Effect of distribution tabs on mass transfer of artificial kidney



The configuration of the dialysate inlet and outlet is one of the main factors that affect the mass transfer performance of the artificial kidney. The effect of the distribution tabs at the dialysate inlet and outlet on mass transfer is investigated qualitatively by means of three-dimensional (3-D) flow field numerical simulation. The nonporous tabs are designed to be the porous tabs. Then the variation of the artificial kidney's clearance is studied with the porous tabs' Darcy permeability decreasing from +∞ to 0. The results show that the clearance first increases slightly, and then rises sharply; after arriving at a maximum, the clearance falls sharply and then decreases steadily. From the results, the optimal Darcy permeability of the porous tabs is found, corresponding to which the maximal clearance is about 4.5% higher than the current artificial kidney's clearance under the same conditions. The results are very significant for designers to improve the artificial kidney. 2004 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 50: 786–790, 2004