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porous Flowlhrough media 97

Chapter four

Flow Through Porous Media

DESCRIPTION OF POROUS MEDIA By a "porous medium" is meant a solid, or a collection of solid particles, with sufficientopen space in or around the particlesto enablea fluid to pass through or around them. There are va ous conceptualways of describinga porous mgdium. One conceptis a continuoussolid body with poresin it, suchas a brick or a block of saldstone. Such a medium is referredto as consolidated, and the poresmay be ulconnected("closedce11," or impermeable) or connected ("open cell," or permeable). Anodrer conceptis a collection (or "pile") of solid particlesin a packed bed, where the fluid can passthrough the voids between the particles. This is relerrcd to as unconsolidated. A schematic representdtionis shown in Fig. 4-1. Either of these concepts may be valid, dependingupon the specificmedium under consideration,and both have been usedas the basisfor developingthe equationsthat desc be fluid flow behaviorwithin the medium.In practice,porous mediamay mnge from a "tight" oil bea ng rock formation to a packed column containing relatively large packing elements and large void spaces. The pileof 50lidparticle, concept i. u'eful for eitherconsolidated or unconsolidatedmedia as a basis for analyzing the flow process,because many consolidatedmedia are actually made up of individual particlesthat

98 ChemielEnginee ng Processes



-- j#i
FGUBE 4-l medium.

Porous media- (a) Consolidated medjum;(b) unconsolidated

are just stuck together(e.g. sandstone). One of the key propertiesof a porousmediumis the porositys or void ftaction,which is def,ned by Totalvolume- Volumeof solids Totalvolume
, asolirl ^\


(4-l )

wherelsoudis the areaof the solidphase in a crosssection of areal. We alsodistinguish between the velocityof approach, or the ..superficial" velocityof the fluid, vs = Q/A @_2)

and the "interstitial" velocity,whichis the actualvelocitywithin the pores or voids, Q _V" eAe 4.1. HydraulicDiameter Because the fluid in a porous medium follows a tortuous path through cha[nels of varying size and shape,one method of describingthe flow (4-3 )

porcus Flowlhmugh media 99

behavior in the poresis to consider the flow path asa "noncircularconduit." Thii rcqlirc;r rn .ri:':opriate definitionof the hydraulicdiameter: a, WE , AiL WOL Flowvolume Internalweltedsurface area

x Bedvolume (No. of panicles)(Surface area/Panicle)

(4-4 )

The medium,with overall dimensions ,4I, is assumed to be made up of a collection ol indi\idualparticles and may be eilhercon.olidated or unThe numberofparticles in the mediumcan be expressed consolidated. as No.particles:

(Bed in bed) volumeXFraction ofsolids

Volume/Particle (BedvolumeXl- e) Volume/Particle

(4s )

Substitutionof this into Eq. (4-4) leadsto

,r: o, -r-(*)

(4'6 )

volume). If the particles are where a. : (particle surfacearea)/(particle sphericalwith diameter,/, then as:6/d. Thus, for a medium composed ol uniform spherical particles, ^ "n 2de l(t - e) (4-1 )

If the particlesare not spherical, the parameter I may be replaced by d:tl'ds-6las , herc lt is lhe spher[ciryfactor, defined by Surfacearcaof a sphere with samevolume asthe pafiicle Surfaceareaof the particle

(4-8 )

(4-e )

and 4 is the diameterof a sphere with the samevolumeas the particle.

4.2.PorousMedium FrictionFactor
velocitycan The expressions for the hydraulicdiameterand the superficial give beincorporated into the delinitionof the friction factorto an equivalent exDression for the Dorousmediumfriction factor:
'" et etd tlvl t 4 L tD , t \ v i z /2t- )l tl e1tle3 )Ltl tv!


100ChemilEngineerins ftocesses

l"fcst references use Eq. (4-10) without the numericalfactor 11 _? ?s th3 deflnitionof the porousmediumfriction factor, i.e.,
Llt - )v:

(4-11 )

4.3 Porous Medium Fleynolds Number In like fashion,the hydraulicdiameterand the superficial velocitycan be introducedinto the definitionof the Reynolds nurnberto give
r vR e - - : ; . - : : : : 1t



J\t - t)1t

. Jll - Jl,

(4-t) \

Here again, lhe usual porousmediumReynoldsnumberis definedby Eq. (4-12) without the numericalfactor (2/3):
r r R e . P M: : - _ . lr-t)lL



(4-13 )

4.4. FRICTION LOSSIN POFOUS MEDIA A. Laminar Flow By analogy wilh laminar flow in a tube,thefrictionfactorin lanrinar flow wouldbe 16 or (4-r4 /" : /PM: )

However,this expression assumes that the total resistance to flow is due to the sheardeformation of the fluid, as in a uniform pipe. In reality the resistance is a resultof both shearand stretching (extersional) deformation as the fluid movesthroughthe nonuniformconverging divergingflow cross sectionwithin the pores.The "stretchi[g resistance" is the product of the extension (stretch)rate and the extensional viscosity. The extension rate in porousmedia is of the sameorder as the shearrate, and the extensional viscosityfor a Newtodan fluid is three timesthe shearviscosity.Thus, in praclicea valueof 150-180 insteadof 72 is in closeragreement with observationsat low Reynoldsnumbers, i.e.,


for 1{q",pM< l0

(4-15 )

This is known as the Blake Koze y equationand, as noted, appliesfor NR",PM < 10.

porous Flowlhrough media 101

B. Turbulent Flow At high Reynoldsnumbers(high turbule[celevels), the flow is dominatedby inertial forcesand "wail roughness,"as ill pipe flow. The porous medium can be consideredan "extremelyrough" conduit, \'/ith e/d - 1. Thus, the flow at a sufficieltly high Reynoldslumber should be fully turbulent and the friction factor should be constallt.This has beenconfirmedby observations, with the value of the constantequal to approximately1.75: .fna: l.'75 for NR",pM > 1000 (4-16)

This is known as the Bftke-Plumnel equation and, as noted, appliesfor > 1000. iy'a",p11 C. All Reynolds Numbers .eprcsents An expression that adequately the porous medium friction factor over ail valuesof Reynoldsnumber is

;q 6 n ,= r . 7 5 + rv


(4-t7 )

This equatior with a valueof 150insteadof 180i,scalledthe Ergun equation and is simply the sum of Eqs (4- 15) and (4-16). (The more recent referenceslavor the value of 180, which is also more conservative.) Obviously, for 1{p..p14 < 10 the fi$t term is small relative to the second, and the Ergun equation reducesto the Blake-Kozeny equation. Likewise, > 1000 the first term is much larger than the secold, and the for Np",p11 equation reducesto the Burke-Plummereqration. are itrserted irto the Ergun If the definitions of /pM and NRe.pM for the irictioral energyloss (dissipation) equation,the resultingexpression per unit massof fluid in the medium is

I -,".|L+ 4r(1. rso ., :u)'/ ' = r.7sr';tf d\E'/



102Chemjcel Engineer ng Processes

4.5. PERMEABILITY The "permeability" of a porous medium (-Q is definedas the proportionality constantthat relatesthe flow rate through the nedium to the pressure drop, the cross-sectional area, the fluid viscosity, and net Ilow length through tho medium:

(4-1e )
(-&1J This oquationdefines the permeability and is known as -Dar.]]r /dx,.The most common unit for the penneabilityis the "darcy," which is dellnedas the flow ratein cm'/s that resultswhena plessure drop ol I atm is appliedto porous a medium that is 1 cm' in cross-sectional arca and 1 cm long, lbr a of the fluid with viscosityof I cP. It shouldbe evidentthat the dimensions dar^cyare L2, and^ the conversion lactors are (approximately) 10-3 cm'f darcy= 10 " ft'/darcy. The flow properties oftight, crudeoil bearing, rock fornations are often described in penneabilityunits of millidarcies. the lf the Blake Kozeny equationfor lan'inar flow is usedto describe to AP/p from the Bernoulli equation, the frilrtion loss,which is then equated resultineexoression for the flow rate is

^ s:



r-.r U8o{1=/

(4-20 )

By cornparison ofEqs. (4- 19)and(4- 20),itis evidentthat the pemeability is identical to thc tcnn in bracketsin Eq. (4-20), which shows how the pemeability is relatcd to the equivalentparticle size and porosity of the medium. SinceEq. (4-20) appliesonly for laminar flow, it is cvident that the permeabilityhas no meaningunder turbulent flow conditions. 4.6. MULTIDIMENSIONAL FLOW Flow ir1 a porous medium in two or three dimensionsis important in situationssuch as the production of crude oil from reservoirformations. this situdtionbriefly and to point out some Thus,it is ofintercst to consider characteristics of the governingcquations. fluid through a two-dimenConsider the flow of an incompressible siolal porous medium,as illustratedin Fig. 4-2. Assumingthat the kinetic by energychangers negligibleand that the flow is laminar as characterized Darcv's law. the Bernoulli equationbecomes


lLP \ \-+c^z)=et=




^(e\ = -i!!d
\.p /


porousmedla103 Flowthro!gh

Equation(4- 22) wherethe density cancels out if the fluid is incompressible. can be appliedin both the x and ] directions, by taking l, : Arc for the )t directionand Z = Al for the I direction:



(4-24 )

FrcuRE 4-2

medium. Two-dimensional flowin a porous ttv,




pV, ao
K A!

with respect to r. and Eq. (4-24) is differIf Eq. (4-23 ) is differentiated and -Kto be entiatedwith respect to y and the results are added,assuming,& ger we consranr,




I tav^* . i.vj\



fluid, the termin parentheses is zeroas a resultofthe For an incompressible contiluity equation).Equation conservation of mass(e.g.,the microscopic (4-25) can be genefdli/ed ro rhree dimen\



which is called the Laplaceequation. TlTesolution ol this equation,along with appropriate boundary conditions, determinesthe potential (e.9., pressure) of this potential distribulionwithin the medium.The derivatives then determinethe velocitydistributionin the nedium [e.g.,Eqs. (4 23) and (4- 24)1.The Laplace equation thus governsthe three-dimensional (potential) flow of an inviscidfluid. Note that the Laplacequationfollows fron Eq. (4-25) for eitheran inconpressible viscous fluid, by virtue of the continuity equation,or for any flow with negligible viscosityeffects(e.g.,

104Chemical Engineering Proe$es

compressible flow outsidethe boundarylaye. neara solid boundary).It is interesting that the sameequationgoverns both of these extreme cases. The Laplac equation also appliesto the distribution of electrical potentialand curent flow in an electdcally conducting mediumas well as the temperaturcdistribution and heat flow in a thermally conducting medium. For example,if O =+ E,y =+ i, ar:d p/K =+ re. where /e is the electrical resistivity(/e : RA/Ax), Eq. (4- 22) becomes Ohm'sla\,:


-,",,, v2E:0, and *-#:,

(4-21 )

Also, with O =+ T, V =+ q, and 1(/p + t, wherek is the thermalconduclivity, the same govemthe flow ofheat in a thermallyconducting equations medium(e.g.,Fouier's lat'))l




cnd Y*Y:o ox tr))

(4-28 )

By making use of theseanalogies, cleclricalanalogmodelscan be con, structedthat can be usedto deter.dnethe pressure and flow distribution in a porousmediumfrom measurements ofvoltageand cu ent distribution in a conducting medium,for example. The process becomes more complex, however,whcn the local permeabilityvaries with position within the medium,which is often the case. 4.7.HEATTBANSFER IN PACKED SEDS For heatandmasstransferthrougha stationary or streaniinefluid ro a singlespherical particle, it hasbeen sholvn n)Corlson rhattheheat andmass rransler I1l. Vol L Ch.9. coefficienfs givenby: rcach limitinglow values

whercNu'(: h.l/k) attd Sh'(=hDrllDJ are the Nusseltand Sherwood numberswirh respectto the fluid, respectively. kamers [2] has shown that, for conditions of forced convecrion. rhe heat transfer coefficient can be reDresenled bv:

so r R es f Nu':2.o+13Pra$ + o.66Pr


whereft?i is the parlicleReynolds numberr.dp/p based on the supedcial velociryr. of the fluid, and Pr is &e PrandtlnumberCr"p/*. This expressionhas been obfained on the basis of experimntalresulis obtained with fluids of Prandtl numbersranging ftom 0.7 to 380. For natumlconvection, Ranz andMarshall[3] havegiven: N u' : 2.0+ O.6Prt/1 er'tla where Gr' is the Grashof number -


porous FJowthrough media 105

Results for packedbedsarc much more diflicult to oblain because rhe ddving lorce cannotbe measuredvery rcddily, Gupta and Thodus .ll suggestthat rhe j-faclor for heat jr , forms thc most satisfactory transfer, basisof corrclalion for experimental resultsand havcproposed that:
ei6 = 2.06Re",a t75


where:e is the voidage of the bed, '. j', - S! P; atd S/': Stanlon number i/Crpr.. j/, andjl. arefound!o be equal,andrherefore The j-faclors for heatandnass transfer, equaion4.28 can also be usedfor the calculation ol masstransfer rates. Reproduciblc correlarions for the heat transfcrcoefficientberweena fiuid fiowing througha packed bedandthe cylindricalwall ofthe coniainer arevery diflicult ro obtainThe mafu difficulty is that a wide rangcof packingconditions can occur in the viciniry quoledby Ze|z ard Orhmerfjl suggest of the walls.However,the rcsults that: Nu a Relt oe


It may be noredthat in this exprcssion the Nusselt numberwith respect 10the tubewall lr'r is rclatedto the Reynolds numberwith respccL to the paticle Rel..


Since packed columnsconsistof shapedparriclescontainedwirhin a column, their behaviourwill in many ways be sinilar io that of packedbeds which have already beenconsidered. Thereare,however, scvenl inlpofiantdifferences which makefie direct application gradient of thc cquations for pressure difncult.Fircr.rhe sizeol rhe packing elements in the columnwill generally be very muchlargerandthe Reynolds number will lherefore be suchlhal the flow is turbulent. Secondly, the packingelemenrs will normally be hollow, and thereforehave a large amountof internalsurfacewhich will offer a higherflow reslstance than their extemalsudace. The shapes too arc specially designed to producegood masslransfcrcharacteristics wi$ relativelysmall pressure gradienrs. Althoughsomeofthc general principles already discussed pressurc canbe usedro predicr gradient as a functionof is necessary to rcly heavilyon the literature issued by the manufacturercof the packings. packed In general, rowersareused1brbnnginglwo phases in contact wilh oneanother and lbcrc will be strcnginieraction berween the lluids. Nonnally ore of rhe fluids will preferentially wct lhe packing andwill flow asa 6lm overils surface: the second fluid then passes through theremaining volumeolthe colunn. With gas(or vapour)-liquidsystems, the liquid will normallybe the weuingfluid and the gasor vapourwill rise throughrhc columnmakingclosecontacr with the down llowingliquid andhavinglirde directcontac! with the packingelements. An example process of thc liquid gassysiem is an absorpfion whcrea solublegasis scrubbed from a mixturc of gases by means of a liquid, as shown in Figure4.3. In a packedcolumn usedfor distillation,the morc volatile componeni

106ChemilEngineeng Procsses

of, say, a binary mixture is progressively rransfered ro the vapour phase and the less volatile condensesout in the liquid.

In order to obtain a good rate of transfer per unit volume of the tower, a packins is selec(ed which \rill promoler high interfacial areabetween lhe tlvo phases and a igh degreeof turbulence in the fluids. Usually inqeased aroaand turhilence are achieved; the expenseof indeased capital cost and,/orpressurediop, and a balance must be maale belweenthesefactors when arriving at an economic design.

Liquid in

Fignre 4.3, Pacled absorptioncolunn

4.&1.GeneraldescriDtion The constuction of packedtowers is relatively straighdorward.The shell of the colunn may be constructedfrom metal, ceramics,glass,or plasticsmaterial, or from metal with a

porous Flowthrou9h media 107

corosion-resislant lining.The columnshould bc mounlcdtruly verticallyto helpunifom liquid dislribulion. Detailed infomation on the nechanical design andmounting ofindustrial scalecolumn she11s is giveD by BRoWNELL and Youngt6l, MoLyNELxtit and in BS 5500t8l platewhich shouldbe designed Thc bed of packingrestson a support to haveat least 75 per cent ftee areafor the passage of the gas so as to offer as low a resislance as possible. The simplestsupporiis a grid wilh relaiivelywidciy spaccdbarson which a few layersof largeRaschig orpartitionringsarc stacked. One suchanangement is shown in Figure4.4. The gas injectionplate described byl-ev sli6hn in Figure,l.5 is passageways designed to provideseparaie for gasandliquid so thatthey nccdnot vie for passage though the sameopening. This is achieved by providingthe gasinlctsto the bed at a Dointabovethe level at which liouid leaves the bed-

Figure.1.,1. Grid bar suppofsfor packed to$es

FiguF 4.5.

platc(z') The gasnrjection

At the top of the packedbed a liquid distributor of suitabledesignprovideslor the uniform irrigation of the packing which is necessary for satisfactory operation. Four

108 Chmical Efgineer ngProcesses

examplesof different disrriburors are shown in Figure a.6 tl0l asfollows:

, and may be described

(a) A simpleorificerypewhich givesvery finedistribulion thoughil mustbe correctly sizedfor a particular duty and shouldnot be usedwherethereis anv risk of rhe hole' plugCing (b) The notched chimneylype of disrjburor,which hasa good rangeof flexibitityfor the mediumand uppcrflowrates, andis nor proneto blockage (c) Thc notchedtrough disftiburorwhich is spcciallysuitable for rhe targersizesof fower,and,because of its largefie area, il is alsosujtable for rhe highergas.ales (d) The perforated ring type of distributor for usewith absomtion colunns wherehish ga. rdres d relairel) s'nall. quiJ rle\ arccn(oLnrerec. This rlpe ir,aii1 suitable wherepressure lossmustbe minimiscd. For ihe largcrsizeof tower,where installation tbroughmanholcs is necessary. it lnay be madeup in flanged secrions:

FiguE 4.6 Typesofliquid distriburo/ro)

Uniform liquid l'low is essential if the bes! useis io be madeof the packingand,lf the loweris high, re-disributing plares arenecessary. Thescplaiesarenceded at intervais

porous Flowthmugh media109

for Raschig rings and about 5-10 column diameters of about2i 3 column diameters for Pall rings,but are usualiynot morethan6 m apartllll.A "hold-down"plateis often placed at the top of a packedcolumn to minimise movemenland breakageof the packing caused by surges in ffowrates. The gas inlet shouldalso be designed for uniform flow over the cross-sectionand the gas exit should be separatefrom the liquid inlet. Further detailson intemalfittingsaregiven by Lsva[g]. Columns for both absorption and distillation vary in diameter from about 25 mm for small laboratory purposesto over 4.5 m for large industrial operations;these industrial may operate at pressures ranging ftom colunms may be 30 m or morein height.Columns high vacuumto high pressure, the optimumpressurc dcpending on both the chemical and the physical propertiesof the system.

4.8.2.Packings packings, grids, Packings can be dividedinlo four main classes-broken solids,shaped form and are used h sizesfrom and structuredpackings. Broken solids are the cheapest about10 mm to 100mm according to the size of the column.Althoughthey frequendy form a good corosion-resistant material they are not as satisfactory as shapedpackings either in regard to liquid flow or 10 effective surface ollered for transfer. The packing should be of as unifom size as possibleso as to producea bed of uniform characteristics with a desired voidage. areRaschig rings,Pallrings.Lessing dngs,andBerl The mostcommonly usedpackings saddles.Newer packings include Nutter rings, lntalox and Intalox metal saddles,Hy-Pak. and Mini rings and, becauseof their high perfonnancecharacterislicsand low pressue packing packings drop,these now account for a largeshare of themarket. Commonly used elementsare illustrated in Figue 4.7. Most of these packings are available in a vr'ide g1ass, plastics, metals, carbon, andsometimes rubber, range of materials suchasceramics, Ceramic packings are resistantto conosion and comparalively cheap,but are heavy and may require a strongerpacking support and foundalions.The smaller mefal rings are also availabie made from wire mcsh, ard tbesegrve much-improvedtransfercharacterisiicsin smallcolumns. A non-poroussolid should be usedif thereis any risk oi crystal fo.mation in the pores damage to the packingelements. whenthe packingdries,as this can give dse to serious they are not wettedby many liquids. However, someplasticsare not very goodbecause is Channelling.that is non uniform distribution of liquid acrossthe colunm cross-section, packings, muchlessmarked with shaped andthei resislance to flow is much1ess. Shaped packingsalso give a more effective surfaceper unit volume becausesurfacecontactsare reducedto a minimum and the film llow is much improved comparedwith broken solids. packings are more expensive,particularly when small sizes On the olher hand, the shaped are used.The voidageobtainable wjth thesepackingsvariesfton about 0.45 to 0.95. Ring packings are either dumped into a tower, dropped in small quanriries, or may be individually stackedif 75 mm or larger in size. To obtain high and uniform voidagc and to preventbeatage, i! is often found better lo dump the packingsinto a tower ful] of iiquid. packings, that lhe flow channels Stacked as shownin Figure4.10, have the advanlage are vertical and there is much less tendencyfor the liquid 1()flow to the walls than with

110Chemi@l Engineedns Prccesses



Fieure4.7. (a) Cenmic Raschisdngs; (r) cflmic kssing nn$ (.) Cermic Berl sa.tdle;(d) p,ti riie Qrstic): (d) P'u rins (nlat)i (.f) M.ral Nurbr nns$ (t) nddc Nrtrer ring

porcusmedia111 Flowthrough



nndom packings. The propertiesof some conmonly usedindustrial packngs are shown in Table4.1. The size of packing used influencesthe height and diameter of a column, the pressure drop and cost of packing. Generally, as the packing size is increased,the cost per unit volume of packing aDdihe Fessure &op per unit height of packing fie reduced,and the mass transfer efficiercy is reduced.Reducedrllass tansfer efficiency resilts in a taller column being needed,so that the overall column cost is not always reducedby increasing the packing size. Nolmalty, in a column in which the packing is nndomly arranged, the packing size should not exceedoDe-eighthof the column diameter.Above this size, liquid distribution, and hencethe masstransferefliciency, deterioratesrapidly. Since cost per unit volune of packing doesnot fall much for sizesabove50 mm whereasefficioncy continuesto fall, ftere is seldomany advantage in usingpackingsmuch Iargerthan50 mm in a rardomly packedcolurnn. For laboralory puryosesa numberof specialpackingshavebeendevelopedwhich are,in general,too expensivefo.large diarnetertowers.Dixon packings,which are Lessingrings made from wire mesh, and KnitMesh, a fine wire mesh packing, are typical examples. Thesepackings give very high interfacial areasand, if they are flooded with liquid before operation, all of the surface is aclive so thal the tmnsfor characteristicsare very good even at low liquid rates. The volume of liquid held up in such a packing is low and the presswedrop is also lo\r. Someof thesehigh efficiency woven wire packings have ben usedin coltmns up to 500 mm diameter. casy |(r fabricalc.arc rsurLllyrLscd in col mns Crid pnckings,wiich xrc relxtivelJ, of sqoxlescdion. rnd freqrertlJ in coolirg rolverswhich are describerl in Volumel, Chapler l:1. They may be made from wood, plastics, carbon, or ceramic maferials, and, because of tbe rclatively large spaces betwenthe individual grids, ihey give low pressure drops. Furlher advantages lie in their easeof assembly,their ability to accept fluids with

ri:3s?::i FEFFESFFc FE3*:S:s

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d E6

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3sFS 83a3R8R3H

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t! E;

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e E

tsE= e:!



2 2 2 2 2 2 2 22 2 2











114 Chemical Engineering P.o@sses suspended solids,andrhejrease of weltingevenat very low liquidrares. The mainproblem is that of obtaining good liquid disrribution since, ar high tiquid raies,rhe liquid iendsto cascadeftom one grid to the nex! withour being broker up into tine dropleis which are .ufldce. desirable loi a highinlerfffiat A1 c\dmpte ot c cootinp rouerpaiking..Cootflo 3'02r is shownin Figure4.8. This is simitarto rhe stmctured packingJdescribed tater, ancl consists of vacuumformedPVC sheers ctamped rogcther within a meralandplasrics frame to folm a module which can be 0.6 m or 1.2 n i; deprh.Srrucruredpackinis may be broadly classified into either the knined or rhe non-lnitied type, ana bott typis rnay be assembled in a segmentedway or in a spiral form. In the lafter, corugut.d ;[ip, oi dbbonscoil abouta centrea\is to form a flal cakeof the requisitc towerdiameter which is usuallylessthan I m_Theseelements are thenstacked one upon the otherto Drovide lhe nece+ar) beddeplh.In rherigid Llpeot sLrucrureo pacUng. rhcse.orrugnr"j.F..,. of melalor plasticare assemblcd to form interseding openchannels. The shets mav. in addilion. be perforaled andrhe)provide uniform tiquidflowo\er bolhsiderwhilerapour flou. upwards andprovides inr mare conracr $ilh rt-etrquid. One,urh rlpe of pacUng. Mellapak(33) is shownin Figure4.9, and otherssuchas cempakil4l -" ut.o uuoiUtf!. Low pressure dropsof lypically 50 N/m2per theorericaj stage are possible wirh HETp.s, ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 m, voidages in excess of95 per cent, and high specific surface areas.The resulting higher capaciry and efficiency wiih structured packings is, howeverachieved at higherinirial capitalcosrthanwith the olher packings discussed in rhis sectionl15].

FiguE 4.8,

Msco Coolno3 extended surface, cootineroper pactring

porous Flowlhrcugh media 115

Figu 4.9. structured packinss (4) meral gauze (r) carbon (.) corcsion esisDn! ptdslic

4.8.3.Fluidflow in Dacked cohmns

It is important to be able to predicr rhe drop in pressurefor rhe flow of the two fluid streamsthrough a packedcolumn. Earljer in this chapterthe drop in pressurearising from the flow of a single phasethrough granularbedsis considercdand the samegeneralform of approachis usefully adopted for the flow of two fiuids &rough packed columns. It was noted that the expressionsfor flow through ring,type packings arc less reliable than those for flow through beds of solid particles. For the typical absorptjoncolunn there is no very accurateexpression,but there are severalcorrelationsthat are useful for design purposes.In the majority of casestlre gas flow is turbulenr and the general form of rhe relaiion belween the drop in pressure-AP and the volumetric gas ffowrate per unit area of colurnn c is shown on curve A of Figure4.10. ,AP is rhenproportional to r!3 appro\imarely. in rgreemenr wirh lhe (urre A of Figure 4.lO al hieh Relnolds numbars. If, in addition to the gas flow, liquid flows down the tower, (he passage of the gas is not

J 1 6C h e m i c E nr go c e s s e s . l n g i n e e r iP


(logdilhnricaxet ligur 4.10. Prcssurc dropsin wet packines

significandy affectedat low liquid ratesand the pressure drop line is similar to line A, althoughfor a given valueof 116the valueof AP is somewhat increased. When dle gas rale reachesa cetain value. the pressuredrop then dses very much more quickly and is proportiondl to i/U5,as shownby the secdonXY on curvc C. Over this section the liquid flow is interfering with the gasflow and the hold-upof liquid is progessively inffeasing. The fre spacein the packirgs is thercfore being continuously taken up by the liquid, and thus the resistance to flow risesquickly.At gas flows beyondY, AP rises very steeply and the liquid is held up in the column. The point X is known as the loadingpoint,and point Y as the floodingpoint for the givenliquid ffow. If the flowrate in which the loadingpoint is achieved of liquid is increased, a similarplot D is obtained gasratethoughat a similarvalueof -AP. Whilst it is advantageous at a lovr'er ro havea reasonable hold-upin the columnas lhis promotes interphase contact, i! is nol praclicable to operate underffoodingconditions, andcolumns arebestoperated over the section XY. Sinceihis is a sectionwith a relativelyshof rangein gas flow, the safe practiceis 1() design for operation at the loading point X. Ii is of interest to noie that, if a column is floodedand then allowedto drain. the valueof AP for a given gasflow is increased overthatfor an cntirclydry packingas shownby curveB. RosEandYoung[16]correlated rheir experimenial pressuredrop data for Raschig rings by the following equation:

where: 4P,,, is the pressure &op affossihe wet drained column. AP,r is the Fessuredrop across the dry column.and d,, is ihe nominalsizeof ihe Raschig rings in mnl.


This effect will thus be most significant for smau packings.

porous Flowthrough nedia 117 Thercfie several waysof calculatirgthe pressure drop across a packcdcolumnwhen gasandliquid are llowing simultaneously andthe colunrn is operating below lhe loading point. One approach is to calculate the pressure drop for gasllow only andthenmuitiply lhis pressure drop by a factorwhich accounts for the effcctof the liquid ffow. Equarion 4.19 may be used lbr prcdicting the pressuredrop lor the gas only. and rhen rhe pressurcdrop with gasandliquid Rowingis obtained by usingthe correction faclors for the liquid flow rale givenby SHERwooD and PigfordllTl AnotherapFoachis thalof MoRRrs andJacksonllslwho arranged experimental darafor a wide rangeof ring andgrid packings in a graphical form convenienl for the calcularion of the numberof velocilyheads packing. lr' lost per unit height.of ?{ is subsrirured in rhe equation:

wherer - AP pc rc I = = : :


pressure drop, gasoensrry, gasvelocity,based on the cmply columncrcss-sectional area, and heightof packing.

Equation 4.35 is in consistent units-For cxample, with pc in kg/m3,,G in mA, I in m. and ly' in m-r. -AP is rhenin N/m'?. Elnpirjcalcorelationsof experimental datafor pressurc drop havealsobeenpresented by Leva[]9l.rndby ECKERT et al.[20]or Pall rings.Whercthe datar.reavailable, the nosr accurate method of obtaining the pressure dropfor fiow througha bed of packingis from lhe manufacturer's own literature. This is usuallypresented plot of gas as a logarithmic pressurc rate against drop,with a parameter of liquid nowrateoD the graphs, as shown in Figure4.16, althoughit shouldbe stressed ihat all of thesemcthodsapply only ro conditions al or below the loadingpoint X on Figure4.i0. ff applied!o conditions above the loadingpoinl the culculated pressure drop wouldbc too low. It is therefore necessary first lo checkwhctherthe columnis operating at or belou,thc loadingpoint,andmethods ol predicting loadingpointsare now consjdercd. Loading and floocling points Althoughthe loadingand floodingpointshavebeenshownon Figure4.10, rhereis no generalised compleiely expression for cdlculating the onsetof loading,allhoughone of the following semi-empirical co elations will often be adequate. MoRRrs andJAcKsoN,'' gavetheirresults in rheform of plotsof rt(,J(r/,Jr)al the loddingratefor va.iouswelling ratesLw (m3/sn). ,,6 and,r. are average gasand liquid velocities basedon the empty (/kclpi) columnand t: is a gasdensitycofiectionfactor,wherepi is the densiry of air at 293 K. A uselul graphicalcorelation for fiooding rareswas first presented by SHERwooD et dl.[21]and later developed packings, by Lobordl.l22l for random-dunped as shown in Figure 4.1I in which:

"s^i" " I,JE) W) f:n(e)"i',r*oa

118Chemical Enq ineering Processes

;6t g

dH2A-N2 DH2O CO'

b Butydc acid-A r 4cH3oH Ak v Turbin oil Air >B 100O Air < 10 Coil Alr o O i l N ol. A r r Oil No. 1 CO, E oilNo r H2 a oilNo 2 At ? OllNo.2 CO, + oit No.3 Air



d 1F;
Figlre 4.11. oeneralhed correiaiion foriooding raresin pacled towc4 l

L' 14

where:16 is the vclocity of rhe gas,calculated over rhe wholecrcss-secrion of rhe bcd, .S, is ihe surface areaof the packingper unit volumcof bcd, due !o gravity, I is the acceleration I,' is lhe massrateof flow per unit areaof the liqujd, G' is the massrateof fiow per uni! areaof the gas,and p. is the viscosityof waterat 293 K approximalely I mN s/m'?, and sulfix G refers to the gas and suflix a !o the liquid. possible The areainsidethe curverepresenls conditions of operation. In theseexprespc/pr pr/pu sions.the ratios and havebcenintroduced so that the relationship can be appliedfor a wide rangeof liquids andgases. It may be notedthat,i[ the effecrive value of a is increased by usinga rotaiingbed,then higherflowrures can be achieved before the onsetof flooding.

p o r o um s e d r a1 1 9 Flow throlqh

There are several ways of calculating the prcssuredrop acrossa packed colunn when gasandliquid are fiowingsimultaneously and the columnis operating below the loading point. One approach is to calculate the prcssure drop lbr gasflow only and ihen multiply rhis prcssure drop by a factor whicb accounts for rhe effec!of the liquid flow. Equalion 4.19 may be usedfor predicting the prcssure dropfor the gasonly, and rhenthe prcssure drop with gasard iiquid flowing is obtained by usingrheconection factors for thc liquid flow rarcgiren b) SHLRiooD andPiglorJllTl Anotherapproach is thatofMoRRrs andJacksonll8]who arranged experimental datafor a wide rangeof ring andgrid packings in a graphical form convenicnt for lhe calculalion of the numbcrof velocityheads N lost pcr unii' is substitured in rhe

^P - +Npcu?
where: - AP pc uc I : : : :


pressure drop, gasclenslty, gasvelocity,based on the emptycolumncross-sectionalea,and heishtof packing.

Equation 4.35 is in consisteni unirs.For example, with pc in kg/nr, ,6 in m/s, / in m, and lr' in m r, -AP is rhenin N/m'?. Empiricalcorelationsofcxperimental daiafor pressure drop havealsobeenpresentcd by Levalg] andby ECKERT e/ al.[20]or Pall rings.Wherethe daiaarc available, the mosl accurale melhodof obtaining the pressure drop ior fiow througha bedofpacking is from the manufhclurer's own literature. This is usuallyprcscnled plo! of gas as a logarirhmic rate againslpressurc drop, with a parameter oi liquid flowrateon the graphs, as shown in Figure4.16, althoughir shouldbe stressed that a1lof thesemelhodsapply only to condltlons at or below the loadingpoint X on Figure4.10.If applied to conditions above the loadingpoint the calculated pressure drop wouldbe 1oolow. It is thereforc necessary first to checkwhctherthe columnis operating at or belowthe loadingpojnl, andmethods of predicting loadingpointsare now corsidered. Loaclingan.l flooding points Althoughthe loadingand lloodingpoinishavebeenshownon Figure4.10, thereis no generaliscd completely expressioD for calculating thc onsetof loading,althoughone of the followirg semi-empirical conclalions will often be adequalc. MoRRrs andJ.rcrsori'!' gavetheirresults in lhe folm of plorsof ry'(uc/rr) al the loddingratefor various wetting ratesI,$, (m3/sm). ,G and ur are averagc gasdndliquid velocities basedon rhe emprt columnand 1/ = (.//kclp/) is a gasdensityconectionfacror,wherepr is rhe densiry of air at 293 K. A useful graphicalcorrelation for floodlng ratcs was first presenred by SHERwooD e, dl.[21]and later devclopcd by Lobordl.t22l for random-dumped packings, as shown in Figure4.ll in whichi

,,o'*oo (4r)o' (s)l "*'" " #Je)

120Chemical EnsineeirqProcesses

Liquid distribution
Provisionof a packingwith a high suface arcaper unit volume may not resultin good conlaclingof gas and liquid unlessthe liquid is disrributed uniionnly over rhe surface of lhe packng. The needfor liquid distributionand redisrriburion and correcrpacking sizehasbeennotedprcviousiy. The effectivewettedarcadecreases as rhe liquid rareis decreased and, for a given packing, dere is a minimum liquid rate for effective use of the surface area of the packing. A useful measureof lhe eflectivenessof wetting of the available areais rhe wettingratc /-,, defined as: Volumetric li{tuid rateocr unit cross-sectional areaof column Packingsu aceareaper unit volumeof column L

Apr.sB S,


Thus the welling rate is analogous ro the volumctricliquid rate per unir length of cncumference in a weltcd wall colunn in which the liquid flows down the surface of a cyljnder.If the liquid rale were too low, a continuous liquid film would not be formed aroundthe circumferencc of the cyiiDder and someof the lrea wolLldbe ineffective. Similareffecls occurin a packedcolumn, although the flow parterns andarrangement of the surfaces arether obviously muchn1ore complex. MoRRrs andJackson[l8] haverecommended minimumwettingrates of 2 x l0-5 mr/s m for rjngs25-75 mm in diameler and giidi ofpirch le* rhar 50 nm. cnd 1.3 l0-s n'/\ m tor ldger pacungs. The distributionof liquid over packingshas been studiedexperimenlally by many workers and, for instance,Toun and Lmuex(45.46) showedthat lor a single point feed rhe distribulionis siven bvl
Q,: t exp( a2 x'z)


where 0, is the fraciion of thc liquid collected at a disrance r liom rhe centreand c and a are constanls depending on the packlngarrangemcnl. Nonnant2TlMANNNG and Cannon[28]and others haveshownthatlhis maldisiribution is onecausc offalling rransfer coefficients with tall towers. A nomograph which relates liquid rate, tower diameter and packing size is given in Figure4.13[10] The wefiingrareLw may be obtained as dn absolute valuefrom the inner right hand axis or as wetinq fnction from the outerscale. A valueof wetting fraction exceeding uniiy on lhat scdleindicates thatthe packingis satisfaclorily wer. h should be notedthat many organicliqulds havc favourable wettingpropenies and vr'cuing may be effective at muchlowcr rates, lhoughmatelials suchasplaslics andpolished srainless slecl are difficult to wet. Figure4-13does,however, represeni the best available dataon the subject of welling.In the example shownin Figure4.13,the arrowed linc conesponds ro the caseof a liquid flow of 0.018m3/sin a colunn of 1.6m diamerer and a packingsize of 25 mm, which givesan approximate wettingrateof 5 x 10-5 mr/m s, corresponding to a total wettingof morethan I on rhe ourside righGhand scaleithis is saiisfacrory.

poro!smedia 121 Fiowihrough

-e E

o', E


o04 Iv{m3hzs) Fieuo 4,13. Nomograph tbr rhe estinaiionot the degEeof weftingin I pmkc.tcojutul29l

In manyindustrial applications of packed cotumrs,it is deslrablc to know thc volumerric hold-upofihe liquid phase in thecolumn.This infonnation mightbc reeded, for exanple, if the liquid were involvedin a cbcmicalreaclionor if a conrrolsysrem for rhe column werc being designed. For gas,liquid systems ihe hold-upof liqujd Hi,j for conditions belowthe loadingpoint hesbecnfoundlgl to vary approximately as the 0.6 powerof lhe liquid rate.andfo. rings and saddles this is given approximateiy by:

wherci ,' is rhe liquid flowmte(kg/n,s)t d is the equivalent diamelcrof rhepacking(nxr), an{l ,?,, is the hold-up(mr of liquid/m3of column).




Thus with 2-5mm Raschig rings, L' of 1.0kg/m2s and d :20 mm, 4, hasa valueof 0.021mj/mr.

122Chemical Pfocesses

4.9 FLOW INPACKED BEDS The chemical and energ/ industriesdeal predominantlywith nultiphase and multicomDoclstems oent in which considemble atlenlion is devoted lo bcreacing rheinlerfacidt con;cr betweenihe phasesto enhance properrytransfen and chemicalreactionsat theseextended surface interfaces. As a.esult,packed bedsareextnsiveb/ usedin th6 chemical process industries.Someexamples aregasabsorption, cataMc reactors,anddeepbed ltration. 4.9.1 FriclionFaclorCo elations Tfie friction factor for packedbeds,fpb, is de ned by "p b i . . . - J a3 DplLPl

' ' oulr


where is the po.orr4, (or yoid yolune fraction), Dp is tbe particl diamerer,and r, is the superfcial wlocitJ. The s,rpercial velociry is obrainedby dividing rhe volumetric ow rate by the total ooss-sectionalareaofthe bd.Note that the actual ow areais a fraction ofth totalcross-sectional area. For packedbeds,the Reynoldsnurnberis de ned by Dpu"o I ^ - -liJ+ Repr 14.401

For laminar oq the relationshipbtweenthe liiction factor and th Reynoldsnumber is givenby


R e ,< a1o


whichis Lno\ n asrheKozcn\-Carnan equa on. In the case ofturbulent ow,i.e-,Rej,,> 1000, th relationship between Rerb andt, glvenby theBurke-Plumner equationin the for.m


f tu= 1.'75

Rep, > 1000


T\e so-called Eryun equarion(1952) is simply the summationofthe Kozeny-Camanand the Burke-Plummer equations 150


porous Ftowthrough media 123

Exsmple4.l A column of0.8 m2 cross-section and30m heightis packed with spherjcal particles ofdiameter 6 mm.A uid withp:1.2kg/m3 andp= 1.8x l0-5 kg/m.s ows thrcugb thebedatamass ow rateof0.65kg/s.Ifthe pressure pa, dropis measured as3200 calculate theporosity ofthe bed: a) Analytically, Solution Assumption 1. The systemis isodtemal. Analysis The supe.cial velocity throughthe packedbedis u ,= 0.65 ,1.2^, = 0.67r mr" b) Numerically.

Substitution of the valuesinto Eqs.(4.35)and (4.36)givesthe friction factorand the Reynolds number asa function olporosityin theform Dpl^P. , . .. ./ i t = .' I ro" to rpb= r'164\r-e/ r , puI T-.1{Lr"oatt,3o)l= .' 11.)200'l


I _,_.r l,0q1l{L.2'.l. R '"^=D,ut_L _ 1,6_:_.10

u r-.



| \


Substitution ofEqs.(1) and(2) intoEq.(4.6-5) gives _i.979:0 e 3 0 . 4 i 6 + 22 . 4 5 5

a) Equation(3) can be solvedanalytically by usingthe prccedure described in Section AppendixA. In orderto calculate the discriminant, the tems M and ly' mustbecalculated fromEqs.(A.7-5)and(A.7-6), respectively: { 3)(2.455 ) {0.476)2 M =_: +_0.793 9 ir'_ _rqi(0.47612.455 r7r{t.g7q)+(2r{0.416,. i2 _O.rno

Therefore, thediscriminant is n=m3 i-t't2:q0.79y3+ e.7gg\2 =1.137 Since A > 0, Eq.(3) hasonly onerealrootasgivenby Eq.(A.7-7). Theterms,SandZ in this equationarecalcLllated as

'- "' 1 1 {o.zoo+,,137r "[t' I = 1 r u - . 6 1 ' ' . - 1 o . t s ou \ t n l t 3 _ 0 . o 4 4 s = t r uI

124Chemical Enqineenng Proesses

porosity Hence theaverage ofthe bedis ._t.2jt 0.644 t=-:_0.740


n 416

(3) is rearangedas b) Equation F(4:e3 - 0.416? < - 1 . 9 7= 9o +2.455 FromEq. (A.7-25)the itemtionscheme is 'r ='t |ci-r f (q-r.t 0.02 . , , F (t i i r)-F(099./, (5) (4)

Assuming a starting value of, :0.7, theiterations arcgiven in thetable below:

| 2 3 4.9"2 HeatTransfer Correlation (3l) (1972) proposed for heat in packed Wf itaker thefollowing correlation transfr beds: Nup, : (0.4R";f + o.2R#) P.o4 TheNusselt number in Eq.(4.6-6) is definedby th\Dp ( Nupr:--rl (4.40) Equation is validwhen 3.7<Repr<8000 0.34<<0.74 Pr,z0.7 (4.45) (4-44) 0.'746 0.'745 0.'t45

A11 at the average fluid tempemture in the bed. Fopertiesin Eq. (4.40) areevaluated heattransfercoefcient rs Calculationof the heattranskr rute Oncethe average determined, the rateof heattransferis calculated ftom Q = axvlh\^TLM (4-46)

wherc y is the total volumeof the packedbed and a, is the packingsurfaceareaper rmit volume dened by 6al .) "'=-(4'4',7)

porous Flow ihrough media l2s

4-9.3 MassTransler Correlation (12X1977) proposed Dwivedi and Upadhyay a single conelation lor bothgases andliquidsin packed and fluidized beds in terms ofthej-factoras
.. Jit ft:

'n-+ ' " ' b \O8 )



Theterms Re;D;nEq.(4-48) whichisvalidfor 0.01< Re;, < 15,000. aredoned Ji,, and Dy

and Re|6 =



mass Calculation of the masstranskr rate Once theaverage transfer coefficient is determined, the late of masstransfer ofspecies,4, in, is givenby rhe: a,V \k"l(^ce\mMt


Example 4.2 diameter naphby using A packed bedof porosity 045 ;n a pipe,2.5 cm in ;nternal Pure air at 40'C flowsat a super cial velociry thalene spheres 5 mm in diameter of9 m/s through thebed. Determine thelength ofthepacked bedrequired for theavemge concentration of naohthalene vaDor in theair to reach25%ofthe saturation wlue. Solution Physicalproperties (,4 )inair( 6) at40"C (313 Diffusion ofnaphthalene K) is coefficient /rrr -\ l / 2 {DAB)ltJ:rrA6rjool- | -r0.b2, ro '){=)

:6.61 ,10 6m2/s

x 10-6 Forair at40'C (313 K): r : 16.95 m2ls TheSchmidt number is "Assumptions prevail. 1. Steady-state conditions 2. Thesystem is isothermal. 3. Thediameter olthe naphthalene sphercs does not change appreciably. 1 6 . 0 5 : t 0o ^ - _ ---" D e s - 6 6 1' l 0 o

126Chemical Engineering Processes

Analysis System: Air in the packed bed Understeady conditions, the conservation statement for naphthalene, species ,4, becomes
_ Rateofmoles of,4 in: Rateofmoles of,4 out The terms in Eq. (1) are expressed by

Rate of moles of,4 in = d,V \k,J Q:ci ru Rate of moles of"4 out= QGA)out: (irD2/4) po@A)ab

(2) (3)

Since the concentrationat the surlace ofthe naphthalenespheresis constant,the expression for (Ac,a).rr',becomes


Substitution ofEqs.(2H4) intoEq.(1)andnoring rhatv = (1r D2/4)L gjve

L ) Notethat for a circularpipe,i.e.,atr= 4/ D, the above equation reduces to Eq. (5) The interfacial areaper unit volume, du, is calculated as

- "^''"'l r-- '" r"fr cA \*c)a,


6 ( l , ) 6 r l- 0 . 4 s ) , ^ "-*-oa*=oo"
To determine theavengemass transfer coefrcientfrorn Eq.(4.6-l0), rst it is necessary to calculate theReynolds number Dpuo f0.005)19) (cpr=-_Gl3\lI=_zo)) Substitution ofthis value gives intoEq.(4.6-10)

in which<jMp, is

: ffi *ffi = ',",, orso d##+ #ffir : o given (4.6-l


i). Therefore, theaverage mass transfer coeficient is (o ( l . r- o o l 8 6 - - & . ,- - o l 8 6 ) r q )

^s"-, rd.EiIJG'-"'/'
- o 2s)=o 02rn

The length ofthe bed is calculatedfrom Eq. (5) as

r: -


Colnlnnt The use ofa packedbed increases the masstransfer areabetweenair and solid naphthalene. This in tum causesa dmstic decrease in the length ofthe equipment.

porous Flowlhrough medla 127

Further rcading
Branan CR. Rules ofThurnb for Chenical EngineeB. Honslon, TX: Cxlf Pxb Co., I994. Leva M. Rconsider packed lower pressuredrop correlations. Chem EnB Prog 88: 65.-72, t992. couhon JM. JF Rlchardson. JR Blackhusr, JH Harkef. chemical Eneineerins. vol.6. .1Lh ed. New York: Perganon Pres, 1991. REFERENCES r. Conlson JM, JF Richa.dson, lR Bl.ckhus!, JH Harkei. Chemical Engineerlng. Vol. L 4th ed. Nea York: Pe.samon Press. 1991. to flownrginedia. 2. KRAMERS, H.: Pbri.d 12 (1946)61, Helt transiir riom sphcrcs from drcps. R.: Cherr.Eie. Ptue.48 (1952)l4l, 1t3. Evaporation 3. R{Nz,w E. and MARSHALL,N. 151. Directanalogy between massandhearfiansfer 4. CunA, A. S. and THoms,G.: A.t.Ch8.J1,91.t963) to bedsof spheres. paridle s)sr?,r (Reinhold, 1960). D.F.: Fl,idiltioa a..t FLui.l 5. zENe F. A. and OrH\jER, & HaI, 1959). L. E. md YouNc,E. H.1Pn e$ E4tip,ent DeJrg\ v,rs,l D,stgn (Chapmrn 6. BRoVNELL, 1963). 7. MoLYMG, F : Cncni.a/ PlanrDerts,, Vol, I (Buftesor1hs, InstitLion, London). PmrlE v?rreli (BnrishStandads 8. BS 5500: 1978:a!r;,n lvclded 9. LEVA.M.: ?blecr Pa.trnss an.1Pa.kel rover Deliqi lJ.S StonewtuCo., 1953). PoccssProducts Div., Box 350,Akrcn, Ohio:Hydrontl Ltd,, King St.,Fc.ton.Stokcon 10. Nofion Chemical packed lor desiening !owe6. 11, EcGRr, J. S.: Cncn.E,is. Pr,s. 57 No. 9 (1961)54. Designtechniques 12. CooLRo 3 is a proddct oivhco LId,, Crotdon Snircy. 13. Mellapakis ! regisrered lradena* of Snlzer(UK) Ltd., llnborcugh, Hants, Cnnbria. 14. cenpak is a Eeisiered tradenrt ol Clitsch(U() Ltd. Knkby Srophcn, 40. Plcted colunn intemals. 15. CENG. C. K., C/,,. E s, Alrat), 91 No 5 (March5 198.1) of packcd H. E. and YouNc.P.E: Pttc.lnsl. Mech C,is.1B (1952) ll4. Hydraulic charactcristics 16. RosE, toweN opemting undercountrcurcnt ilow condnions. R. L : abriptioh atu| *ta.ria, (Mccrae'Eill, 1952). 17. SsERwooD, T. K. lnd PlcFoRD. 18. MoRRrs, G. A. and J^c$o"_,J:,4rJa?r,", tu,c6 (Butiesodhs, 1953). nrigatcddunpedpacting 19. LEv , M.: Cr,n trg. Pms. Symp.Ser.No. 10,50 (195,1) 51 59. Flow throngh Roodnrg Pressu drop. loading. 20. EcKERr. J S.. FoorE,E. H.. and HUNlNcror.', R. L.: Cr?n t a, P.,s. 54, No. I (Jan.l95E)?0 5. Pall rings newlype of lower packing. 2l. sHERworD, T. K., SlnpLEy, C, H., and HoLLowa. F. A. L.: htd. Erg. Chen. 30 (193a)165 9. Flooding ' c o , r i e .i r p d c \ e d .o ' | tr . 22. LoBo.W. E.. !RrEND, L, HASHMALL, F., lnd zENz.F.: I/"hs. A,t. 1n!. Ch.h. Lne. 1711945)693-710. Liniting capacny oidunped lowerpackings. pcrtbrnancc. 23. EckEkr,J. S.: Ch.ft. Eng.P/,s.59 No 5 (i963) ?6. Towerp.ckings comparative corelations. 24. LE\a, M: Chen. EnB.Pas. 88 No, | (1992)65. Rccotrsidcr lackedrowerpressuF-drop F.: Truht.Ah. tat. Chett. ErE. 35 (1939) 709 | 8. An nnprovcddeviceto 25. TouR,R. S. lnd LERNTAN. referencc to liquid now in packed towers. the laws of iequencydistribution. With snecial demo.stratc 26.TouR.R.S.andLERMAN,F.:Trans.A,t.h6lChem.En:1,35(1939)719-42.Theunconnneddislribnlion oi liquid nr towerpacking. 2?. NoNAN, w, S.i zarr, /r st. ChenLEng. 29 11951)226 39. Tbe perfom!.ce of grid p&kcd iowes, M. R,: ,r1t'& cr?,,. 49 ( l95l) 347 9. Distillalion inprcvene.! by control 28. MANNT._C, R, E. andcANNoN, oi lhase cha.nelling in p&ked cohmns. SlonewlE Co., | 953). 29. LE\A,M.t TowerPatkingt and Pd.kedIbrer D.sigr (.U.5. Div.. Boi 350,Akron,Ohio:HydronylLid., Kins St.,ienton, Stoteon' 30. Norror Chenicrl Prccesslroducrs 31. Whitaker.S.. l9T2.Forcedconlectionheattransiirrcorclationsfor o w in pipes,past at plates.s and for o w in packedbedsand tube bundlcs,AIChE Journal I 8, 361ingle cylinders, snrelespheres. 32. Dllivedi, PN. and S.N. Upadhyay.1977,Particlc-uid nass transfefin xedand uidized beds. Des Dcil i 6. 157 Ind. Eng. Chcm. Process

128ChemilEngineedng Processes

PROBLEMS Porous Media

I . A packed bed is composedor crushedrock with a d$ity of I 75 lb-/fi3 of such a size and shape tha! the ave.age ralio of surface area to volune for rle The bedis 6 ft deep, hasa porosiryof0.3, and is covered Frlicles is 50 in.']/in.3by a 2 ft deeplayerof water rhat drainsby gravirythroughihe bed.Calculale the ffow rate of water thiough lhe bed in gpn/frt, assuminS it exitsat I ahn prcsure. 2. An impnrily in a walerslreamat a vry smallconcentmiion is to be removed itr a charcoaltrickle bed nlter. The filter is in a cylindricalcolunn tlra! is 2 f! in diameter. and lhe bed is 4 fl deep. The water h tept at a level thal is 2 ft above the rop ot the bed, and it trickles through by Sraviry flow. If lhe charcoal particleshave a geometric surfacearea 1o volume raiio of48 in. ' and they pack with a porosityof0.45. whal h the flow raie ofwaler throlgh the column, in gpm? 3. A lrickle bed nlter is conposedora packedbed of broken rock. The shapeof the rock is suchthal the average ratio ofthe surface area10volumefor ihe rock parlicles is 30 in.-' The bedis 2 ft deep, hasa porosityof0.3, and is covered by a layer of water that is 2 ft deepand dmins by gravity thmugh lhe bed. (a) Deternrine lhe volune flow rate of the water rhronghthe bed per unit bed aiea (in spm/ft'). (b) If lhe water ls pumped upw-ardlbrough th bed (e.s. io flush jt ouri. calcllale thflow rate(in spm/# of bedarea)!ha! will bercquiredto fllidiz the (c) Calculalethe correspotrding flow ra|e rhar would sweeplhe rock particles away with the water.The rock densityis l20lbn/ftr.

4. A packedcohmn ihat is 3 fi in diameler with a packinghe;Bht of 25 f! is usedto abso$ an impu ly Fon a methane stream uslng an amine solnlionabsor8as ben1. The sas flow rare is 2000scfnr,and the ljquid has a densiryof 1.2 g/cm3 a n dd v i c o . r ) o l 2 c P l ' h ec o l u r n n o p e , a l ed . t I a r r d n o8 0 l - . d e e r m i n e ,he liquid ltow rate ai which floodingwould occurin the colnmn and the pressur drop al 50% ofthe floodingliquid rate for the foilowingpackings: (a) 2 in. ceranricRasch'g rinss (b) 2 in. plasticPall rings 5. A packedcolumn is usedto scrubSO, from air by using iraler. The sas flow rale is 500scfm/ft'. and the column operates at 90"F and I alm. Illhe column containsNo. I plasticIntalox packing,what is the maximum liquid flow rale (per uni! crosssecrio! of colunn) thal could be usedwithou! floodins?

pofous Flowthfough media 129

packed A st.ippingcolumn wlrh 2ln. meralPall ringsuses air a! 5 psigand 80'C = 5 cP, to sirip an impurity lion an absorber oil (SG:0.9, viscosity ?: 20'C). If the flow rate of lhe oil is 500 lb,i/nin and that of the air is 20 (a) Whal is the minimnn colnmndiameter ihat can be usedwithout flooding? (b) If the colnnn diancter is 50'%greaterthan ihe minintrn size.whar is ihe pre$ue drop per ft ofcohtmn height? 7. A f a c \ e dc o l u a n L a \ 0 t s T l a ' a r e e r J n d4 n h r r r J n dL o n . a i n c .m 25 m process Raschigringsis trsed ira gasabsorplion toremole an inpurily fron rhe gasstreamby absorbjng it iD a liqnjd sohcnt.The liqnid, whjch has a vlscosity of 5 cP ard SG: Ll, entersrhe top of tbe colnmnat a rate of 2.i kg/G mr), io havethe sane properiies asair, eniers the and the gas,which can be assrmed botrom oflhe colnnn ai a rate of0.6 kg(s mr). Thc column opcmtes at atmo sphericpresstreand 25'C. Deiermine: (a) The pressnre drop throush the colnmn,in inches ofwarer. (b) Howhish the liq id rateco ld be inoeased belbrethe collmn wolld flood. 8- A packedcolnmn is usedio absorbSOr fronr nne gasnsing an ethanolanine solution.The collmn is 4 ft i! diameter, has a packedheight of 20 ft, and is packed\rith2 in. tlasticPall rings.Theflnegasisata lenperatnreof I80"F ard gravjty hasan aaerage molccnlar wcighrof 31.The amincsohtion hasa specinc of 1.02and a vjscosity at thc opcraiiDg tcmperatlreof 1.5cP. lfrhe gasDrlst leavethe cohtnn al25 psig and a florv rale of 10.000 scfn, detemino: (a) Thc naxinum alloivablc flow rate of the liqnid (ir spm) rhat would .es r in a prcsnre drop that is 50% ofrhat at which floodingwotrld occur. (b) The hoBcpowcr that would bc rcquircdfor thc blower ro move the sas r h r r . s h r h ec o L u n rin f r h eb l o * e r i . 8 0 0 o rlt.i(fl. A packedabsorptiontower is nsed !o removeSOr from an air stream by absorplionin a solvent. Thetoweris 5 fl in diameterand 60 ft high and contains 1.5 in. plastic Pallrings. The lemperalue ard !.essxrein rhe tower are 90"F atrd l0 psig.The gasstrean flow rate is 6500sclm.The liquidsSG is 1.25.and i c o .r ) ( 2 ' c P . " (a) Whdi is the liqnid flow rale (in 8pn) at which lhe colnmn will flood? (b) lf the cohmn oprates at a liquid flow ralc tliat is 75% of lhe flooding !al!e. wha! is lhe rotal pressure d.op llroLrghlhe lower in psi? l0_ Apacked absorytioncolnnnremoves an imtnrity from a eassirean byconlacl with a liqnid solvent. The columnis 3 f1in djameler and contains 25 ft ofNo. 2 plasllcSuperInlalox packing. Tl1esas has aDMW of28, enlersthe colxmtrat 120'F,and leaves al l0 psis at a rate of 5000scfn. The liquid hasan SG of 1.15 and a liscosily of0.8 cP. Delermnre: (x) The flow rate of rhe liquid in spm that would be 50% of thc flow ratc at which the colunn would flood. (b) The pressure drop thrcugh the columD. in psr. (c) The horsepower to nove rhe gasthroBghlhe colunrn ofthe blowerreqnired if il is 60% eincierr.

130Chemi@l Ensineerins Prccesses

NOTATION A 4 arca,IL'?l particle surfac area/per unit volme, [1/L] diameter, [L] parficle diueter, |Ll hy&aulic dianeler, [L] nrsy .lissipated pe; ;nit mass of flnid, tF LIM : I,: fitl

, d Dh q

r Jiu z ar,ar, tr' n xRe,pM P O r , We ,.t, z


permeability, [L'1] porous media friclioD factor, Eq. (131li. t l lensth.[L], liquid nals flrx tM/L1l mass ofsolidstMl ioradonrate,rpm.l/tl nunber of ffanes. t l porous med;a Reynolds-nunber, Eq. (13-13), [-] pressure. tF/r = M/Lt'l volumetricflow rate, IL3u conpressibility parameter, Eq. (13-44), [-] time, [i] wettedperimeter, [L] coordina! dnections, [L]
porosily or void rraction. [l polenlial (: P+ psz). F /t: : M/Lt'l viscosity, [M/Lt] densily, tM/Lrl sphericilyfactor,I l

nu{, IM/r'zrl sasmass

(), O,

o o I p 1//

1,2.3 f i s referencepoinls filrer frame side iftenntial superficial

pofous Flowthrough media 131

in M, L, T,0 Ti]l,] cross{ctionEl ma of bed d colnm c@fficien! in equarion4,49 Pmeabiliry coefficiert (eguation,l.2) Constant in eguarion4,28 (15 for sphericalparricle9 Specific hea! a! co.stant pre$ure Cefficien! in equarion4,49 L2 Lt L2

D DL DR di

J4<gK L2T0-1

L2TI LzT-\ L L L

Axial dispe4ioncoemcient Radial dGpe6ion oefficieni Dimerer of rube or column Equivalent dianeter of po slee = e/ss a usedby Noninal p@ting size (e.g. dianeter for a Raschig ring) Fncrional voidage of bed of parricles or packing Wall coftcrion faclor (equdion 4.23)

... kgs


Cas nds flowra undd noodingconditions Accelerdtion due to g vity Liqnid nold-upin bd,volune ofliquid pe.uni! Heat imnsfer coefficient M6s tnnstlr coefficient j f4tor for nas tEnsfr j-factor for heat trmsrer Constmt in ffop equations4.1 and 4,2 Dimensionle$ @nsunt id equation4,6 Koredy consimi in equatiod 4-9 Shapefactor in equation 4.22 Consistencycoefiiciont for poweFhw nuid

MTI "t-

Nf- 2T I a2 30 t



MLT J'-' jT' 2 t/f--


132 ChemicalEngjneering Pro@sses I t/ t! a; ,,, I l' l, N z a/ LP -LP,t LP,,, gr R Rr S S, S" !. Liquid nass nownte Liquid massvelocity vohneric liquid rate Voluntncliqnid ratper unit area weftins rare(,2/s!) Lengtbof bed or heightol collnn packing Le.gth of now pdsaAe $rcush bed Length of cncuhr tubc Nunbr of velocily headslost thrcuet unit heigbr of bed (equation 4.47) Floq behaviour index for nower'law-nnid Expone.rin equation 4.17 Pressuredrop acrcss bed or colunn P F . . u c d r o pa c . , . b @ o i L l ) p l c u n S Pressuredrop ucro$ bed of wel packing Fractio. of liquid collectd at dnb.ce r fton centE line of peking in equation 4.49 Drag force per unit ma of tube Fall Drag force per unit surfaceaea of panicles Surface rea per volume of panicle or packing Surface arca per unii volune of bed Gpecific surlace) Surface ea of coniaine. per unit volune of bd Avenge fluid velocity basedo. .ross sectionallEa A of Meanvelocityof duid in tube Volumetic Rowrateot gas pr unit dea of cr$s s4tion Volumedc noqrlte of liquid per unit trm of crcss secrion Metu veloci.y in pore channel Voltrne of duid flowins in tine r Side of cube Coef6cient in equation .r. | 7 Coefficiem i. equation 4 17 ,1.37, Coenicient of D in equarions 4:19

MTI ML2Tr L3T t LT-' tlT t L L L



t"_,t. MLrT-2 ML-IT'2 ML rT 2 Mr--rT 2 Lo-rT-2 L Lr L-' Lr T lrI ltT I Lrr T]T I L:) L L ML-rT-r Tr ML-'T- I
ML-I ML rT 2


A"', R4MR (Rcr),, s. s/ S, Suf6x

Densiqr conmtionfetor J(p6lp/) C6hof nunbe. (parlicle) (Volume l, Chapter 9) Nusclt nDnberror tube wall (44lr) Nuselt nnnber (panicle)(illt) P*teI ntnber (ucrtleDL) at @ctkDRJ Pfmdtl .nmber (crrlt) Reynordsnunber for flow ths\*, tnbe (u,r/ tL) Modifed Reynolds nunber based on pore sizeas usedby Cman (equadon 4.13) Modifed Reynolds nunbe. based on paniclesize(!.zlplr.) Metznerand ReedReynolds nunber (equton 4,27) Reynolds numhor for fluid in a granular bd (equation 4.28) Schnidt nunber (p/pD) shesoo.l nunber (parlicle)(nDzrlD) Sruron number(pznitlet ttt/Crput, A refeA LoJir JL2Sl K G @rarsio gds t rcfe4 ro liquid u refes to water a! 293 K 0 refeB to stmdard condilions