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Absorption & Stripping

Introduction

Graphical Methods

Packed Towers
SHR Chapter 6
Introduction
Trayed
tower
Goals:
minimize mass transfer resistance to
achieve equilibrium on each tray
minimize bubble carry-over to tray below
minimize liquid entrainment to tray above
minimize weeping of liquid through
holes in tray
SHR 6.1
Types of Trays
perforated valve cap bubble cap
Regimes in a Trayed Tower
Spray
gas phase is continuous
(low liquid depths, high gas
ow rates)
Froth
gas passes through liquid as
jets or a series of bubbles
Emulsion

Bubble
low gas ow rates -
swarms of bubbles
Cellular Foam
(think blowing bubbles
in chocolate milk)
SHR 6.1.1
Packed Towers
S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
e
d

P
a
c
k
i
n
g
U
n
s
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
e
d

P
a
c
k
i
n
g
SHR 6.1.2
Other Congurations
Spray tower
very low pressure drop
use for absorption only when
solute is highly soluble in the
liquid (e.g. SO
2
in ue gas)
Bubble column
absorption
high pressure drop
use when solute is poorly
soluble in liquid
use when slow chemical
reactions occur that require
long residence time
Centrifugal contactor
short residence time
compact
SHR 6.1.3
Heuristics & Design Considerations
Trayed towers
reliable design
low liquid velocities
liquid phase (the continuous phase) is typically mass-transfer limiting
Unstructured Packed towers
corrosive environments
small towers (<2 ft diameter, <20 ft tall)
when foaming problems tend to occur
gas phase (continuous phase) is typically mass-transfer limiting
Structured packed towers
(expensive!)
retrot when trying to get more efciency
low pressure drop
gas phase (continuous phase) is typically mass-transfer limiting
Analysis Approach
Trayed towers:
analyze each tray as an equilibrium problem
! what assumption here???
write coupled equations for mass & energy balances between trays
Other towers (packed, etc.):
Height Equivalent of a Theoretical Plate (HETP)
! effective height acts as one tray
! vendors of packing report this value
Graphical Methods
SHR 6.3
Some Terminology
Stripper
Solute enters in liquid.
Stripping agent enters
bottom of column.
L! Molar ow rate of solute-free liquid
V! Molar ow rate of solute-free gas
x mole fraction of solute in liquid
y mole fraction of solute in gas
X mole ratio of solute to solute-free liquid
Y mole ratio of solute to solute-free gas
Assume that only solute is transferred from
one phase to another (no vaporization of
liquid or condensation of gas carriers).
What does XL! and
YV! represent?
X =
x
1 x
Y =
y
1 y
Absorber
Solute enters in gas.
Liquid absorbent enters
from top of column.
Note different
tray ordering
convention...
Stage "i"
X
i
X
i-1
Y
i
Y
i+1
For the absorber:
K
i
=
y
i
x
i
=
Y
i
/(1+Y
i
)
X
i
/(1+X
i
)
Streams leaving the tray are
assumed to be in equilibrium
Mole Balances & Operating Lines
Solute balance around arbitrary # of trays
in the top section of the absorber:
X
0
L
0
+Y
n+1
V
0
= X
n
L
0
+Y
1
V
0
solute ow rate in solute ow rate out
Y
n+1
= (X
n
X
0
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
1
L
0
V
0
= slope of operating line
(absorber)
(stripper)
What happens as ?
L
0
/V
0

Absorber
Solute enters in gas.
Liquid absorbent enters
from top of column.
We know
these.
What happens as gets small?
L
0
/V
0
Y
n
= (X
n+1
X
1
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
0
SHR 6.3.2
For an absorber, we typically know
Y
N+1
, X
0
and V". Therefore, we get
to choose L" to achieve desired Y
1
.
design
variable
Absorber: Minimum Flow Rate
Y
n+1
= (X
n
X
0
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
1
Absorber
Solute enters in gas.
Liquid absorbent enters
from top of column.
L
0
=
V
0
(Y
N+1
Y
1
)
X
N
X
0
Over the whole tower (n=N):
L!
min
corresponds to equilibrium
with X
N
and Y
N+1
.
K
N
=
y
N+1
x
N
=
Y
N+1
/(1+Y
N+1
)
X
N
/(1+X
N
)
For dilute solutes (Y " y and X " x):
If X
0
" 0 then:
L
0
min
= V
0

y
N+1
y
1
y
N+1
/K
N
x
0

Corresponding
equation for a
stripper:
L
0
min
=
V
0
(Y
N+1
Y
1
)
Y
N+1
/[Y
N+1
(K
N
1)+K
N
] X
0
As V! #, L!min#.
SHR 6.3.3
Why are these in equilibrium?
L
0
min
= V
0
K
N
(fraction absorbed)
V
0
min
=
L
0
K
N
(fraction stripped)
This is the best we can achieve
given the inlet constraints.
Examples
Given: feed stream
composition & ow
rates, recovery (Y
1
)
Find: X
N
.
Given: feed stream
composition & ow rates,
solvent loading (X
N
)
Find: Y
1
.
Given: feed stream composition, gas ow
rate, solvent loading (X
N
), and recovery (Y
1
),
Find: solvent ow rate.
Y
n+1
= (X
n
X
0
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
1
X
Y
X
N
X
0
Y
N+1
Y
1
Y

=

K
X
L'
V'
X
Y
X
N
X
0
Y
N+1
Y
1
Y

=

K
X
L'
V'
X
Y
X
N
X
0
Y
N+1
Y
1
Y

=

K
X
L'
V'
Number of Equilibrium Stages
SHR 6.3.4
1. Locate the point for the solvent feed
(X
0
) and desired Y
1
on the graph.
2. Determine operating line from V" and L".
3. March off to determine the stages
(assuming each stage is in equilibrium)
Stage "i"
X
i
X
i-1
Y
i
Y
i+1
For the absorber:

Streams leaving the tray are


assumed to be in equilibrium

Streams passing one another


are on the operating line.
Y
n+1
= (X
n
X
0
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
1
equilibrium
relates Y
i

and X
i
.
Operating line:
What happens to the
number of stages as L"/V"
approaches $ or its
minimum?
Algebraic Approach
Y
n+1
= (X
n
X
0
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
1
Operating line:
Given: X
0
, Y
1
, L"/V",
1. K
1
= Y
1
/X
1
% solve for X
1
.
2. Find Y
2
from the operating line.
3. K
2
= Y
2
/X
2
% solve for X
2
.
4. Find Y
3
from the operating line.
!
Must have a model for K
i
.
If K
i
is not a function of composition:
1. Calculate K
i
at given T and P.
2. Follow steps outlined above.
If K
i
is a function of composition:
1. Guess X
i
. (note that Y
i
is known from
operating line).
2. Calculate K
i
.
3. Update guess for X
i
and return to step 2 if
not converged.
SHR 6.4 presents an alternative to this formulation.
Number of Stages for Strippers
Y
n
= (X
n+1
X
1
)
L
0
V
0
+Y
0
Stage Efciency
Complex function of:
tray design/geometry
uid dynamics on trays
Typically less than 50%
efcient (10%-50%)
trays are not at equilibrium!
more viscous liquids typically lead
to lower efciencies (inhibit mass
transfer)
log E
o
= 1.597 0.199 log

KM
L

0.0896

log

KM
L

2
Empirical correlation for stage efciency
Data over a wide range of column diameters,
pressures, temperatures and liquid viscosities.
E
o

N
t
N
a
# theoretical
(equilibrium) stages
# actual stages
Other (less empirical) methods
exist - see SHR 6.5.4.
Packed Columns
SHR 6.7
SHR 6.7
Analysis Options
Option 1: graphical techniques
HETP is known
! HETP = (height) / (number of theoretical equilibrium stages)
! Use methods previously discussed to get number of trays/stages
! solve for height given number of stages
HETP is typically found empirically & supplied by packing vendors.

Option 2: rate-based techniques
Use mass transfer coefcients (and a few hefty assumptions)
See SHR 6.7 for more details.
l
T
= HETP N
t
Operating Lines
x
in
L
in
+yV
`
= xL
`
+y
out
V
out
y = x

L
V

+y
out
x
in

L
V

Solute mole balance:


For dilute solutions, V and L
are approximately constant:
Packed absorber operating line
y = x

L
V

+y
in
x
out

L
V

Solute mole balance:


For dilute solutions, V and L
are approximately constant:
xL
`
+y
in
V
in
= x
out
L
out
+yV
`
Packed stripper operating line
Here, x and y are
bulk compositions.
Finite-Rate Mass Transfer
(Back to Two-Film Theory)
Often we dont know the surface area for
mass transfer from all of the packing.
r = mass transfer rate per
unit volume,
a = surface area per unit
volume of packing
mol
/
(
m
3
s
)
r = Ja = k
y
a(y y
I
)
= k
x
a(x
I
x)
y = y
I

k
x
a
k
y
a
(x x
I
)
relative resistance of
mass transfer between
the two phases
Gas Interface
Liquid
l
i
q
u
i
d

l
m

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
g
a
s

lm

c
o
m
p
o
s
it
io
n
y
I
or p
I
x
I
or c
I
bulk liquid
composition
bulk gas
composition
y or p
x or c
x*
y*
r = K
y
a (y y

) = K
x
a (x

x)
Overall mass transfer coefcient approach:
1
K
y
a
=
1
k
y
a
+
K
k
x
a
1
K
x
a
=
1
k
x
a
+
1
Kk
y
a
J = k
y
(y y
I
)
y = y
I

k
x
a
k
y
a
(x x
I
)
AB line:
Making Connections...
y = x

L
V

+y
out
x
in

L
V

Applicable
for small x, y.
Gas Interface Liquid
l
i
q
u
i
d

l
m

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
g
a
s

lm

c
o
m
p
o
s
itio
n
y
I
or p
I
x
I
or c
I
bulk liquid
composition
bulk gas
composition
y or p
x or c
x*
y*
Operating line:
Mole fraction solute in liquid, x
M
o
l
e

f
r
a
c
t
i
o
n

s
o
l
u
t
e

i
n

g
a
s
,

y
E
q
u
i
l
i
b
r
i
u
m

c
u
r
v
e
,

y
=
K
x
O
p
e
r
a
t
i
n
g

l
i
n
e
A
B
C F
E
D
(y

, x)
(y
I
, x
I
)
(y, x

)
(y, x)
y
=
x
L
V

+
y
o
u
t

x
i
n
L
V

N
A
= K
x
(x

A
x
A
b
)
= K
y
(y
A
b
y

A
)
1
K
x
=
1
K
A
k
y
+
1
k
x
1
K
y
=
1
k
y
+
K
A
k
x
x

A
=
y
A
b
K
A
Liquid mole fraction
Gas mole fraction
y

A
= x
A
b
K
A
From Mass-transfer notes on two-lm theory:
What do AE and
AF represent?
comes from
equating r in
bulk and interface.
H
OG
- N
OG
(Getting the height)
Material balance over dl:
Change in gas phase: V (y + dy) - Vy
Transfer to liquid phase: K
y
a (y - y
*
) S dl
V dy = K
y
a(y y

)S dl
K
y
aS
V
Z
l
T
0
dl =
K
y
aSl
T
V
=
Z
y
in
y
out
dy
y y

l
T
=
V
K
y
aS
| {z }
H
OG
Z
y
in
y
out
dy
y y

| {z }
N
OG
H
OG
: Height of a (gas) transfer unit (HTU)
N
OG
: Number of (gas) transfer units (NTU)
For y
*
= Kx (constant K), and linear
operating line (dilute solute),
A =
L
/(KV )
Given K
y
(overall gas-phase MTC), ow rates (L/V), and K, we can get l
T
.
N
OG
=
A
A1
ln

(A1) (y
in
Kx
in
)
A(y
out
Kx
in
)
+
1
/A

A - Absorption factor
see SHR 5.4.1 for derivation of A.
What leaves the gas, goes to the liquid:
H
OG
, N
OG
, N
t
& HETP
H
OG
: Height of a (gas) transfer unit (HTU)
N
OG
: Number of (gas) transfer units (NTU)
N
t
: Number of theoretical stages
HETP: Height-equivalent of a theoretical plate
A =
L
/(KV )
N
t
= N
OG
A
1 A
ln (
1
/A)
Mole fraction solute in liquid, x
M
o
l
e

f
r
a
c
t
i
o
n

s
o
l
u
t
e

i
n

g
a
s
,

y
E
q
u
i
l
i
b
r
i
u
m

c
u
r
v
e
,

y
=
K
x
O
p
e
r
a
t
i
n
g

l
i
n
e
A
B
C F
E
D
(y

, x)
(y
I
, x
I
)
(y, x

)
(y, x)
y
=
x
L
V

+
y
o
u
t

x
i
n
L
V

Note: if operating & equilibrium


curves are parallel then L/V = K.
Then what is the relationship
between HETP and H
OG
?
HETP = H
OG
A
1 A
ln (
1
/A)
Example
L, x
in
V, y
out
V, y
in
L, x
out
3,500 lbmol/hr
water
2,500 lbmol/hr
2% ethylene oxide in
inert gas
T=30 C
P=20 atm

Two 12 sections of 1.5 metal Pall ring packing
4 diameter column
K = 0.85 for ethylene-oxide
k
y
a = 200 lbmol/(h-ft3)
k
x
a = 165 lbmol/(h-ft3)
Find HETP for this packing.
H
OG
=
V
K
y
aS
HETP = H
OG
A
1 A
ln (
1
/A)
A =
L
/(KV )
1
K
y
a
=
1
k
y
a
+
K
k
x
a