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Comparison of column contactors

with mixed contactors

Example
An industrial wastewater contains 10 mg/L chlorophenol, and
is going to be treated by carbon adsorption. 90% removal is
desired. The wastewater is discharged at a rate of 0.1 MGD.
Calculate the carbon requirement for
a) a single , mixed contactor (CMFR)
b) two mixed (CMFR) contactors in series
c) a column contactor.

Freundlich isoherm

0.41

q = 6.74xC
mg/g C

mg/L

a) Single CMFR
Cinf = 10 mg/L

Ceff = 1 mg/L

q = 6.74x10.41 =6.74 mg/g C

5
6
Organic Load = 10-1 mg/L x 3.78x10 L/d =3.4x10 mg / day

Carbon requirement =
gC
1 kg
3.4x10 mg/day x
x
=505 kg/day
6.74 mg 1000 g
6

10 mg/L

5 mg/L

We assume it. It is not given in the question. If you change it,

you will calculate a different value.

1 mg/L

Contactor 1
Cinf = 10 mg/L
Ceff = 5 mg/L
q = 6.74x50.41 =13.0 mg/g C

Organic Load = 10-5 mg/L x 3.78x105 L/d =1.89x106 mg/day

Carbon requirement =

gC
1 kg
1.89x10 mg/day x
x
=145 kg / day
13.0 mg 1000 g
6

Contactor 2
Cinf = 5 mg/L
Ceff = 1 mg/L

Organic Load = 5-1 mg/L x 3.78x105 L/d =1.51x106 mg/day

Carbon requirement =

gC
1 kg
1.51x10 mg/day x
x
= 224 kg/day
6.74 mg 1000 g
6

20
18
16
14

qe

12

10
8
6
4
2
0
0

10

Ce

Ce of 1 CMFR
and 2nd Contactor

Ce of 1st Contactor

Co

11

12

Total C requirement = 145+224=369 kg/day

a) a single , mixed contactor (CMFR)

series

C requirement decreased because, in the 1st contactor, we

are able to put more on the surface of the carbon.

Co

Column Height

Flow Direction

Everything happens in the primary

zone, MTZ). This layer is in contact with
the
solution
at
its
highest
concentration level, Co. As time
passes, this layer will start saturating.
Whatever escapes this zone will than be
trapped in the next zones. As the
polluted feed water continues to flow
into the column, the top layers of carbon
become, practically, saturated with
solute and less effective for further
zone moves downward through the
column to regions of fresher adsorbent.

Concentration (mg/L)
Here you start observing your breakthrough curve
when the last layer starts getting saturated.

Co

Flow Direction

Last primary adsorption zone. It is called

primary because the upper layers are
not doing any removal job. They are
saturated.

When breakthrough occurs there is some

amount of carbon in the column still not used.
Generally, this is accepted to be 10-15%.

Region where the solute is most effectively

This zone moves downward with a constant
velocity as the upper regions become
saturated.

Column Contactor
Cinf = 10 mg/L
Ceff = 1 mg/L
q = 6.74x100.41 =17.3 mg/g C
5
6
10-1
mg/L
x
3.78x10
L/d
=
3.4x10
mg/day

Assume that the breakthrough occurs while 10%

of the carbon in the column is still not used.
Carbon requirement =
gC
1 kg 100%
3.4x10 mg/day x
x
x
= 218.4 kg/day
17.3 mg 1000 g 90%
6

Packed Column Design

It is not possible to design a column accurately without a
test column breakthrough curve for the liquid of interest
and the adsorbent solid to be used.

i.

Approach #1

iii. Approach #3 - Kinetic approach (Reynolds)

are available to design adsorption columns . In all of
the above a breakthrough curve from a test column,
either laboratory or pilot scale, is required, and the
column should be as large as possible to minimize
side wall effects. Neither of the procedures requires
the adsorption to be represented by an isotherm such
as the Freundlich equation.

Packed Column Design App. #1

An industrial wastewater having a TOC of 200 mg/L will be
treated by GAC for a flowrate of 150 m3/day. Allowable TOC
in the effluent is 10 mg/L.
Pilot Plant Data

Q = 50 L/hr
Column diameter = 9.5 cm
Column depth (packed bed) = 175 cm

Packed bed carbon density = 400 kg/m3

Vbreakthrough = 8400 L
Vexhaustion = 9500 L

a) Filtration rate of the pilot plant

Q
L
1
1000cm3
cm 3
= 50 x
x
= 705
FR =
2
2
A
hr
1L
hr.cm
d

2
d = 9.5 cm
The same FR applies to Packed Column.

Q
FR =
A

Q
A=
FR

m3 1 hr.cm2 1 d 106 cm3

A = 150
.
x
x
= 8865cm
x
3
3
D 705 cm 24 h 1 m

4 x 8865
d=
= 106cm

c) Empty Bed Contact Time of the Pilot Plant

=
Q
2

d
9.5
3
= A x Height = x H = 3.14 x
x175
=
12,404
cm
= 12.4 L

2
2

12.4 L
=
= 0.248 hr = 14.88 15 min
50 L/hr

Q
cm3 1 hr
x
= 15 min x 705
x
= 176 cm
2
A
hr.cm 60 min

is set by

and

e) Mass of Carbon required in the Packed Column

2
= 1.76 m x x 1.06 = 1.553 m3
4

D = 400 kg/m3

1.553 m
3

kg
x 400 3 = 621 kg
m

f) Determination of qe
Mass of carbon in the pilot column =

xd

= 0.0124 m3 x 400

kg
= 4.96 5 kg
3
m

1.9x106 mg TOC
mg
qe =
= 380
C
5 kg C
g

mg

6
9500
L
x
200
=
1.9x10
mg

Total capacity =

TOC removed before breakthrough =

mg

6
=
1.68x10
mg
8400 L x 200

1.9-1.68 x106

x100
Fraction of capacity left unused = f =
1.9x10

This fraction of capacity left unused will apply to the

Packed Column also.

12%

h) Breakthrough time of the Packed Column

mg
m3 1000 L

6
x
150
x
=
30x10
mg/d

3
L
d 1m

6 mg
Carbon consumption rate = 30x10
= 78.9 kg/d
x
d 380 mg/g C

621 kg x 1-0.12 = 546.5 kg

546.5 kg
7 days
Breakthrough time =
78.9 kg/d

1 hr 1 d
8400
L
x

x
= 7 days
50 L 24 hr

i) Volume Treated Before Breakthrough

treated

m3
= 150
x 7 days = 1050 m3
d

Packed Column Design

Scale up Procedure for Packed Columns
Use a pilot test column filled with the carbon to be

used in full scale application.

Apply a filtration rate and contact time (EBCT)
which will be the same for full scale application (to
obtain similar mass transfer characteristics).

Obtain the breakthrough curve.

Work on the curve for scale up.

Packed Column Design

Kinetic Approach
This method utilizes the following kinetic equation.

Co

1
1+e

k1
q o M - Co V
Q

where
C = effluent solute concentration

Co = influent solute concentration

k1 = rate constant
qo = maximum solid phase concentration of

the sorbed solute, e.g. g/g

M = mass of the adsorbent. For example, g
V = throughput volume. For example, liters

Packed Column Design

Kinetic Approach
The principal experimental information required is
a breakthrough curve from a test column, either
laboratory or pilot scale.
One advantage of the kinetic approach is that the
breakthrough volume, V , may be selected in the
design of a column.

Packed Column Design

Assuming the left side equals the rigth side,
cross multiplying gives

1+e

kt
q o M - Co V
Q

Co
=
C

Rearranging and taking the natural logarithms of

both sides yield the design equation

Packed Column Design

Rearranging and taking the natural logarithms of
both sides yield the design equation.

k1q o M k1CoV
Co
ln -1 =
Q
Q
C
y

mx

Example
A phenolic wastewater having a TOC of 200 mg/L is to be
treated by a fixed bed granular carbon adsorption column
for a wastewater flow of 150 m3/d, and the allowable
effluent concentration, Ca, is 10 mg/L as TOC. A
breakthrough curve has been obtained from an
experimental pilot column operated at 1.67 BV/h. Other
data concerning the pilot column are as follows:
inside diameter = 9.5 cm , length = 1.04 m,
mass of carbon = 2.98 kg , liquid flowrate = 12.39 L/h ,
unit liquid flowrate = 0.486 L/s.m2 , and
the packed carbon density = 400 kg/m3 .
The design column is to have a unit liquid flowrate of 2.04
L/s.m2 , and the allowable breakthrough volume is 1060 m3.

Scale-up approach:
The design bed volume (BV) is found as;

150 m3 / d
1.67 BV / h =
= 6.25 m3 / h
24 h / d
BV = 3.74 m3
The mass of carbon required is;

M = BV = 3.74 m3 400 kg / m3 = 1500 kg

From the breakthrough curve the volume treated at the allowable
breakthrough (10 mg/L TOC) is 2080 L. So, the solution treated per
kilogram of carbon is 2080 L/2.98 kg or 698 L/kg (pilot scale). The
same applies to the design column; for a flow rate of 150 m3/d, the
weight of carbon exhausted per hour (Mt) is

150 m3 / d
kg
1000 L
Mt =

8.954 kg/h
3
24 h
698 L
m

200
180
160
140

C, mg/L

120
100
80
60
40
20
0

500

1000

1500
2000
V, Liters

2500

3000

3500

The breakthrough time is;

1500 kg
T=
= 168 h = 7 d
8.954 kg / h
The breakthrough volume of the design column is;

VB = Q T = 150 m3 / d 7 d = 1050 m3

Kinetic approach:
Using the kinetic approach for design, determine :
The design reaction constant, k1 , L/s-kg.
The design maximum solid - phase concentration,
qo , kg/kg.
The carbon required for the design column, kg.
The diameter and height of the design column, m.
The kilograms of carbon required per cubic meter
of waste treated.

V (L)

C(mg/L)

C/Co

0,000

378,0

0,045

22,222

21,222

3,06

984,0

11

0,055

18,182

17,182

2,84

1324,0

0,040

25,000

24,000

3,18

1930,0

0,045

22,222 21,222

3,06

2272,0

30

0,150

6,667

5,667

1,73

2520,0

100

0,500

2,000

1,000

0,00

2740,0

165

0,825

1,212

0,212

-1,55

2930,0

193

0,965

1,036

0,036

-3,32

3126,0

200

1,000

1,000

0,000

200

180
160

C, mg/L

140
120

100
80

60
40

20
0
0

500

1000

1500
2000
V, Liters

2500

3000

3500

16

ln(Co/C - 1)

11

-4

-9
0

1000

2000

3000

V (L)

Plot of Complete Data Set

4000

15
y = -0,0064x + 15,787

ln(Co/C - 1)

10

-5

1000

2000

3000

Take the linear range only!

4000

q k M
15.787= 0 1
Q
k C
-1
0.0064L = 1 0
Q

(0.0064L-1)(12.39 L)
h =3.9610-4 L
a)k =
1
mgh
200 mg
L
6mg
10
L
1h
3.9610

=0.11 L
mgh 3600s 1kg
kgs
-4

q 0.11 L 2.98kg
kgs
b)15.787= 0
12.39 L 1h
h 3600s
15.78712.39 L 1h
h 3600s
q =
0
0.11 L 2.98kg
kgs
q =0.166 kg
0
kg

k =3.96104 L
1
mgh
q =0.166 kg
0
kg

Q = 6250 L / h

V = 1050000 L
C0 = 200 mg / L

Using

k1q o M k1CoV
Co
ln -1 =
Q
Q
C
200
ln
-1 =
10

3.96 104

L
kg
0.166

mg h
kg
L
6250
h

3.96 104
-

M=1545009487 mg =1545 kg

L
mg
200
1050000 L
mg h
L
L
6250
h

M =1545 kg
Packet carbon density = 400 kg / m3

(given)

Then, design bed volume is;

1545 kg
V
3.86 m3
kg
400 3
m
Q = 6250 L / h = 1.736 L / s
Unit liquid flowrate = 2.04 L / s m2 (given)
1.736 L / s
2
Cross section area =

0.85m
2.04 L / s m2
3.86 m3
Column height =
4.54 m
d = 1.04 m
2
0.85 m

1050 m3
7d
Breakthrough time is; TB =
3
150 m / d

Comparing the results of two approaches

Kinetic approach

Scale-up approach

M=1545 kg

M = 1500 kg

VB = 1050 m3

VB = 1050 m3

TB = 7 d
VDesign = 3.86 m3

TB = 7 d
VDesign = 3.74 m3

Example
A phenolic wastewater that has phenol concentration of 400
mg/L as TOC is to be treated by a fixedbed granular
carbon adsorption column for a wastewater flow of 227100
L/d, and the allowable effluent concentration, Ca, is 35 mg/L
as TOC. A breakthrough curve has been obtained from an
experimental pilot column operated at 1.67 BV/h. Other
data concerning the pilot column are as follows:
inside diameter = 9.5 cm , length = 1.04 m,
mass of carbon = 2.98 kg , liquid flowrate = 17.42 L/h ,
unit liquid flowrate = 0.679 L/s.m2 , and
the packed carbon density = 401 kg/m3 .
The design column is to have a unit liquid flowrate of 2.38
L/s.m2 , and the allowable breakthrough volume is 850 m3.

V
C
(L) (mg/L) C/Co Co/C
Co/C - 1
15
12 0.030 33.333
32.333
69
16 0.040 25.000
24.000
159
24 0.060 16.667
15.667
273
16 0.040 25.000
24.000
379
16 0.040 25.000
24.000
681
20 0.050 20.000
19.000
965
28 0.070 14.286
13.286
1105
32 0.080 12.500
11.500
1215
103 0.258
3.883
2.883
1287
211 0.528
1.896
0.896
1408
350 0.875
1.143
0.143
1548
400 1.000
1.000
0.000

ln(Co/C - 1)
3.476
3.178
2.752
3.178
3.178
2.944
2.587
2.442
1.059
-0.110
-1.946

400
350
300

C, mg/L

250
200
150
100
50
0

200

400

600

800
V, Liters

1000

1200

1400

Scale-up approach:
The design bed volume (BV) is found as;

227100 L / d
1.67 BV / h =
= 9462.5 L / h
24 h / d
BV = 5666.17 L = 5.67 m3
The mass of carbon required is;

M = BV = 5.67 m3 401 kg / m3 = 2272 kg

From the breakthrough curve the volume treated at the allowable
breakthrough (35 mg/L TOC) is 1110 L. So, the solution treated per
kilogram of carbon is 1110 L/2.98 kg or 372.5 L/kg (pilot scale).
The same applies to the design column; for a flow rate of 227100
L/d, the weight of carbon exhausted per hour (Mt) is

227100 L / d
kg
Mt =

25.4 kg/h
24 h /d
372.5 L

105

C, mg/L

70

35

111

222

333

444

555 666
V, Liters

777

888

999

1110

1221

The breakthrough time is;

2272 kg
T=
= 89.5 h = 3.73 d
25.4 kg / h
The breakthrough volume of the design column is;

VB = Q T = 227.1 m3 / d 3.73 d = 846.5 m3

ln(Co/C - 1)

-1

-2

-3
0

200

400

600

800
V (L)

1000

1200

1400

1600

ln(Co/C - 1)

y = -0,0146x + 18,657
R = 0,9972

-1

-2

-3
1050

1150

1250
V (L)

1350

1450

q k M
18.657= 0 1
Q
k C
0.0146 L-1 = 1 0
Q

(0.0146 L-1)(17.42 L)
h =6.3610-4 L 0.177 L
k =
1
mgh
kgs
400 mg
L

18.65717.42 L 1h
h 3600s
q =
0
0.177 L 2.98kg
kgs
q =0.171 kg
0
kg

k =6.36104 L
1
mgh
q =0.171 kg
0
kg

Q = 9462.5 L / h

V = 850000 L
C0 = 400 mg / L

Using

k1q o M k1CoV
Co
ln -1 =
Q
Q
C
400
ln
-1 =
35

6.36 104

M = 2190 kg

L
kg
0.171

mg h
kg
L
9462.5
h

6.36 104
-

L
mg
400
850000 L
mg h
L
L
9462.5
h

M = 2190 kg
Packet carbon density = 401 kg / m3

(given)

Then, design bed volume is;

2190 kg
V
5.46 m3
kg
401 3
m
Q = 9462.5 L / h = 2.63 L / s
Unit liquid flowrate = 2.38 L / s m2 (given)
5.46 L / s
2
Cross section area =

2.29m
2.38 L / s m2
5.46 m3
Column height =
2.38 m
d = 1.71 m
2
2.29 m

850 m3
3.74 d
Breakthrough time is; TB =
3
227.1 m / d

Comparing the results of two approaches

Kinetic approach

Scale-up approach

M=2190 kg

M = 2272 kg

VB = 850 m3

VB = 846.5 m3

TB = 3.74 d

TB = 3.73 d

VDesign = 5.46 m3

VDesign = 5.67 m3