Liquid channelling on trays and its effect on plate efficiency



All the present experiments confirm that there is some liquid channelling on trays. Liquid channelling is extensive on trays of large diameters. It largely depends on the tilting of the plate, modifications of the inlet weirs and on non-uniform bubble cap spacing. Consequences of liquid channelling for plate efficiency are clear; the higher the degree of liquid channelling the lower the plate efficiency. However, own experimental and theoretical investigations indicate that plate efficiency never falls below the value of point efficiency. Therefore, liquid channelling only affects the crossflow on trays. Liquid channelling reduces the mass transfer performance to a similar extent as does the backmixing of liquid. Consequently, plate efficiency is not very sensitive to liquid channelling. Since the liquid is completely mixed in the downcomer, the effects of liquid channelling are restricted to a single tray. The behaviour of tray columns completely differs from that of packed columns, where the effects of liquid channelling are cumulative over the packed height. Consequently, trays represent a suitable design for columns of large diameters.