dilute/soluble systems?  yz  yz 
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Pure amine 0.04% CO2
Lm = 0.46 gmole/s

Q: A Packed tower using organic amine at 14 oC


to absorb CO2. The entering gas contains 1.27%
CO2 and is in equilibrium with a solution of
amine containing 7.3% mole CO2. The gas
leaves containing 0.04% CO2. The amine,
flowing counter-currently, enters pure. Gas
flow rate is 2.31 gmole/s and liquid flow rate is
0.46 gmole/s. The tower’s cross-sectional area 1.27% CO2
Gm = 2.31
is 0.84 m2. KOGa = 9.34×10-6 s-1atm-1cm-3. The gmole/s
pressure is 1 atm. Determine the tower height C* = 7.3%
that can achieve this goal. CO2 in amine

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Absorption of concentrated vapor

Mole balance on the controlled volume


x 1 , y1
d d
0   (G 'm y )  ( L'm x)
dz dz
x1, y1*
Gas flux Liquid flux
 1   1 
G 'm  G 'm 0   L'm  L'm 0  
1 y  1 x 
xZ, yZ
 y1  L'm 0  x x1 
      xZ, yZ*
 1  y1  G 'm 0  1  x 1  x1 
y
 y1  L'm 0  x x1 
1       
 1  y1  G 'm 0  1  x 1  x1 

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Mole balance on the gas in a differential tower volume
G 'm 0 dy
0  K OG aP( y  y*)
1  y  dz
2

Z G 'm 0 y1 dy
Z  dz    HTU  NTU
0 K OG aP Z (1  y )  y  y *
y 2

G 'm0
HTU 
K OG aP
y1 dy
NTU  
yZ (1  y ) 2 ( y  y*)

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HTU

For a given packing material and


pollutant, HTU does not change much.
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Summary
• Transfer from gas phase to liquid phase; Gas
phase or liquid phase controlled mass transfer.
• Equipment: spray tower and packed tower.
• Equilibrium line (Henry’s law) and operating line
(mass balance).
• Design: (a) liquid flow rate by mass balance; (b)
tower diameter by flooding condition; (c) tower
height by mass transfer rate
• Dilute and concentrated system

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