Liquid film flow on structured wires: Fluid dynamics and gas-side mass transfer


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The liquid film flow on different structured wires and chains is observed experimentally to assess the suitability of a structured packing consisting of vertical wires. The results show that liquid beads as they appear on cylindrical wires are inhibited by certain chain geometries. This increases the flooding gas load up to F = 12 Pa0.5. As the stabilized film shows no liquid bead motion, the liquid velocity at the interface is less which results in lower gas-side mass-transfer coefficients. An estimation of the packing characteristics for different chain geometries with an assumed wire packing density of 40,000 wires/m2 is made. The interfacial area, mass-transfer coefficients, and consequently the separation efficiency strongly depend on the liquid load. However, the proposed gas-side separation efficiencies are slightly lower compared to common structured packings but the advantages are higher load limits, a better liquid distribution, and lower pressure drop. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 295–302, 2013