Mass transfer in wetted-wall columns: correlations at high Reynolds numbers

Christian H.E. Nielsen, Søren Kiil, Henrik W. Thomsen, Kim Dam-Johansen

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The rate of gas-and liquid-phase mass transport in a pilot-scale wetted-wall column with an inner diameter of 3.26 cm and a length of 5 m was investigated. Empirical correlations for the physical liquid-phase mass transfer coefficient (k(L)(O)) and the gas-phase mass transfer coefficient (k(G)) were determined. In dimensionless form, the correlations are given by

Sh(L) = 0.01613 Re-G(0.664) Re-L(0.426) Sc-L(0.5)

Sh(G) = 0.00031 Re-G(1.05) Re-L(0.207) Sc-G(0.5)

and are valid at gas-phase Reynolds numbers from 7500 to 18,300 and liquid-phase Reynolds numbers from 4000 to 12,000, conditions of industrial relevance. To our knowledge, no correlations for Sh(G) have been reported in the literature which are valid at such high Reynolds numbers. The wetted-wall column was equipped with six intermediate measuring positions for gas and two for liquid samples, giving rise to a high accuracy of the obtained correlations. Our data showed that Sh(L) and Sh(G) both depend on Re-G and Re-L due to changes in the interfacial area at the high Reynolds numbers employed. The presence of inert particles in the liquid-phase may influence the rate of mass transport, and experimental work was initiated to study the effect on k(G). A decrease in k(G) of up to 15% was seen at solid concentrations ranging from 0 to 30 wt%, though the observed effect could not be correlated. (C) 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)495-503
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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