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Absorption & Stripping Design

Common assumptions:
Dilute and immiscible gas-liquid phases L and V streams are
constant from stage to stage
Concentrated or miscible L and V streams can increase or
decrease from stage to stage
How will this affect the number of theoretical stages?
Are the analytical equations still valid?
What is the goal of absorption or stripping operations?
Maximum extraction with 100% efficiency (i.e. actual # of stages =
theoretical)
High throughput (low residence time)
Smallest and simplest possible system (low capital)
How do we accomplish this?
Choose the right absorbing (liquid) or stripping (gas) phase
(equilibrium and immiscibility)
Optimize column diameter and height
Maximize contact area/volume within column WITHOUT flooding
the column or making it unreasonably slow
1. Tray designs
Perforated
Valve cap
Bubble cap
2. Random packing materials (p. 659 in text gives properties)
2. Pressure drop across random packing (Fig. 10.6-5)
2. Structured packing (pressure drop correlation in Fig. 10.6-6)
Flooding pressure drop given by:
How to calculate limiting flow rates and column diameter
1. Select a suitable packing material with F
p
(random or structured)
2. Select a suitable G
L
/G
G
ratio and a total gas flowrate
3. Calculate !P
flood
4. Calculate capacity (i.e. flow) parameter at !P
flood
from correlation
(Fig. 10.6-5 or 10.6-6)
5. Calculate G
G
from capacity parameter (this is at flooding)
6. Using suitable % of G
G
at flooding for actual G
G
(typically 50-70%,
but varies). Determie G
L
.
7. Calculate cross sectional area of tower from G
G
and total gas
flowrate
Putting these pieces together
Diagram of plate absorption towers
L
0
, x
0
V
1
, y
1
L
N
, x
N
V
N+1
, y
N+1
L
0
, x
0
V
1
, y
1
L
N
, x
N
V
N+1
, y
N+1
Diagram of packed absorption towers
V
2
y
2
L
2
x
2
V
1
y
1
L
1
x
1
z

dz

y x