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# CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES

HUMIDIFICATION
Compilation of Lectures and Solved Problems

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 2

HUMIDIFICATION

DEFINITION OF TERMS
HUMIDIFICATION
Involves the transfer of material between a pure liquid phase and a fixed gas that is nearly
insoluble in the liquid
HUMIDITY,
The mass of vapor carried by a unit mass of vapor-free gas; it depends only on the partial
pressure of the vapor in the mixture when the total pressure is fixed
=

SATURATED GAS
A gas in which the vapor is in equilibrium with the liquid at the gas temperature; the partial
pressure of vapor in saturated gas equals the vapor pressure of the liquid at the gas
temperature
=

RELATIVE HUMIDITY,
Defined as the ratio of the partial pressure of the vapor to the vapor pressure of the liquid at
the gas temperature; it is usually expressed on a percentage basis; 100% relative humidity
means saturated gas and 0% relative humidity means vapor-free gas
=

PERCENT HUMIDITY,
Ratio of the actual humidity, H, to the saturation humidity, HS, at the gas temperature, also
on a percentage basis; percent humidity is less than the relative humidity
=

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 3

HUMIDIFICATION

HUMID HEAT,
Heat energy necessary to increase the temperature of 1 g or 1 lb of gas plus whatever vapor
it may contain by 1C or 1F
=

HUMID VOLUME,
Total volume of a unit mass of vapor-free gas plus whatever vapor it may contain at 1 atm
and the gas temperature
=

DEW POINT
Temperature to which a gas-vapor mixture must be cooled (at constant humidity) to
become saturated; the dew point of a saturated gas phase equals the gas temperature
TOTAL ENTHALPY, i
Enthalpy of a unit mass of gas plus whatever vapor it may contain; to calculate h, two
reference states must be chosen, one for the gas and one for the vapour
=
=

(
(

)+

)+

Temperature of the gas that would be attained if the gas were saturated in an adiabatic
process
( )+

=
=

=
+

HUMIDIFICATION

## DRY BULB TEMPERATURE,

Actual gas temperature
WET BULB TEMPERATURE,
Temperature obtained when the heat required to vaporize a small amount of liquid (water
for air-water system) into a large volume of gas (air for air-water system) exactly equals the
sensible heat transferred from the gas to the liquid.
HUMIDITY CHART
A convenient diagram showing the properties of mixtures of a permanent gas and a
condensable vapor

## THEORY OF WET BULB TEMPERATURE

The rate of heat transfer from the gas to the liquid may be equated to the product of the rate
of vaporization and the sum of the latent heat of evaporation at temperature
and the
sensible heat of the vapour; neglecting radiation
( )
=
+
The rate of heat transfer may be expressed as:
( )
=
The rate of mass transfer may be expressed as:
=

( )
=

)
=

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 5

HUMIDIFICATION

Notations:
- mass of vapor
- mass of vapor-free gas
- mole fraction of vapor
mole fraction of vapor-free gas
molecular weight of vapor
molecular weight of vapor free gas
partial pressure of vapor
partial pressure of vapor-free gas
total pressure
saturation humidity
vapour pressure at the gas temperature
specific heat of gas
specific heat of vapor
gas temperature, in K or R
datum temperature for both gas and vapor ( T0 = 32F for air-water
problem)
latent heat of the liquid at T0
rate of sensible heat transfer to liquid
molal rate of vaporization
latent heat of the liquid at Tw
surface area of liquid
heat transfer coefficient between gas and surface of the liquid
temperature at the interface
mass transfer coefficient, mole per unit area per unit mole fraction
mole fraction of vapour at the interface
mole fraction of vapour in air-stream
(1 ) - one way diffusion factor
Schmidt Number
Prandtl Number
HUMIDIFICATION PROCESSES

Humidity

1. SENSIBLE COOLING
During this process, the moisture content of air
remains constant but its temperature decreases as
it flows over a cooling coil. For moisture content to
remain constant the surface of the cooling coil
should be dry and its surface temperature should
be greater than the dew point temperature of air. If
the cooling coil is 100% effective, then the exit
temperature of air will be equal to the coil
t2

t1

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 6

HUMIDIFICATION

temperature. However, in practice, the exit air temperature will be higher than the
cooling coil temperature. Below shows the sensible cooling process O-A on a
psychrometric chart
Heat Balance:
(

Enthalpy Balance:
=

where:
entering air temperature
leaving air temperature
entering air enthalpy
leaving air enthalpy
2. SENSIBLE HEATING
During this process, the moisture content of
air remains constant and its temperature
increases as it flows over a heating coil.

Enthalpy Balance:
=

Humidity

Heat Balance:

)
t1

t2

W
t2
H2
h2

Liquid
L2
T2

Gas
W
t1
H1
h1

L1
T1

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 7

HUMIDIFICATION
HT = Hi = Hw = constant

t1

Humidity

H1

H2

t2
T = ti = t w = constant

H2

t1

H1

t2

## Dry Bulb Temperature

Material Balance:

Heat Balance:

=
(

= (

= (

=
(

)=

)+ (

)+

)+

)+

Enthalpy Balance:
+

)=

## Heat Transfer Equation (only gas phase involved)

)=

( )

Where:
saturation humidity at gas wet bulb temperature
gas phase heat transfer coefficient

HUMIDIFICATION

## total contact volume

- mass transfer coefficient or enthalpy transfer coefficient

t1

H1

t2

Humidity

T1
H1

HT1

H2

T2

HT2

H2

t1

t2

## Dry Bulb Temperature

Material Balance:

Heat Balance:
(

)=

)=

)+

Enthalpy Balance:
(

(

)=

## Heat Transfer Equation (only gas phase involved)

(

)=

( )

5. WATER COOLING
When warm liquid is brought into contact with unsaturated gas, part of the liquid
evaporates and the liquid temperature drops.
Approach difference of the water discharge temperature with that of the wet bulb
temperature
Range change in water temperature of inlet to exit

HUMIDIFICATION
T2

HT1

H2

Humidity

t2

HT2

H1

t1

H1

H2
T1

t1

t2

## Dry Bulb Temperature

Material Balance:

Heat Balance:
(

)=

)+

Enthalpy Balance:
(

)=

(

)=

## Heat Transfer Equation (only gas phase involved)

(

)=

( )

pressure of vapour in saturated gas equals the vapour pressure of the liquid at the
gas temperature
=

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 10

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 01:
A cooling tower of a centralized air conditioning system handles 2,500 cu.m/h of water
which enters the tower at 40C. The cooled water leaves the tower at 30C. The drift loss is
0.2% while the blowdown is 0.5%. The water make-up is 50 cu.m/h. The air blown through
the tower enters at 25C and has a relative humidity of 80%. The air leaves the tower at
34C with a relative humidity of 98%. Calculate the volume of air, in cu.m/h at ambient
conditions that the forced draft fan of the cooling tower handles.
Source: CHE Board Exam May 1989
SOLUTION:
Water, L2
2,500 m3/h
T 2 = 40 C
AIR, W
t2 = 34 C
98% RH

Make-up
Water, M
50 m3/h
Drift Loss = 0.2%
Blowdown = 0.5%
AIR, W
t1 = 25 C
80% RH

Water, L1
T1 = 30 C

Properties of Air:
For the inlet air:
= 100

## At 25C, from steam table,

= 0.4609
(80)(0.4609
)
=
= 0.3687
100
=

( )
(18)(0.3687
)
=
(28.84)(14.7 0.3687)

= 0.0161

. .

From figure 19.2 (Unit Operations 7th edition by McCabe and Smith)
Specific volume of dry air at 25C (77F) is 13.5 ft3/lb d.a

HUMIDIFICATION

= 13.5
+

0.0161

18

= 13.8507

77 + 460

0.7302

= 100

## At 34C, from steam table,

= 0.7739
(98)(0.7739
)
=
= 0.7584
100
=

(18)(0.7584
)
(28.84)(14.7 0.7584)

= 0.0340

. .

## Solve for water absorbed by the air,

= ( )
= (0.0340 0.0161)
= 55.8659

1
Consider water balance:
= +
At 40C,

= 61.94

= 2,500

= 992.20

992.2

+
0.2 + 0.5
=
100

= 2,480,504.076

= 50

2,480,504.076

992.2

= 49,610

## = 49,610 17,363.53 = 32,246.47

= 17,363.53

Substitute to equation 1
= 55.8659 32,246.47

= 1,801,478.771

= 1,801,478.771

= ,

13.8507

2.2
.

.
.

0.028317

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 12

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 02:
In a plant laboratory having a floor area of 100 m2 and a ceiling height of 3 m, the
temperature and relative humidity are kept at 23.9C and 80%, respectively. The closed
loop air conditioning (AC) unit installed for the purpose has an air handling capacity to
change the air in the room of which 80% is void space, every ten minutes. The air leaving
the condenser of the AC unit has a temperature of 18.3C. Calculate:
a) The duty of the AC units in kW
b) Quantity of condensate which has to be drained from the AC unit, in kg/h
Source: CHE Board Exam May 1988
SOLUTION:
Air, W
t1 = 23.9 C
80% RH

Air, W
t2 = 18.3 C
AIR CONDITIONING UNIT

Condensate, w
t1 = 18.3 C

= (100
3 )(0.80) = 240
240
60
=
= 1,440
10

= 100

## At 23.9C, from steam table,

= 0.4303
(80)(0.4303
)
=
= 0.3442
100
=

( )
(18)(0.3442
)
=
(28.84)(14.7 0.3442)

= 0.0150

. .

From figure 19.2 (Unit Operations 7th edition by McCabe and Smith)
Specific volume of dry air at 23.9C (75.02F) is 13.5 ft3/lb d.a

HUMIDIFICATION

= 13.5
+

0.0150

= 13.8256
= 0.245

= 1,440

18

75.02 + 460

0.7302

= 1.0258

= 1,671.90

13.8256

2.2

0.028317

## Assume that the air leaving the AC unit is saturated

At 18.3C,
=
= 0.3051
=

( )
(18)(0.3051
)
=
(28.84)(14.7 0.3051)

= 0.0132

. .

From figure 19.2 (Unit Operations 7th edition by McCabe and Smith)
= 0.243

= 1.0174

= ( )
.
(0.0150 0.0132)
= 1,671.90

= .

( )

=
( )
1.0258 + 1.0174
=
= 1.0216
2

=

1,671.90

= 16,948.55
= .

1.0216
1
3,600

(18.3 23.9)

1
1

3.01

2,453.05

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 14

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 03:
At an oil refinery in Batangas, cooling water for the condensers and coolers in the plant is
provided by a closed-loop cooling water system. From the plant, used cooling water is sent
to a cooling tower to reduce its temperature. Make-up water is added before the cooled
water is circulated back to the plant. In the cooling tower, the used water enters the top at
an average bulk temperature of 40C. The cooled water accumulated at the basin below the
tower has a temperature of 25C. Ambient air at 25C and 50% RH is induced into the
tower and leaves at the top at 35C fully saturated. Heat losses to the surroundings may be
assumed to be negligible. For every cu.m of cooling water used in the plant, calculate:
c) the volume of ambient air, in cu.m, that is induced into the cooling tower
d) the quantity of make-up water, in liters, that has to be added to the system
Source: CHE Board Exam November 1987

SOLUTION:
Basis: 1 m3 of cooling water
Water, L2
T2 = 40 C
AIR, W
t2 = 35 C
saturated

Make-up
Water, M

AIR, W
t1 = 25 C
50% RH

Water, L1
T1 = 25 C

Properties of Air:
For the inlet air:
= 100

= 0.4609
(50)(0.4609
)
=
= 0.2304
100

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 15

HUMIDIFICATION

( )
(18)(0.2304
)
=
(28.84)(14.7 0.2304)

= 0.0099

. .

From figure 19.2 (Unit Operations 7th edition by McCabe and Smith)
Specific volume of dry air at 25C (77F) is 13.5 ft3/lb d.a
.

= 13.5
+

0.0099

= 13.7157

= 0.243
=

18

)+
= 32 ,

77 + 460

0.7302

0.243

= 1075.4

(77 32)

+ 0.0099

1,075.4

= 21.5815

= 100

## At 35C (95F), from steam table,

= 0.8162

( )
(18)(0.8162
)
=
(28.84)(14.7 0.8162)
= 0.256

0.256

. .

)+
= 32 ,

= 0.0367

= 1075.4

(95 32)

+ 0.0367

1,075.4

HUMIDIFICATION
= 55.5952

## For the water absorbed by the air,

= ( )
= (0.0367 0.0099)
= 37.3134

1
Consider enthalpy balance:
( )= ( )

At 40C (104F),
= 1.0

= 61.94

992.2

(2,182.84

) 1

= 992.2

= 2,182.84

(104 77)

(55.5952 21.5815)
= 1,732.73

= 992.20

=
= (1,732.73
=

. ) 13.7157

0.028317
.

( )

Substitute W to equation 1
1,732.73
=
37.3134
= 46.4372
= 46.4372
= .

1
61.94

0.028317

( )

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 17

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 04:
The semiconductor plant at the Food Terminal Export Zone, an adiabatic dryer is used
where air enters at 160F. If the air has a dew point of 68F and it picked up 0.08 lb water
per 100 cu. ft, how saturated is the air coming out of the dryer?
Source: CHE Board Exam May 1986
SOLUTION:
0.08 lb water per
100 cu ft air
Air, W
t1 = 160 F
tdp = 68 F

Air, W

Properties of Air:
For the inlet air:
From figure 19.2 (Unit Operations 7th edition by McCabe and Smith)
At dew point of 68F, and dry bulb 160F
= 0.015

= 90

.
= 15.6
+ 0.015
.
.
18
= 15.9773

160 + 460

0.7302

.
.

= 100

= 6.2589

15.9773
.

= 100

0.015

15.9773

= 100

.
0.08
100

= 0.0939
= 0.08

## = 0.0939 + 0.08 = 0.1739

=

0.1739
6.2589

= 0.0278

For adiabatic dryer, wet bulb remains constant, from the psychrometric chart
At 90F wet bulb and 0.0278 humidity
%

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 18

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 05:
It is desired to condition saturated atmospheric air at 70F with entrained 0.0008 lb water
per cu ft air to hot air at 200F dry bulb and 115F wet bulb temperatures. The air is passed
thru a heater, then thru an adiabatic humidifier, then thru a reheater. The air, as it leaves
the adiabatic humidifier, has a humidity of 90%. Calculate the temperature of the air as it
leaves the (a) heater, and (b) adiabatic humidifier.
Source: CHE Board Exam May 1984
SOLUTION:
COND 3:
90%
Humidity

COND 2:
HEATER

HUMIDIFIER

COND 1:
Saturated
70 F
0.0008 lb water
per cu ft air

HEATER

COND 4:
Dry Bulb: 200 F
Wet Bulb: 115 F

## 1. Properties of air after the re-heater (condition 4)

From the psychrometric chart (figure 19.2 McCabe and Smith)
= 0.048
.

= 16.5

=
%

= 0.048

100
,

(100) 0.048
,

= 0.0533

90

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 19

HUMIDIFICATION
0.0533
=
18

28.84

+ 0.0533

(14.7

)
.

28.84

= 1.1566

Therefore dry bulb temperature of the air leaving the adiabatic humidifier (from steam
table)
=
.

( )
Wet bulb temperature of air leaving the humidifier
= 105
3. Properties of air as it enters the heater (condition 1)
At 70F and air is saturated,
= 0.3632
,

)
(0.3632

18
.

28.84
,

= 0.0158
=

(14.7 0.3632)

= 0.0158

.
Using the specific volume dry air vs temperature line
.
= 13.25
.

## Volume of air entering the heater

=
. +
0.0158
= 13.25

= 13.60

10.731

(70 + 460)

(14.7

18

4. Final humidity of air leaving the heater (with entrained 0.0008 lb water per cu ft air)
= 0.0008
= 0.01088
= 0.0158

+ 0.01088

13.60

.
.

= 0.02668

HUMIDIFICATION

## 5. Temperature of air leaving the heater

=

= 0.02668

.
From the psychrometric chart, assume same wet bulb temperature with air leaving the
=

( )

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 21

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 06:
If 400 lb of air at a dry bulb temperature of 56 F and wet bulb temperature of 50 F are
mixed with 855 lb of air at a dry bulb temperature of 82 F and a wet bulb temperature of
60 F. What will be the dry bulb and wet bulb temperature of the mixture?.
Source: CHE Board Exam May 1981
SOLUTION:
A = 400 lb
Dry Bulb: 56 F
Wet Bulb: 50 F

MIXER

Mixture

B = 855 lb
Dry Bulb: 82 F
Wet Bulb: 60 F

1. Properties of air B
From the psychrometric chart (figure 19.2 McCabe and Smith)
= 0.0075
.

= 13.5

= 0.241

2. Properties of air A
From the psychrometric chart (figure 19.2 McCabe and Smith)
= 0.009
= 13
= 0.242

.
.
.

HUMIDIFICATION

## 3. Over-all material balance

+
=
= 400 + 855
= 1,255
4. Consider water balance
+
=
0.009

= 400

.
(1 + 0.009)

= 3.5679
0.0075

= 855

.
(1 + 0.0075)

= 6.3648
= 3.5679
= 9.9327
9.9327
=
1,255
= 0.0080

+ 6.3648
1,255
(1,255 9.9327)
.

## 5. Consider heat balance

=
( )=
.
(1 + 0.009)

400

= 855
=

)
0.242

.
.
(1 + 0.0075)

56)
0.241

82)

From the psychrometric chart, given the humidity and dry bulb of the mixture
=

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 23

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 07:
A coke packed humidifier is to be designed to cool 2,000 cfm of saturated air from 130 to 65
F at barometric pressure. Cooling water at 55F will be allowed to heat up to 110F. Gas
velocity will be 1,200 lb of dry air per sq ft of total cross section. Water velocity is 1,150
lb/h per sq ft of total cross section. Over-all coefficient of sensible heat transfer from air to
water = 250 BTU/hft3F. Calculate the height and diameter of cooling tower required and
the amount of cooling water needed per hour.
Source: CHE Board Exam October 1977
SOLUTION:
Dry Bulb: 65 F

Cooling water
55 F

COKEPACKED
HUMIDIFIER

Cooling water
110 F

Air
Dry Bulb: 130 F

## 1. Properties of air entering the humidifier

Vapor pressure at 130F
= 2.225
=

## Since air is saturated,

=
= 2.225
=

(18)(2.225)
= 0.1113
(28.84)(14.7 2.225)

From the psychrometric chart, using the saturated volume vs temperature line
= 17.5

HUMIDIFICATION
= 0.243

60
.
= 2,000

17.5
= 6,857.1428

( )=

=
130 110
65 55

= 14.427
6,857.1428
=

250

0.243

(130 65)

(14.427 )

= 30.0294

## 4. Solve for height of the humidifier

.

(30.0294
)
= 1,200

6,857.1428
= .
5. Solve for diameter
=
=

4
)
4(30.0294
(5.25 )

= .

= 1,150
= ,

(2.70

## CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SERIES 25

HUMIDIFICATION

PROBLEM # 08:
It is desired to air condition the enclosed assembly hall of a local university. The hall
measures 120 ft x 40 ft x 70 ft. This is to be charged every 6 minutes and it is also to be
maintained at 70 F and a relative saturation of 50%. At the warmest period of the year, the
outside air is 95 F and 70% relative saturation. It is planned to cool and dehumidify this
air to the desired humidity by the use of a coke-packed tower. The air will leave the tower
saturated and it is to be reheated to the desired temperature before being blown to the hall.
City water for available for cooling is 45 F.
DATA:
1) The over-all coefficient of a sensible heat transfer from air to water, UGa = 250
BTU/hft3F
2) lb inlet water per sq ft cross section, L/S = 1,150
3) assume latent heat of vaporization = 1,055 BTU/lb
4) mass velocity of air = 1,200 lb/hft2
a)
b)
c)
d)

## What shall be the height and diameter of the cooling tower?

To what temperature is the air cooled in the tower?
What is the temperature of the outlet water?
Calculate the

## Source: CHE Board Exam July 1951

SOLUTION:

Condition
2
Condition
3
HEATER
120 ft x 40 ft x 70 ft

Air
100%
saturation

Air
Dry Bulb: 70 F
50% saturation

be recharged
every 6 min

COKE-PACKED
DEHUMIDIFIER

Air
Dry Bulb: 95 F
70% saturation

Condition
1

Cooling water
45 F

HUMIDIFICATION

(120 )(40 )(70 )
=
1
6
60
= 3,360,000

## 2. Properties of air entering the room (condition 3)

Vapor pressure at 70F
= 0.3632
=

( )
(18)(0.3632)
=
= 0.0158
(28.84)(14.7 0.3632)

## Since air is 50% saturated,

%

100

0.0158
=

(50)

= 0.0079

100

From the psychrometric chart, using the specific volume dry air vs temperature line
.
= 13.40
.

(70 + 460)
0.0079
10.731
.
.

= 13.40
+
.
(14.7
)
18
= 13.57

= 0.241

= 3,360,000
= 247,605.0111

13.57
.

HUMIDIFICATION
=

= 0.0079

## Since air is saturated

=

= 0.0079

( )
(0.0079)(28.84)(14.7)
=
18 + (0.0079)(28.84)
= 0.1837

= .

( )

## 5. Properties of air entering the humidifier

Vapor pressure at 95F
= 0.8162
=

( )
(18)(0.8162)
=
= 0.0367
(28.84)(14.7 0.8162)

## Since air is 70% saturated,

%

100

0.0367
=

.
100

(70)
= 0.0257

From the psychrometric chart, using the specific volume dry air vs temperature line
.
= 13.90
.

(95 + 460)
0.0257
10.731
.
.

= 13.90
+
.
(14.7
)
18
= 14.48

= 0.255

HUMIDIFICATION

(1 +

)
.

247,605.0111

(1 + 0.0257)

1,200

= 211.6404
=
=
=

4
4(211.6404

= 1,150
= (211.6404

) 1,150

= 243,386.46

= ( )
.
(0.0257 0.0079)
= 247,605.0111

= 4,407.3692

( ) + ( )
=
+
0.255 + 0.241
=
=
= 0.248
2
2
.
.
(50.79 95)
= 247,605.0111
0.248

.
+

4,407.3692

= 7,364,535.656

1,055

=
= 7,364,535.656
=

= 7,364,535.656

HUMIDIFICATION
7,364,535.656
=

= 243,386.46

( )

( )=

=
95 75.26
50.79 45

= 11.3737
.
247,605.0111
0.248

.
=
250

= 954.7504

=
954.7504
=
211.6404
= .

(95 50.79)

(11.3737 )

45)