Effect of liquid-packing surface interaction on gas absorption and flooding in a packed column



Gas absorption, pressure drop, liquid holdup, and loading behavior in a packed column have been investigated using packing materials almost geometrically identical but fabricated from three different materials (ceramics, Saran, and polyethylene). For the absorption of oxygen into sodium sulfite solution, observed values of the liquid-side, composite, overall mass transfer coefficient, KLa, were about 25% larger for the ceramic packing than for the polymeric packings. It was also observed that liquid loading occurs more readily in the case of the polymeric packing materials and it appears that the usual type of correlation is inadequate for predicting loading when polymeric packings are employed. In the case of liquid operating holdup no differences were observed from packing to packing. These observations are discussed in terms of the nature of the interaction between liquid and packing surface and it is pointed out how these phenomena may be fundamentally different from those of previous investigations, which relied upon surface-active agents added to the liquid.