Trickle flow liquid–solid mass transfer and wetting efficiency in small diameter columns



A novel method to simultaneously measure liquid solid mass transfer and external wetting efficiency was employed at column to particle ratios of 10, 6 and 3. Two prewetting procedures representing the upper (Kan) and lower (Levec) hysteresis branches were used. For a multipoint distributor on a Kan prewetted bed wetting efficiency and the specific mass transfer coefficient were almost unaffected by column diameter. The multipoint distributor on a Levec prewetted bed exhibited a decrease in specific mass transfer with decreasing column diameter. Point source experiments resulted in significantly lower wetting and mass transfer measurements with an increasing trend with respect to decreasing column diameter. The results indicate that with proper distribution and prewetting, the effect of column diameter on averaged wetting and liquid–solid mass transfer is almost negligible, a powerful result considering the importance of these parameters on reaction experiments. © 2012 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering