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Fluid-Fluid reactors: Design

There are two types of contactors;


(a) Towers (high length to diameter ratios > 1)
(b) Tanks (length to diameter ratios ≤ 1)

• These have widely different G/L volume ratios,


interfacial areas, kg and kl, and concentration driving
forces.
• The particular properties we will be dealing with are;
(i) The solubility of gaseous reactant.
(ii) Concentrations of reactants.
(iii) Location of main resistance in the rate equation.
Tower and tank contactors for
G/L reactions
Selection of contactor
(a) Contacting Pattern (in next slide figure)
(b) kg and kl
• For liquid droplets in gas, kg is high and kl is low.
• For gas bubbles rising in liquid, kg is low and kl is high.
(c) Flow rates
• Packed beds works best with relative flow rates of about
Fl/Fg = 10 at 1 bar.
• Other reactors are more flexible for Fl/Fg.
(d) If the resistance is in the gas and/or liquid films
• Need large surface areas, thus most agitated contactors and
most columns.
• If “L” film dominate, do not use spray tower.
• If “G” film dominate, do not use bubble contactor.
Selection of contactor

Towers have largest mass transfer


driving force thats why have an
advantage over tanks.
Selection of contactor
(e) If the resistance is in the main body of liquid
• Want large fl = Vl/Vr.
• Stay away from towers.
• Use tank contactors.
(f) Solubility
• For highly soluble gas, avoid bubble contactors.
• For low soluble gas, avoid spray towers.
Characteristics of G/L
contactors
Nomenclature
Acs = Cross-sectional area of column
a = interfacial contact area per unit volume of reactor (m2/m3)
fl = volume fraction of liquid
i = any participant, reactant or product, in the reaction
A, B, R, S = participants in reaction
U = carrier or inert component in a phase, hence neither reactant
nor product
T = Total moles in the reacting (liquid) phase
YA = pA/pU, moles of A/mole inert in the gas
XA = CA/CU, moles of A/mole inert in the liquid
Fg/, Fl/ = molar flow rate of all the gas and liquid (mol/s)
Fg = Fg/pU/π, upward molar flow rate of inerts in the gas (mol/s)
Fl = Fl/CU/CT, downward molar flow rate of inerts in the liquid
phase.
Nomenclature
kAg = mass transfer coefficient of component A in gas phase,
(mol/m2 Pa s)
kAl = mass transfer coefficient of component A in liquid phase,
(mol/m2 Pa s)
K = Thermodynamic equilibrium constant for the reaction

k, k/, k//, k///, k////


= reaction rate constants based on r, r/, r//, r///, r////

Rate of reaction 
Kinectic termDriving force or displacement from equilibriu m 
resistance term
Nomenclature
With this nomenclature, we have following relationships among
various concentration measures.

π = pA + pB + ............. + pU (Daltons’ Law of partial pressure)

CT = CA + CB + ........... + CU (Total concentration)

 
 p A  pU dp A  p A dpU dp A
dY A  d    
p  pU2
 U  pU
For dilute mixture,
Low concentration of
  A in inert
 C  C dC  C dC dC
dX A  d  A   U A A U
 A

C  CU2
 U  CU
Straight mass transfer
For any reactive system, the simplest
approach is to first develop a relationship
for straight mass i.e.,

A(g) → A(l)

and then go to reacting systems;

A(g→l) + bB(l) → products(l)


Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
Lets combine the rate equation (for
absorption) with the material balance. Thus
for a differential element of volume,

(A lost by gas) = (A gained by liquid) = (-rA////)dVr

Fg d(pA/pU) = Fl d(CA/CU) = (-rA////)dVr

Fg dYA = Fl dXA = (-rA////)dVr


Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
Fg dYA = Fl dXA = (-rA////)dVr
(i) (ii) (iii)

(i) FgπdpA/(π – pA)2 = d(Fg/pA/π) = FgdpA/(π – pA)

(ii) FlCTdCA/(CT – CA)2

(iii) (-rA//)a = kAga(pA – pAi) = kAla(CAi – pA)


Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
After integrating the whole tower b/w point (1) and (2), gives,
Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
For dilute systems, where CA ˂˂ CT and pA ˂˂ Π, so Fg/ ≈ Fg and Fl/≈
Fl. In this situation the differential material balance becomes,

(Fg/π) dpA = (Fl/CT) dCA = -rA//// dVr

And for any two points in absorber,

(pA2 – pA1) = (Flπ/FgCT) (CA2 – CA1)


The rate expression reduces to,
 
 
 
 rA////  (  rA ) a  
// 1

 p A  p *A 
 1  HA 
 
 kAg a k Al a 
 rA////  (  rA// ) a  K Ag a ( p A  p *A )  K Al a (C A*  C A )
Plug flow G/Plug flow L – countercurrent
flow in a Tower
Thus the general integrated rate expression will become,
Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction

Plug flow G/plug flow L --- Mass transfer plus reaction in


a countercurrent tower

Again for differential slice of reactor,

(A lost by gas) = (A gained by liquid) = (disappearance of A by chemical reaction)

Or
Fg dYA = Fl dXB/b = (-rA////)dVr
For dilute systems,

pU ≈ Π and CU ≈ CT
And

(Fg/π) dpA = (Fl/bCT) dCB = (-rA// )a dVr


Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction
Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction
Plug flow G/plug flow L --- Mass transfer plus reaction
in a cocurrent tower
Simply change,

Fl → –Fl (for upward flow of both streams)

Or

Fg → –Fg (for downward flow of both streams)

Rest of the procedure is same.


Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction
Mixed flow G/mixed flow L --- Mass transfer plus
reaction in agitated tank contactor
Make an accounting around the whole tank,

(A lost by gas) = (1/b) (B lost by liquid) = (disappearance of A by chemical reaction)


Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction
Plug flow G/mixed flow L --- Mass transfer plus
reaction in bubble tank contactor
Differential balance for the loss of A as in plug flow
(A lost by gas) = (disappearance of A by chemical reaction)
FgdYA = (-rA////) dVr

and overall mass balance for B as is in mixed flow,


(All A lost by gas) = (1/b) (all B lost by liquid)
Fg ∆YA = (Fl/b) ∆XB
Mass transfer plus not very slow reaction
Mixed flow G/batch uniform L --- Mass transfer plus
reaction in batch agitated tank contactor
Since this is not a steady state process, the compositions and flow
rates will change with time.

Thus in general,

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