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Department of Chemical Engineering

University of San Carlos - Technological Center

Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu City

ChE 422L
Chemical Engineering Laboratory 1

Absorption
(Hydrodynamics in a Packed Absorption Column)

An initial report submitted to

Engr. May V. Tampus
Instructor, ChE 422L

By
Bhatia, Rajesh E.
Bureros, Glorie Mae A.

December 9, 2014

1. Objectives

Determine experimentally the pressure drop across a wet column as a function

of the air flow rate and compare the results with theoretically calculated
values.

Determine through visual observation and by graphical methods the loading

and the flooding points of the packed column at pre-set values of water flow
rates.

Construct from experimental data the loading and the flooding curves of the
packed column based on the generalized correlations proposed by Sherwood,
Shipley and Holloway.

2. Results and Discussion

2.1 Pressure drop across a wet column as a function of air flow rate
Table 1. Pressure drop in a wetted column with increasing air flow rate
vg
(L/min)
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
110
130
140
150
170

vg
(m3/s)
0.0005
0.0007
0.0008
0.0010
0.0012
0.0013
0.0015
0.0018
0.0022
0.0023
0.0025
0.0028

h (m
vg
H2O)
Pexp (Pa) (m/s)
0.0040
39.0518 0.1132
0.0080
78.1035 0.1509
0.0120 117.1553 0.1886
0.0160 156.2070 0.2264
0.0200 195.2588 0.2641
0.0230 224.5476 0.3018
0.0260 253.8364 0.3395
0.0340 331.9399 0.4150
0.0460 449.0951 0.4904
0.0560 546.7245 0.5282
0.0600 585.7763 0.5659
0.0760 741.9833 0.6413

Pth (Pa) Pexp /L Pth /L

9.4439
26.7478
6.4684
15.4075
53.4955
10.5531
22.7790
80.2433
15.6021
31.5584 106.9911
21.6153
41.7455 133.7389
28.5928
53.3406 153.7997
36.5346
66.3435 173.8605
45.4407
96.5727 227.3561
66.1457
132.4334 307.5994
90.7078
152.4755 374.4688 104.4353
173.9255 401.2166 119.1270
221.0489 508.2077 151.4034

*operational temperature: Twater = 27.75C, Tair = 27.5C

Table 2. Pressure drop in a wetted column with decreasing air flow rate
vg
(L/min)
170
150
140
130
110
90
80

vg
h (m
3
(m /s)
H2O)
Pexp (Pa)
0.0028
0.0960 937.2420
0.0025
0.0880 859.1385
0.0023
0.0800 781.0350
0.0022
0.0740 722.4574
0.0018
0.0460 449.0951
0.0015
0.0320 312.4140
0.0013
0.0260 253.8364

vg (m/s)
Pth (Pa)
Pexp /L Pth /L
0.6413 221.0489 641.9466 151.4034
0.5659 173.9255 588.4510 119.1270
0.5282 152.4755 534.9555 104.4353
0.4904 132.4334 494.8338
90.7078
0.4150
96.5727 307.5994
66.1457
0.3395
66.3435 213.9822
45.4407
0.3018
53.3406 173.8605
36.5346

70
60
50
40
30

0.0012
0.0010
0.0008
0.0007
0.0005

0.0200
0.0140
0.0100
0.0080
0.0060

195.2588
136.6811
97.6294
78.1035
58.5776

0.2641
0.2264
0.1886
0.1509
0.1132

41.7455
31.5584
22.7790
15.4075
9.4439

133.7389
93.6172
66.8694
53.4955
40.1217

28.5928
21.6153
15.6021
10.5531
6.4684

*operational temperature: Twater = 27.75C, Tair = 27.5C

Tables 1 and 2 show the experimental and theoretical pressure drop in a wetted
column at increasing and decreasing flow rate respectively. In the experiment,
manometer readings with increasing flow rates increases hence pressure drop increases
also. While with decreasing flow rates, manometer reading decreases hence pressure drop
also decreases. In order for the air to flow upward, there must be a pressure difference
between the bottom and the top of the column. So for increasing air flow rate, the
pressure difference must also be increasing. The opposite is happening for decreasing air
flow rate.

700.0000

P/L (Pa/m)

600.0000
Increasing air
flowrate

500.0000

Decreasing air
flowrate

400.0000
300.0000

theoretical

200.0000
100.0000
0.0000
0.0000

0.2000

0.4000

0.6000

0.8000

Figure 1. P/L versus Air Velocity (vg)

Comparison between the pressure drop obtained experimentally and the pressure
drop calculated theoretically using Erguns equation is shown in figure 1 above. The
graph shows that theoretically calculated pressure drop at different air flow rate is less
than the pressure drop obtained experimentally. This is because Erguns equation was
derived based on the assumptions that the pipe is smooth and that the packings are

spherical. Whereas, in the experiment, the packings used were cylindrical. Also, the walls
of the column and the water inside the column added to the resistance against air flow
causing pressure drop to be higher than that of the theoretical values.

2.2 Loading and flooding points of the packed column at pre-set values of water
flow rates
Table 3. Loading and Flooding Points through Visual Observation
vL
(L/min)

Flooding Point

vg
(L/min)
150

vg (m3/s)

vg (m/s)

0.0025

0.5659

vg
(L/min)
-

110

0.0018

0.4150

135

0.0023

0.5093

2.5

100

0.0017

0.3773

125

0.0021

0.4716

90

0.0015

0.3395

118

0.0020

0.4452

3.5

80

0.0013

0.3018

110

0.0018

0.4150

70

0.0012

0.2641

105

0.0018

0.3961

60

0.0010

0.2264

90

0.0015

0.3395

vg (m3/s)

vg (m/s)

In table 3, the air flow rate, where loading and flooding points were
observed at pre-set values of water flow rate, are shown. At loading point, water starts
to build up at the bottom of the upper part of the packed of column. Beyond the
loading point, accumulation of liquid increased. At flooding point, a pool of water is
observed at the top of the packed column and it starts to overflow.
The loading and flooding points were also obtained graphically by plotting log
P/L versus log vg. The points in the graph where there is a change in slope are the
loading and flooding points. The plots at different water flow rates are shown below.

Table 4. Loading and Flooding Points through Graphical method

v L
(L/min)

vg
(L/min)

vg (m3/s)

vg (m/s)

vg
(L/min)

Flooding Point
vg
vg (m/s)
(m3/s)

129.8266

0.0022

0.4898 -

115.7081

0.0019

0.4365 132.8506

0.0022

0.5012

2.5

96.2423

0.0016

0.3631 115.7081

0.0019

0.4365

91.9102

0.0015

0.3467 110.5002

0.0018

0.4169

3.5

80.0504

0.0013

0.3020 105.5270

0.0018

0.3981

71.3449

0.0012

0.2692

96.2418

0.0016

0.3631

63.5862

0.0011

0.2399

81.9152

0.0014

0.3090

For tables 3 and 4, it shows that as the water flow rate is increased, the loading
and flooding points decrease. That is, at higher a water flow rate, loading and
flooding happens at a lower air flow rate. Since there is a countercurrent flow
between the water and air, the space at which air can flow is reduced as the water
flow rate is increased. Since air cannot pass through, accumulation of liquid or
loading happens at the base of the column. Increasing the air flow rate more will
cause this accumulation to increase to a point where a pool of liquid is observed at the
top of the column or flooding. Comparing the results of loading points obtained from
visual observation and graphical method. For 1 L/min water flow rate, the result
obtained graphically is much lesser than the one obtained from visual observation

while the rest have almost the same results. Comparing results of flooding points for
both methods, results obtained graphically are a little less than that obtained by visual
observation. This may be due to human error, the loading and the flooding points may
not be observed really well.

2.3 Loading and Flooding Curves based on the generalized correlations

proposed by Sherwood Shipley and Holloway

2.50E-02
2.00E-02

curve vo

1.50E-02

flooding
curve vo

1.00E-02
5.00E-03
0.00E+00
0

Figure 9.

vs

2.00E-02
1.50E-02
1.00E-02

curve gm

5.00E-03

flooding
curve gm

0.00E+00
0

Figure 10

vs

based on graphical method

Figures 9 and 10 show the loading and flooding curves based on the correlation
by Sherwood, Shipley and Holloway. It is a plot of the capacity parameter versus the
flow parameter. This correlation estimates loading and flooding at given water to gas
rates. Operation of a packed column is most desirable in the area between the two
curves. The two graphs show that the capacity parameter decreases with increasing
flow parameter. This is because increasing the water flow rate, which then increases
the flow parameter, decreases the ratio of the kinetic energy of the gas to the potential
energy of the liquid therefore a decrease in the capacity parameter.

3. References
Foust, A.S et al. (1980) Principles of Unit Operations, 2 nd ed, John Wiley and
Sons, Inc., New York

Geankoplis C.J. (2003) Principles of Transport Processes and Separation

Processes, 4th ed, Pearson Education Inc., Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
McCabe, W.L et al. (1993) Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, 5 th ed,
McGraw-Hill Inc., Singapore

4. Appendices
4.1 Sample calculations
4.1.1 Pressure in a wetted packed column
Velocity of gas for 30 L/min air flow rate:

4.1.2 Sherwood, Shipley and Holloway Correlation

Velocity of liquid for 2 L/min water flow rate:

Liquid mass rate for 2 L/min water flow rate:

Gas mass rate at loading point for 2 L/min water flow rate:

Gas mass rate at flooding point for 2 L/min water flow rate:

4.2 Processed Data Tables

Table 5. Constant Parameters
Diameter of the column, Dc (m)
Length of the column (m)

0.075
1.46

2

0.009
3

Total area of the packing, ap (m /m )

Porosity of packed bed,

420
0.63

9.81

cross-sectional area of the column, Ac (m2)

Packed bed height, L (m)

0.004417865
1.46

Table 6. Physical Properties of Water and Air at different temperature

vL
(L/min)
1
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
5

Water
Tave (C) L (kg/m3)
27.75
996.31
27.5
996.38
27.5
996.38
27.5
996.38
27.5
996.38
27.5
996.38
27.5
996.38

Air
L
(kg/m.s)
Tave (C)
G (kg/m3)
G (kg/m.s)
8.41E-04
27
1.1793
1.8534
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577
8.45E-04
28
1.1754
1.8577

vg
(L/min)
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
150
160
170

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
0.0003
0.0040
0.0007
0.0080
0.0010
0.0160
0.0013
0.0340
0.0017
0.0560
0.0020
0.0840
0.0023
0.1280
0.0025
0.1480
0.0027
0.1680
0.0028
0.1880

Pexp (Pa)
39.0489
78.0979
156.1957
331.9159
546.6850
820.0275
1249.5657
1444.8104
1640.0550
1835.2996

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
26.7458
0.0755
53.4917
0.1509
106.9834
0.2264
227.3397
0.3018
374.4418
0.3773
561.6627
0.4527
855.8669
0.5282
989.5961
0.5659
1123.3253
0.6036
1257.0546
0.6413

log
Pexp
/L
1.4273
1.7283
2.0293
2.3567
2.5734
2.7495
2.9324
2.9955
3.0505
3.0994

log vg
-1.1223
-0.8213
-0.6452
-0.5203
-0.4234
-0.3442
-0.2772
-0.2473
-0.2192
-0.1929

Table 8. Pressure drop in a packed column at 2L/min water flow rate

vg
(L/min)
20
40
60
80
100
110
120
125
130
135

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
0.0003
0.0060
0.0007
0.0140
0.0010
0.0260
0.0013
0.0520
0.0017
0.0840
0.0018
0.1320
0.0020
0.1560
0.0021
0.1840
0.0022
0.2260
0.0023
0.7000

Pexp (Pa)
58.5777
136.6814
253.8369
507.6738
820.0884
1288.7103
1523.0213
1796.3841
2206.4283
6834.0700

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
40.1217
0.0755
93.6174
0.1509
173.8609
0.2264
347.7218
0.3018
561.7044
0.3773
882.6783
0.4150
1043.1653
0.4527
1230.4001
0.4716
1511.2523
0.4904
4680.8699
0.5093

log
Pexp
/L
1.6034
1.9714
2.2402
2.5412
2.7495
2.9458
3.0184
3.0900
3.1793
3.6703

log vg
-1.1223
-0.8213
-0.6452
-0.5203
-0.4234
-0.3820
-0.3442
-0.3265
-0.3094
-0.2930

Table 9. Pressure drop in a packed column at 2.5 L/min water flow rate
vg
(L/min)
20
40
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
125

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
0.0003
0.0060
0.0007
0.0200
0.0010
0.0460
0.0012
0.0620
0.0013
0.0900
0.0015
0.1200
0.0017
0.1560
0.0018
0.1960
0.0020
0.4800
0.0021
0.6600

Pexp (Pa)
58.5777
195.2591
449.0960
605.3033
878.6661
1171.5549
1523.0213
1913.5396
4686.2194
6443.5517

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
40.1217
0.0755
133.7391
0.1509
307.6000
0.2264
414.5913
0.2641
601.8261
0.3018
802.4348
0.3395
1043.1653
0.3773
1310.6436
0.4150
3209.7393
0.4527
4413.3916
0.4716

log
Pexp
/L
1.6034
2.1263
2.4880
2.6176
2.7795
2.9044
3.0184
3.1175
3.5065
3.6448

log vg
-1.1223
-0.8213
-0.6452
-0.5783
-0.5203
-0.4691
-0.4234
-0.3820
-0.3442
-0.3265

Table 10. Pressure drop in a packed column at 3 L/min water flow rate
vg
(L/min)
20
40
60
70
80
90
100
110
115
118

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
Pexp (Pa)
0.0003
0.0100
97.6296
0.0007
0.0260
253.8369
0.0010
0.0800
781.0366
0.0012
0.1020
995.8216
0.0013
0.1180 1152.0289
0.0015
0.1500 1464.4436
0.0017
0.2060 2011.1692
0.0018
0.3300 3221.7759
0.0019
0.6000 5857.7743
0.0020
0.7000 6834.0700

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
66.8696
0.0755
173.8609
0.1509
534.9566
0.2264
682.0696
0.2641
789.0609
0.3018
1003.0435
0.3395
1377.5131
0.3773
2206.6958
0.4150
4012.1742
0.4338
4680.8699
0.4452

log
Pexp
/L
1.8252
2.2402
2.7283
2.8338
2.8971
3.0013
3.1391
3.3437
3.6034
3.6703

log vg
-1.1223
-0.8213
-0.6452
-0.5783
-0.5203
-0.4691
-0.4234
-0.3820
-0.3627
-0.3515

Table 11. Pressure drop in a packed column at 3.5 L/min water flow rate
vg
(L/min)
20
40
50
60
70
80
90
95
100
110

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
0.0003
0.0100
0.0007
0.0280
0.0008
0.0480
0.0010
0.0700
0.0012
0.1060
0.0013
0.1480
0.0015
0.2000
0.0016
0.2600
0.0017
0.3280
0.0018
0.7000

Pexp (Pa)
97.6296
273.3628
468.6219
683.4070
1034.8735
1444.9177
1952.5914
2538.3689
3202.2499
6834.0700

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
66.8696
0.0755
187.2348
0.1509
320.9739
0.1886
468.0870
0.2264
708.8174
0.2641
989.6696
0.3018
1337.3914
0.3395
1738.6088
0.3584
2193.3219
0.3773
4680.8699
0.4150

log
Pexp
/L
1.8252
2.2724
2.5065
2.6703
2.8505
2.9955
3.1263
3.2402
3.3411
3.6703

log vg
-1.1223
-0.8213
-0.7244
-0.6452
-0.5783
-0.5203
-0.4691
-0.4456
-0.4234
-0.3820

Table 12. Pressure drop in a packed column at 4 L/min water flow rate
vg
(L/min)
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
105

vg
h (m
(m3/s)
H2O)
0.0003
0.0140
0.0005
0.0220
0.0007
0.0360
0.0008
0.0600
0.0010
0.0960
0.0012
0.1200
0.0013
0.1940
0.0015
0.2780
0.0017
0.6400
0.0018
0.7000

Pexp (Pa)
136.6814
214.7851
351.4665
585.7774
937.2439
1171.5549
1894.0137
2714.1021
6248.2926
6834.0700

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
93.6174
0.0755
147.1131
0.1132
240.7304
0.1509
401.2174
0.1886
641.9479
0.2264
802.4348
0.2641
1297.2696
0.3018
1858.9740
0.3395
4279.6524
0.3773
4680.8699
0.3961

log
Pexp
/L
1.9714
2.1677
2.3815
2.6034
2.8075
2.9044
3.1130
3.2693
3.6314
3.6703

log vg
-1.1223
-0.9462
-0.8213
-0.7244
-0.6452
-0.5783
-0.5203
-0.4691
-0.4234
-0.4022

Table 13. Pressure drop in a packed column at 5 L/min water flow rate
vg
(L/min)
20
30
40
50
55
60
70
80
85
90

vg
h (m
(m3/s) H2O)
0.0003
0.0140
0.0005
0.0300
0.0007
0.0480
0.0008
0.0960
0.0009
0.1200
0.0010
0.1440
0.0012
0.2440
0.0013
0.3400
0.0014
0.5200
0.0015
0.7000

Pexp (Pa)
136.6814
292.8887
468.6219
937.2439
1171.5549
1405.8658
2382.1615
3319.4054
5076.7377
6834.0700

Pexp /L
(Pa/m)
vg (m/s)
93.6174
0.0755
200.6087
0.1132
320.9739
0.1509
641.9479
0.1886
802.4348
0.2075
962.9218
0.2264
1631.6175
0.2641
2273.5654
0.3018
3477.2176
0.3207
4680.8699
0.3395

log
Pexp
/L
1.9714
2.3023
2.5065
2.8075
2.9044
2.9836
3.2126
3.3567
3.5412
3.6703

log vg
-1.1223
-0.9462
-0.8213
-0.7244
-0.6830
-0.6452
-0.5783
-0.5203
-0.4939
-0.4691

Table 14. Using Correlations of Sherwood, Shipley and Holloway based on visual observation
vL vL vL
(L/m (m3/ (m/
s)
s)
in)
1.00
00
2.00
00
2.50
00
3.00
00
3.50
00
4.00
00
5.00
00

0.00
00
0.00
00
0.00
00
0.00
01
0.00
01
0.00
01
0.00
01

0.00
38
0.00
75
0.00
94
0.01
13
0.01
32
0.01
51
0.01
89

Flooding Point
L
vg
vg vg
vg
vg vg
(kg/m
(L/mi (m3/ (m/ (L/mi (m3/ (m/
3
)
n)
s)
s)
n)
s)
s)
150.0 0.00 0.56
996.3
000
25
59 100
110.0 0.00 0.41 135.0 0.00 0.50 996.3
000
18
50 000
23
93
800
100.0 0.00 0.37 125.0 0.00 0.47 996.3
000
17
73 000
21
16
800
90.00 0.00 0.33 118.0 0.00 0.44 996.3
00
15
95 000
20
52
800
80.00 0.00 0.30 110.0 0.00 0.41 996.3
00
13
18 000
18
50
800
70.00 0.00 0.26 105.0 0.00 0.39 996.3
00
12
41 000
18
61
800
60.00 0.00 0.22 90.00 0.00 0.33 996.3
00
10
64
00
15
95
800

G
(kg/
m3)

L
(kg/
m.s)

L
(kg/
m2s)

1.17
93
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54

0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08

3.75
86
7.51
78
9.39
73
11.2
767
13.1
562
15.0
356
18.7
945

Flooding
G
G
(kg/
(kg/
m2s) m2s)
0.66
0.19
73 0.0191
38 0.48 0.59
0.52
0.43
78
86 0.0102
94 0.0127
13
0.44 0.55
0.72
0.58
34
43 0.0085
79 0.0109
23
0.39 0.52
0.97
0.74
91
32 0.0069
05 0.0097
02
0.35 0.48
1.27
0.92
47
78 0.0054
38 0.0084
64
0.31 0.46
1.66
1.10
04
56 0.0041
37 0.0077
92
0.26 0.39
2.42
1.61
61
91 0.0030
63 0.0057
75

Table 15. Using Correlations of Sherwood, Shipley and Holloway based on graphical method
vL vL vL
(L/m (m3/ (m/
s)
s)
in)
1.00
00
2.00

0.00
00
0.00

0.00
38
0.00

Flooding Point
L
vg
vg vg
vg
vg vg
(kg/m
3
3
(L/mi (m / (m/ (L/mi (m / (m/
3
)
n)
s)
s)
n)
s)
s)
149.0 0.00 0.56
996.3
608
25
23 100
110.5 0.00 0.41 132.8 0.00 0.50 996.3

G
(kg/
m3)

L
(kg/
m.s)

1.17
93
1.17

0.00
08
0.00

Flooding
G
G
(kg/
(kg/
m2s) m2s)
3.75 0.66
0.19
86
32 0.0188
50 7.51 0.49 0.58 0.0103 0.52 0.0123 0.43

L
(kg/
m2s)

00
2.50
00
3.00
00
3.50
00
4.00
00
5.00
00

00
0.00
00
0.00
01
0.00
01
0.00
01
0.00
01

75
0.00
94
0.01
13
0.01
32
0.01
51
0.01
89

002
98.48
35
91.91
02
80.05
04
71.34
49
60.72
45

18
0.00
16
0.00
15
0.00
13
0.00
12
0.00
10

69
0.37
15
0.34
67
0.30
20
0.26
92
0.22
91

506
115.7
081
110.5
002
105.5
270
96.24
18
87.77
35

22
0.00
19
0.00
18
0.00
18
0.00
16
0.00
15

12
0.43
65
0.41
69
0.39
81
0.36
31
0.33
11

800
996.3
800
996.3
800
996.3
800
996.3
800
996.3
800

54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54
1.17
54

08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08
0.00
08

78
9.39
73
11.2
767
13.1
562
15.0
356
18.7
945

00
0.43
67
0.40
76
0.35
50
0.31
64
0.26
93

91
0.51
31
0.49
00
0.46
79
0.42
68
0.38
92

0.0082
0.0071
0.0054
0.0043
0.0031

70
0.73
91
0.95
03
1.27
30
1.63
24
2.39
73

0.0093
0.0085
0.0078
0.0065
0.0054

83
0.62
91
0.79
05
0.96
57
1.21
01
1.65
85