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Institution of Chemical Engineers
Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999

PREDICTION OF MASS TRANSFER COLUMNS WITH


DUMPED AND ARRANGED PACKINGS
Updated Summary of the Calculation Method of
Billet and Schultes
R. BILLET and M. SCHULTES*
Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
*Raschig GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany

A
good knowledge of the relationship between the two-phase countercurrent ow of a
packed mass transfer column is essential for the design of rectication, absorption and
desorption columns. Based on a physical model the authors describe their updated
equations for calculating gas and liquid side mass transfer coefcients, pressure drop of dry or
irrigated random and structured packings, their loading and ooding points as well as their
liquid holdup. Based on one of the largest experimental databases in the world, the calculated
results give only small deviations from the database
Keywords: packings; mass transfer; mass transfer coefcients; pressure drop; loading point;
ooding point; liquid holdup

INTRODUCTION model assumes that the deviation of the real ow behaviour


Until a few years ago, mass transfer columns with dumped or of the phases from the vertical ow channels in mass
arranged packings were designed on the basis of empirical transfer columns can be expressed by a packing-specic
calculation approaches which, although they were based on shape constant.
experimental data, could not be traced back to any physical
context. These relations always resulted in unproven designs
when applied outside of the experimental database. CALCULATION OF THE MASS TRANSFER
Modern calculation approaches are based, therefore, on EFFICIENCY
physically proven conditions of uid dynamics in mass For a given separation task, the height of a mass transfer
transfer columns and take into account the kinetic laws of column is calculated according to the HTU-NTU model.
mass transfer in owing media. The calculation model by According to this, in the case of systems with predominantly
Billet and Schultes is such a physically proven model for the gas-phase mass transfer resistance, the product is formed from
advanced calculation of mass transfer columns with dumped the overall height of a gas-phase mass transfer unit HTUOV
or arranged packings. It makes it possible to determine the and the number of gas-phase mass transfer units NTUOV for
mass transfer efciency, the pressure drop, the column holdup the calculation of the height H, see equation (1). The number
and the load limits on the basis of a uniform theory. The of mass transfer units is dened by the concentrations of the
results of this calculation method agree well with one of the incoming and outgoing ows of material and by the phase
largest experimental database for results of investigation on equilibrium and is therefore essentially dependent on the
mass transfer columns. This database was compiled under the separation task and the thermodynamic properties. On the
supervision of Prof Dr-Ing R. Billet of the Ruhr-Universitat other hand, the height of a mass transfer unit is determined by
Bochum and includes over 3500 measured data, more than 50 the actual design of the column and the load of the internals.
test systems and is based on measurements with over 70 types Therefore, the loading capacity of the dumped or arranged
of dumped and arranged packings, see Table 1. packing determines the column diameter and thus the ow
The basis of this calculation approach is a model which velocity and the residence time of the phases in the mass
assumes that the empty space of dumped or arranged transfer apparatus.
packings can be replaced for theoretical considerations by The geometric surface area of the column packing and its
vertical ow channels, through which the liquid trickles ability to create a turbulent ow of the phases also decides
evenly distributed downwards while the gas ows upwards the effectiveness of the mass transfer between the phases.
in the counterow. In reality, however, the ow channels If the mass transfer resistance is situated mainly in the
deviate from the vertical and are decisively determined by liquid phase, then the height of the separation column is
the shape of the dumped packings or of the arranged determined by the product of the overall height of a liquid-
packing. Since the geometrical shape, however, cannot be phase mass transfer unit HTUOL and the number of liquid-
only dened by the surface area or the void volume, the phase mass transfer units NTUOL in accordance with

498
PREDICTION OF MASS TRANSFER COLUMNS WITH DUMPED AND ARRANGED PACKINGS 499

Table 1. Range of material properties and column loads as well as number of the examined substance systems for the determination of uid-dynamic and
separation variables.

Loading and
ooding point Column holdup Pressure drop Mass transfer

Gas load factor FV Pa 0.47 4.59 0.10 2.78 0.21 5.09 0.003 2.77
Liquid load uL m 3 m 22 h 21 4.88 144 1.33 82.8 0.61 60.1 0.256 118
Liquid density rL kg m 23 750 1026 800 1810 361 1115 361 1237
Liquid viscosity nL m 2 s 21 3 10 6 0.40 104 0.74 142 0.14 99.0 0.14 1.66
Surface tension sL kg s 22 3 10 3 20.8 86.3 0.7 74.0
Diffusion coefcient DL m 2 s 21 3 10 9 0.29 6.50
Gas density rV kg m 23 0.30 1.37 0.06 28 0.07 97
Gas viscosity nV m 2 s 21 3 10 6 8.15 41.5 0.14 106 0.14 126
Diffusion coefcient DV m 2 s 21 3 10 6 0.29 87.4
Number of systems examined 13 20 25 46

( ) ( ) ( )
equation (2). The variables of equations (1) and (2) are aPh uL dh 20 .2
u2L rL dh
0. 75
u2L 20. 45

linked with one another via the stripping factor l , see


a
= 1.5(adh ) 20.5 nL sL gdh
equations (3) and (4). The stripping factor is described by
the quotient formed by the gradient of the equilibrium curve ( 9)
d Vd .
myx and the molar phase ratio L/ e
dh =4a ( 10 )
H = HTUOV NTUOV (1)

( )
H = HTUOL NTUOL (2) 1 gL
1 /3

hL = 12
g rL
uL a2 for uV # uV,S ( 11 )
HTUOL = HTUOV/ l (3)
NTUOL = l NTUOV (4) The relations apply to load conditions up to the loading
point of a two-phase countercurrent ow, i.e. uV # uV,S .
The following statements apply to systems with predominantly
Above the loading point, the shear stress of the gas
gas-phase mass transfer resistance; the results can, however, be
countercurrent is large enough to dam up the falling lm
applied also to systems with predominantly liquid-phase mass
so that the column holdup and the size of the interface
transfer resistance by means of equation (3).
increase and the effective ow velocity of the falling lm
The overall height of a gas-phase mass transfer unit
decreases. This condition can be taken into account by the
HTUOV is subdivided into the height of a gas-phase mass
equations (12) (16). For vapour loads less than uV,S the
transfer unit HTUV and the height of a liquid-phase mass
liquid hold-up is according to equation (12) practically hL,S .
transfer unit HTUL , which for their part are dened by the

( )
13
gas- and liquid velocities uV and uL with reference to the uV
empty column cross-sections and the volumetric mass hL = hL,S + (hL,Fl 2 hL,S ) uV ,Fl
( 12 )
transfer coefcients b V aPh and b L aPh , see equation (5).
g Lr
The volumetric mass transfer coefcients are calculated h3L,Fl ( 3 hL,Fl 2 e) = 6g a2 e rL V rV uV ,Fl
by means of equations (6) (11) and are dependent on the L L
densities of the phases rV , rL , dynam ic viscosities gV , gL and e
the surface tension sL , the ow velocities uV, uL, the specic with # hL,Fl # e ( 13 )
3
surface area a of the packing and the void fraction e as well

)( )
13
aPh aPh,S aPh,Fl aPh,S uV
(
as the packing-specic constants CL and CV , which can be
found in Table 2. The effective liquid velocity uL is a
= a
+ a
2
a uV,Fl
( 14 )
calculated from the velocity uL with reference to the column

( ) ( ) ( )
0. 56 20.2 0. 75
cross-section and the column holdup hL . aPh,Fl sL uL dh u2L rL dh
Furtherm ore, aPh describes the specic interface area a
= 10 .5 sW
(adh ) 20 .5
nL sL
between the phases and dh the hydraulic diameter of the

( )
20. 45
dumped packings. u2L
3 ( 15 )
u m u gdh
HTUOV = HTUV + l HTUL = b aV + d yxd b aL ( 5)
=( )()[ ( )]
1 /3 2/ 3 2
V Ph L/V L Ph gr2V u2V L uV 2 uV,S
uL 12

( )
1 /2
DL aPh 12gL a2 rL V uV,Fl 2 uV ,S
b L aPh = CL 12 1/6 u1L/2 dh
a
( )
a
( 6)
for uV,S # uV # uV ,Fl ( 16 )
uL These relations reect well the results of the experiments if
uL = ( 7)
hL the surface tension along the rectifying column does not

( )( )
a 3 /2 uV
3 /4 1 /3
aPh change or if it increases. These systems are termed neutral
( )
1 nV
b V aPh = CV ( e 1 /2 DV or positive.
2 hL ) dh1 /2
anV DV a In the case of rectication of negative systems, however,
( 8) which are characterized by the fact that the surface tension

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999


500 BILLET and SCHULTES

Figure 1. y-x-concentration diagram to describe the overall concentration


difference (x 2 x ) from equilibrium- and operating lines for determination Figure 2. Overall height of a transfer unit HTUO,V as function of the liquid-
of the Marongoni number. gas molar ow ratio for Ralu-Flow rings and Hiow rings at various liquid
loads uL (ammonia-air/water, 293 K, 10 5 Pa).

along the column decreases from the top to the bottom, the
Marangoni effect must be taken into account, since were included in the experimental database. The compar-
additional surface turbulences in the liquid-phase boundary ison with the calculation approaches showed that the
layer reduce the size of the gas-liquid interface. This is taken extremely low surface tension of the liquid phase at high
into account by the Marangoni number according to pressures leads to a large calculated interface for mass
equation (17) and the interface of negative systems is transfer. If, however, one takes into account the
determined by equation (20). The rst term of the experimentally conrmed fact that, below a lower limit
Marangoni number describes the change in the surface for the surface tension of 0.03 kg s 2, the surface of metals,
tension with the concentration along the column while the plastics or ceramic is completely wet, the inuence of the
expression x 2 x takes into account the ctitious concen- surface tension on the wettability of dumped or arranged
tration difference shifted into the liquid-phase boundary packings is lost. This was conrmed by the measurements
layer, see Figure 1. The liquid-phase mass transfer at high pressures of up to 30 bar. The results of the
resistance HTUL/HTUOL can be calculated by means of measurements agreed with the calculated results well if
equations (18) and (19). a minimum value of 0.03 kg s 2 is used for the surface
tension in equations (9) and (15), see Figure 3. The
d sL x 2 x HTUL deviations of the calculation to the experimental results
MaL = dx DL gL a HTUOL
( 17 )
are shown in Table 3.
HTUL X
= ( 18 ) CALCULATION OF THE PRESSURE DROP
HTUOL 1 +X
On the basis of the theoretical model already mentioned,
C M r n1/6 D2/3 a1 /12 1 u3V/4
X = CV myx M L rV n 5L/12 DV1/2 1 /2
the pressure drop of an untrickled packing can also be
L V L V L g ( e 2 hL ) ( uL hL ) 1 /3
1 /6
precalculated according to equation (23). It is dependent on
( 19 ) the geometric surface and the void volume of the column
packings, the gas load factor FV = uV rV which is

WW
WWW

aPh aPh
( a) =(
a Eq.( 6)
neg.Sys. )
( 1 2 2 .43 10 24 | MaL |0.5 ) ( 20 ) calculated from the gas velocity and the square root of the
gas density and the wall factor K which, according to
In the case of extremely large liquid loads, the thickness equation (24), takes into account the increased void fraction
of the liquid lm increases to such large values that voids of at the column wall. The resistance coefcient y0 , see
the dumped packings or arranged packings are lled up with equation (25), is dependent on the Reynolds number ReV of
liquid. The column then operates in a uid-dynam ic range in the gas stream, which depends, in accordance with equation
which the liquid ows as a continuous phase while the gas (26), on the particle diameter dP , see equation (27), and the
phase bubbles in a disperse form through the liquid layer. variables mentioned above.
The limiting load, at which one reaches this load range, is
termed the inversion point and can be calculated according D p0 a FV2 1
to extensive studies by means of equation (21). The mass H
= y0 e3 ( 23 )
2 K
transfer at such high column loads can still be calculated 1 2 1 dP
according to the above equations if the liquid load is
K
=1 +31 ed ( 24 )
determined according to equation (22), see Figure 2. 2 S

L
V !
W
W
rW
V

rL
W
W

= 0. 4 for uL > 80 m m
3 22
h 21
( 21 )
y0 = CP,0 (
ReV
64
+ Re1.08.08
V ) ( 25 )

uV dP
ReV = K ( 26 )

!
W
WWWW
r ( 1 2 e) nV
uL = uL hL = 0.4uV rL
V
( 22 )
1 2e
dP = 6 ( 27 )
Only recently, mass transfer measurements at high pressures a

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999


PREDICTION OF MASS TRANSFER COLUMNS WITH DUMPED AND ARRANGED PACKINGS 501

Table 2a. Characteristic data and constants for dumped packings.

Size N a e
Dumped Packings mm 1 m 23 m 2 m 23 m 3 m 23 CS CFl Ch CP,0 CL CV

Raschig Super-Ring Metal 0.3 180000 315 0.960 3.560 2.340 0.750 0.760 1.500 0.450
0.5 145000 250 0.975 3.350 2.200 0.620 0.780 1.450 0.430
1 32000 160 0.980 3.491 2.200 0.750 0.500 1.290 0.440
2 9500 97.6 0.985 3.326 2.096 0.720 0.464 1.323 0.400
3 4300 80 0.982 3.260 2.100 0.620 0.430 0.850 0.300
Plastic 2 9000 100 0.960 3.326 2.096 0.720 0.377 1.250 0.337

Ralu Flow Plastic 1 33000 165 0.940 3.612 2.401 0.640 0.485 1.486 0.360
2 4600 100 0.945 3.412 2.174 0.640 0.350 1.270 0.320

Pall ring Metal 50 6242 112.6 0.951 2.725 1.580 0.784 0.763 1.192 0.410
35 19517 139.4 0.965 2.629 1.679 0.644 0.967 1.012 0.341
25 53900 223.5 0.954 2.627 2.083 0.719 0.957 1.440 0.336
Plastic 50 6765 111.1 0.919 2.816 1.757 0.593 0.698 1.239 0.368
35 17000 151.1 0.906 2.654 1.742 0.718 0.927 0.856 0.380
25 52300 225.0 0.887 2.696 2.064 0.528 0.865 0.905 0.446

Ralu ring Metal 50 6300 105 0.975 2.725 1.580 0.784 0.763 1.192 0.345
38 14500 135 0.965 2.629 1.679 0.644 1.003 1.277 0.341
25 51000 215 0.960 2.627 2.083 0.714 0.957 1.440 0.336
Plastic 50 5770 95.2 0.983 2.843 1.812 0.640 0.468 1.520 0.303
38 13500 150 0.930 2.843 1.812 0.640 0.672 1.320 0.333
25 36000 190 0.940 2.841 1.989 0.719 0.800 1.320 0.333

NOR PAC ring Plastic 50 7330 86.8 0.947 2.959 1.786 0.651 0.350 1.080 0.322
35 17450 141.8 0.944 3.179 2.242 0.587 0.371 0.756 0.425
25 6 50000 202.0 0.953 3.277 2.472 0.601 0.397 0.883 0.366
10
25 48920 197.9 0.920 2.865 2.083 0.383 0.976 0.410

Hiow-ring Metal 50 5000 92.3 0.977 2.702 1.626 0.876 0.421 1.168 0.408
25 40790 202.9 0.962 2.918 2.177 0.799 0.689 1.641 0.402
50 6815 117.1 0.925 2.894 1.871 1.038 0.327 1.478 0.345
Plastic 50 hydr. 6890 118.4 0.925 2.894 1.871 0.311 1.553 0.369
50 S 6050 82.0 0.942 2.866 1.702 0.881 0.414 1.219 0.342
25 46100 194.5 0.918 2.841 1.989 0.741 1.577 0.390
Ceramic 50 5120 89.7 0.809 2.819 1.694 0.538 1.377 0.379
38 13241 111.8 0.788 2.840 1.930 0.621 1.659 0.464
20 121314 286.2 0.758 2.875 2.410 1.167 0.628 1.744 0.465

Glitsch ring Metal 30 PMK 29200 180.5 0.975 2.694 1.900 0.930 0.851 1.920 0.450
30 P 31100 164.0 0.959 2.564 1.760 0.851 1.056 1.577 0.398

Glitsch CMR ring Metal 1.5" 60744 174.9 0.974 2.697 1.841 0.935 0.632
1.5" T 63547 188.0 0.972 2.790 1.870 0.870 0.627
1.0" 158467 232.5 0.971 2.703 1.996 1.040 0.641
0.5" 560811 356.0 0.952 2.644 2.178 0.882 2.038 0.495

TOP Pak ring Alu 50 6871 105.5 0.956 2.528 1.579 0.881 0.604 1.326 0.389

Raschig ring Ceramic 50 5990 95.0 0.830 2.482 1.547 1.416 0.210
25 47700 190.0 0.680 2.454 1.899 0.577 1.329 1.361 0.412

VSP ring Metal 50 7841 104.6 0.980 2.806 1.689 1.135 0.773 1.222 0.420
25 33434 199.6 0.975 2.755 1.970 1.369 0.782 1.376 0.405

Envi Pac ring Plastic 80 2000 60.0 0.955 2.846 1.522 0.641 0.358 1.603 0.257
60 6800 98.4 0.961 2.987 1.864 0.794 0.338 1.522 0.296
32 53000 138.9 0.936 2.944 2.012 1.039 0.549 1.517 0.459

Bialecki ring Metal 50 6278 121.0 0.966 2.916 1.896 0.798 0.719 1.721 0.302
35 18200 155.0 0.967 2.753 1.885 0.787 1.011 1.412 0.390
25 48533 210.0 0.956 2.521 1.856 0.692 0.891 1.461 0.331

Tellerette Plastic 25 37037 190.0 0.930 2.913 2.132 0.588 0.538 0.899

Hackette Plastic 45 12000 139.5 0.928 2.832 1.966 0.643 0.399

Raux ring Plastic 15 193522 307.9 0.894 2.825 2.400 0.491 0.595 1.913 0.370

Berl saddle Ceramic 25 80080 260.0 0.680 0.620 1.246 0.387


13 691505 545.0 0.650 0.833 1.364 0.232

DIN-PAK Plastic 70 9763 110.7 0.938 2.970 1.912 0.991 0.378 1.527 0.326
47 28168 131.2 0.923 2.929 1.991 1.173 0.514 1.690 0.354

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999


502 BILLET and SCHULTES

Table 2b. Characteristic data and constants for regular packings.

Size N a e
Dumped Packings mm 1 m 23 m 2 m 23 m 3 m 23 CS CFl Ch CP,0 CL CV

Pall ring Ceramic 50 7502 155.2 0.754 3.793 3.024 1.066 0.233 1.278 0.333

Bialecki ring Metal 35 20736 176.6 0.945 0.690 0.460 1.405 0.377

Ralu pak Metal YC-250 250.0 0.945 3.178 2.558 0.191 1.334 0.385

Mellapak Metal 250Y 250.0 0.970 3.157 2.464 0.554 0.292

Gempack Metal A2T-304 202.0 0.977 2.986 2.099 0.678 0.344

Impulse packing Metal 250 250.0 0.975 2.610 1.996 0.431 0.262 0.983 0.270
Ceramic 100 91.4 0.838 2.664 1.655 1.900 0.417 1.317 0.327

Montz packing Metal B1-200 200.0 0.979 3.116 2.339 0.547 0.355 0.971 0.390
B2-300 300.0 0.930 3.098 2.464 0.482 0.295 1.165 0.422
Plastic C1-200 200.0 0.954 0.453 1.006 0.412
C2-200 200.0 0.900 2.653 1.973 0.481 0.739

Euroform Plastic PN-110 110.0 0.936 3.075 1.975 0.511 0.250 0.973 0.167

When dumped packings or arranged packings are


irrigated, the free cross-section for the gas ow is reduced
by the column holdup, and the surface structure is changed
as the result of the coating with the liquid lm. Thus the
column holdup hL according to equation (11) must be taken
into account by equation (28) and the resistance coefcient
of the two-phase ow yL dened by equation (29). It is
dependent on the Froude number of the ow of liquid and on

Figure 4. Pressure drop diagram of Raschig Super-Ring No. 2, metal. Test


system: water/air; Number of driplet points: 951 l m 22 ; Packing height:
Figure 3. Comparison of the load-efciency relationship calculated from H = 3 , 0 m; Temperature of gas: T = 6C; Column diameter: d = 0.75 m;
the model correlations with that determined in rectication, absorption and Operating pressure: 1 bar; Specic surface area: a = 98 m 2 m 23 ; Void
desorption experiments. fraction: e = 0 .98 m 3 m 23 .

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999


PREDICTION OF MASS TRANSFER COLUMNS WITH DUMPED AND ARRANGED PACKINGS 503

Table 3. Average relative deviations for calculating loading and ooding point, holdup, pressure drop and mass transfer efciency with
the model equations.

Mass transfer efciency


Loading and Column holdup Pressure drop
ooding point hL D p/H Absorption and Desorption Rectication

5% 6,7% 9,1% 12,4% 14,1%

the liquid holdup. The packing-specic constant CP,0 can be spaces within the bed close up and the liquid ows
found in Table 2. This relation applies throughout the load downwards as a continuous phase. The gas phase then
range of a mass transfer column, i.e. up to the ooding point rises up through the liquid layer in the form of bubbles. The
of the two-phase countercurrent ow, see Figure 4. packing-specic constant CS can be found in Table 2.

! [ ( )]
1 /3
Dp a FV2 1 W
WW
gW
W
e 1 gL
H
= yL ( e 3 ( 28 ) uV,S = 2a
1 /2
12 uL,S
2 hL ) 2 K y S a 1 /6 g rL

( )( )( ) ( ) !
1 .5 0. 3
e 2 hL hL
64
+ Re1.08.08
1 /6 W
WWW
W
yL = CP,0 1 gL rL
ReV e hL,S 3 12 uL,S ( 31 )
V g rL rV

( ) = 13300
[!( )]
0.4 22n S
g L WrWWWW g
Fr
W
WWW
WWW
3 exp C1 L with C1 ( 29 ) yS = C2 V rV gL ( 32 )
a3 /2
S L V
u2L a rV L
FrL = g
( 30 ) uL,S = uV,S ( 33 )
rL V

!
In the previous publications by Billet and Schultes, the L WrWWVWW
dependency of the resistance coefcient yL on the liquid load for
V rL
# 0 .4 : nS = 20.326; CS from Table 2
uL was expressed by the Reynolds number in the exponential
function of equation (29). The measurements at high pressures
( 34 )

!
W
WWW
W
already mentioned and at extremely low liquid viscosities, L rV
however, showed with reference to the pressure drops that
for
V rL
$ 0 .4 : nS = 20.723;
such systems can be taken into account better in the pressure

( )
0.1588
drop calculation if, instead of the Reynolds number, the gL
Froude number describes the dependency on the liquid load,
CS = 0.695 CS,Tab.2 gV
( 35 )
see equation (30). The deviations of the calculation to the
If the gas velocity rises above the loading point, the ow of
experimental results are shown in Table 3.
liquid is impeded and the column holdup increases. If the
shear stress of the gas counterow is sufcient to entrain the
CALCULATION OF THE LOAD LIMITS entire liquid to the top of the column, then the ooding point
The above explanations show clearly that the loading point of the mass transfer column is reached. This means
and the ooding point represent two characteristic load mathematically that the velocity gradient of the liquid lm
conditions of dumped- or arranged-type packed columns. becomes zero at the interface to the dumped packing.
Below the loading point, the liquid lm trickles from the top equations (36) (40) can be derived from this condition for
of the column to the bottom of the column, not inuenced by the calculation of the ooding point of dumped- and
the gas countercurrent ow. The column holdup is then arranged-type columns.
merely a function of the liquid load. With increasing gas

! !
W
WWW
WWW
W

!
velocity, the shearing stress at the surface of the liquid g ( e 2 hL,Fl ) 3/2
W
WWW
WW
hL,Fl W
WW
rLW
W

= 2
W
WW

increases so that the velocity of the liquid lm at the phase- uV,Fl


yFl e 1 /2 a rV
boundary layer drops. At the loading point, the velocity at the

[!( )]
W
WWW
W 0 .2 22n Fl
interface is zero, and thus the calculation equation for the g L rV gL
loading point is derived according to equation (31). yFl = C2 ( 37 )
Fl V rL gV
The resistance coefcient at the loading point yS is
rV L
determined by means of equation (32) and is dependent on uL,Fl = uV,Fl ( 38 )
the L/V mass ow ratio. The latter also links the phase rL V
velocities to the loading point in accordance with equation

!
L WrWWVWW
(33) so that the relations for a given L/V ratio can only be for # 0 .4 : nFl = 20 .194; CFl from Table 2
V rL
solved by iteration. The exponent nS is dependent according
to equations (34) and (35) on the given ow parameter ( 39 )
which characterizes the load condition for the phase

!
W
WWW
W
L rV
inversion in the column. If the ow parameter is smaller for
V rL
$ 0 .4 : nFl = 20.708;
than 0.4, the liquid trickles downwards over the internals

( )
towards the gas ow as a disperse phase, while if the ow 0. 1028
gL
parameter is greater than 0.4, the liquid load and thus the CFl = 0.6244 CFl,Tab.2 gV
( 40 )
column holdup reach such large values that the empty

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999


504 BILLET and SCHULTES

The column holdup at the ooding point, which is to be d diameter, m


substituted in equation (36), is calculated from equation D diffusion coefcient, m 2 s 21
FV gas or vapour capacity factor, Pa
(13). The constants CFL can be found in Table 2. g gravitational acceleration, m s 22
The design of dumped- and arranged-type columns H height, m
generally takes place for column loads of 70 80% of the HTU height of a transfer unit, m
ooding load. Above the loading point, which is at about hL column holdup, m 3 m 23
K wall factor
70% of the ooding load, the mass transfer efciency KO overall mass transfer coefcient
initially increases, since the interface becomes larger. In the L mass ow of the liquid, kg h 21
vicinity of the ooding point the efciency of the column Ld molar ow of the liquid, kmol h21
packings, however, drops again drastically since the back M molecular weight, kg kmol 21
mixing in the liquid phase increases in such a way that the myx slope of the equilibrium curve, kmol kmol 21
N packing density l, m23
positive effect of the enlarged interface is overcompensated. NTU number of transfer units
Furthermore, the pressure drop in the vicinity of the ooding n exponent
point becomes extremely high. Therefore, the operation of Dp pressure drop, Pa
absorption, desorption and rectication columns with loads u velocity with reference to the free column cross-section, m 3 m 22
u mean effective velocity, m s 21
over 80% of the ooding load is uneconom ical. The V mass ow of the gas or vapour, kg h 21
deviations of the calculation to the experimental results Vd molar ow of the gas or vapour, kmol h 21
are shown in Table 3. x molar concentration in the liquid, kmol h21

Greek letters
CALCULATION OF THE REAL COLUMN HOLDUP b mass transfer coefcient, m s 21
The column holdup used in the calculation approaches e void fraction, m 3 m 23
above resulted from the physical model which approximates g dynamic viscosity, kg ms21
l stripping factor
the void volume of dumped packings or of an arranged packing n kinematic viscosity, m 2 s 21
by vertical, parallel ow channels. A real dumped- or arranged- r density, kg m23
type packing consists of ow channels through which the s surface tension, kg s22
phases ow only with permanent changes in direction and y resistance coefcient
whose surface often is only partly covered by the liquid. As a
result of this, the theoretical column holdup substituted in the Indices
previous relations deviates from the real column holdup. Fl ooding point
h hydraulic
Numerous measurements on the column holdup with L liquid
different systems document that the deviation between the O total
theoretical and the real column holdup can be expressed by P particles
means of a hydraulic surface area of the packing. The real Ph interface
column holdup can be described by equation (41) as a S loading point
S column
function of the liquid load and the previously mentioned V gas or vapour
material properties and the hydraulic surface area ah . W water
Equations (42) and (43) show that the hydraulic surface area
increases less in the range of low Reynolds numbers than with
large Reynolds numbers, if the liquid load becomes higher. REFERENCES

( )
1 /3 1. Billet, R., 1983, Festschrift [commemorative publication] (Fakultat fur
ah
( )
1 gL 2 /3
hL = 12
g rL
uL a2
a
( 41 ) Maschinenbau, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum), p. 24 31.
2. Billet, R., 1987, IChemE Symp Ser No. 104, p. A171 A182.
3. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1987, IChemE Symp Ser No. 104, p. B255

( ) ( )
0.15 0 .1 B266.
uL rL ah uL rL u2L a
ReL = agL
<5:
a
= Ch agL g
( 42 ) 4. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1991, In Beitrage zur Verfahrens- und
Umwelttechnik, (Ruhr-Universitat Bochum), p. 88 107 and 108 122.

( ) ( )
0. 25 0.1 5. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1991, Chem Eng Technol, 14: 89 95.
uL r L ah uL r L u2L a 6. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1992, I ChemE Symp Ser No. 128, p. B129
ReL = agL
$5 :
a
= Ch 0.85 agL g
( 43 ) B139.
7. Schultes, M., 1990, Doctoral dissertation, (Ruhr-Universitat Bochum,

( ) gL rW
0.05 Fortschritt-Be richte VDI Series 3 No. 230, VDI-Verlag, Dusseldorf).
hL,Fl = 2.2hL gW rL
( 44 ) 8. Billet, R., 1992, Chem-Ing-Technol, 64: 401 410.
9. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1993, Chem Eng Technol, 16: 1 9.
10. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1993, Chem Eng Technol, 16: 370 375.
The prediction of the real column holdup above the loading 11. Billet, R. and Schultes, M., 1995, Chem Eng Technol, 18: 371 379.
point is made by using equation (12) with the column holdup 12. Billet, R., 1995, Packed Towers in Processing and Environmental
hL,S calculated by equation (41) and hL,Fl calculated by Technology, (VCH).
equation (44).
The averages of the absolute deviations of the calculated
ADDRESS
values from the experimental results are shown in Table 3.
Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Dr.-Ing.
M. Schultes, Raschig GmbH, Mundenheimers trasse100, D-67061 Ludwig-
shafen, Germany.
NOMENCLATURE
a specied surface area of the dumped packing, m 2 m 23 The manuscript was received 11 February 1999 and accepted for
C constant publication after revision 10 June 1999.

Trans IChemE, Vol 77, Part A, September 1999