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Keywords:

  • Dynamic adsorptive capacity;
  • Nonuniform ligand density distribution;
  • Particles with a fractal structure;
  • Stratified column beds;
  • Varying throughput

The dynamic behavior of adsorption in a single column and in stratified column beds packed with porous adsorbent particles having partially fractal structures is studied when all columns have the same total length and the spatial ligand density distribution in the porous microspheres from which the porous adsorbent particles are made, is either uniform or nonuniform and such that the concentration of the immobilized ligands (active sites) increases monotonically from the center of the microspheres to their outer surface. The total number of immobilized ligands in the porous adsorbent particles has the same value whether the spatial ligand density distribution is uniform or nonuniform. The results in this study clearly show that for a given value of the superficial velocity of the flowing fluid stream in the column (for a given value of throughput) the breakthrough time is significantly increased when the radius of the microspheres is decreased, the total number of sections of the stratified column bed is increased, and the spatial ligand density distribution employed in the microspheres is nonuniform. Furthermore, when the superficial velocity of the flowing fluid stream in the column is increased (throughput is increased) the effect that (i) the reduction in the radius of the microspheres and (ii) the increase in the number of sections of the stratified column bed have on providing robust and effective dynamic adsorptive capacity and smaller reductions on the breakthrough time is substantially larger than that realized through the use of the nonuniform ligand density distribution. Similar trends are also observed in the dynamic behavior of adsorption in the systems studied here when the value of the concentration of the adsorbate in the flowing fluid stream entering the column (inlet concentration) has such a high magnitude that the value of the equilibrium concentration of the adsorbate in the adsorbed phase determined from the equilibrium Langmuir isotherm that would correspond to the inlet concentration of the adsorbate in the flowing fluid stream is, for all practical purposes, at its saturation limit.