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ABSORBER

DESIGN

ABSORBER DESIGN

4.1.

Absorber:

Gas absorbers are used extensively in industry for separation and purification of gas streams as product recovery devices, and as pollution control devices. Gas absorbers are most widely used to remove water soluble inorganic contaminants from air streams. Absorption is a process where

one or more soluble components of a gas mixture are dissolved in a liquid (i.e., a solvent).

Solute:

The component of gas that needs to be dissolved in a solvent In our case the solute is ammonia that is dissolved in a lean solution of ammonia and water.

Solvent:

The substance that dissolved solute in it is called solvent. Liquids commonly used as solvents include water, mineral oils, nonvolatile hydrocarbon oils,

and aqueous solutions. The solvent chosen should have a high solubility for the gas, low vapor pressure, low viscosity, and should be relatively inexpensive.

Absorption, in chemistry, is a physical or chemical phenomenon or a process in which atoms, molecules, or ions enter some bulk phase - gas, liquid or solid material. This is a different process from adsorption, since the molecules are taken up by the volume, not

by surface. In gas absorption, soluble vapors are more or less absorbed in the solvent from its mixture with inert gas. The purpose of such gas scrubbing operations may be any of the following;

For separation of component having the economic value.

As a stage in the preparation of some compound.

For removing of undesired component (pollution).

4.2.

Types of Absorption:

Physical absorption,

Chemical Absorption

4.2.1.

Physical Absorption:

In physical absorption mass transfer take place purely by diffusion and physical absorption is governed by the physical equilibria. Physical absorption occurs when the absorbed compound dissolves in the solvent. Physical absorption depends on properties of the gas stream and solvent, such as density and viscosity, as well as specific characteristics of the pollutant in the gas and the liquid stream. These properties are temperature dependent, and lower temperatures generally favor absorption of gases by the solvent. Absorption is also enhanced by greater contacting surface, higher liquid-gas ratios, and higher concentrations in the gas stream.

  • 4.2.2. Chemical Absorption:

Chemical absorption occurs when the absorbed compound and the solvent react. When oxides of nitrogen absorb in water the chemical reaction take place and nitric acid form this is common example of chemical absorption.

4.3. Types of Absorber:

There are three major types of absorbers which are mainly used for absorption purposes:

Packed column

Plate column

4.3.1 Packed Tower:

Packed towers, which are the most commonly, used gas absorbers for pollution control. Packed towers are columns filled with packing materials that provide a large surface area to facilitate contact between the liquid and gas. Packed tower absorbers can achieve higher removal efficiencies, handle higher liquid rates, and have relatively lower water consumption requirements than other types of gas absorbers. However, packed towers may also have high system pressure drops, high clogging and fouling potential and extensive maintenance costs due to the presence of packing materials. Installation, operation, and wastewater disposal costs may also be higher for packed bed absorbers than for other absorbers.

Packed column 1 4.3.2 Plate Tower: Plate, or tray, towers are vertical cylinders in which the

Packed column 1

4.3.2 Plate Tower:

Plate, or tray, towers are vertical cylinders in which the liquid and gas are contacted in stepwise fashion on trays (plates). Liquid enters at the top of the column and flows across each plate and through a downspout (down comer) to the plates below. Gas moves upwards through openings in the plates, bubbles into the liquid, and passes to the plate above. Plate towers are easier to clean and tend to handle large temperature fluctuations better than packed towers do. However, at high gas flow rates, plate towers exhibit larger pressure drops and have larger liquid holdups.

Packed column 1 4.3.2 Plate Tower: Plate, or tray, towers are vertical cylinders in which the

4.3.3.

Relative

and

Packed

Packed column 1 4.3.2 Plate Tower: Plate, or tray, towers are vertical cylinders in which the

Merits

of

Plate

Towers:

Plate column

 

Packed column

 

Can handle wide range of liquid rates without flooding

Flooding can occur due to fluctuation in liquid rates

For large diameter column

 

For small diameter column

 

Cannot

be

used

for highly

corrosive

Packed towers prove to be cheaper and easier

liquids

to construct if highly corrosive fluids must be handled

Pressure drop more

 

Pressure drop is low

 

Total weight of dry plate tower is less

Total

weight of packed

tower is

high than

than packed tower

plate tower

 

Expensive

 

Less expensive

 

The choice between use of a plate tower or a packed tower for a given mass-transfer operation should, theoretically, be based on a detailed cost analysis for the two types of contactors. In many cases, however, the decision can be made on the basis of a qualitative analysis of the relative advantages and disadvantages. The following general advantages and disadvantages of plate and packed towers should be considered when a choice must be made between the two types of contactors:

4.4. Absorber System Configuration:

Gas and liquid flow through an absorber may be Countercurrent

Crosscurrent

Co current.

4.4.1. Countercurrent:

The most commonly installed designs are countercurrent, in which the waste gas stream enters at the bottom of the absorber column and exits at the top. Conversely, the solvent stream enters at the top and exits at the bottom. Countercurrent designs provide the highest theoretical removal efficiency because gas with the lowest pollutant concentration contacts liquid with the lowest

pollutant concentration. This serves to maximize the average driving force for absorption throughout the column.

  • 4.4.2. Crosscurrent:

In a crosscurrent tower, the waste gas flows horizontally across the column while the solvent flows vertically down the column. As a rule, crosscurrent designs have lower pressure drops and require lower liquid-to-gas ratios than both co current and countercurrent designs. They are applicable when gases are highly soluble, since they offer less contact time for absorption.

  • 4.4.4. Co current:

In co current towers, both the waste gas and solvent enter the column at the top of the tower and exit at the bottom. Co current designs have lower pressure drops, are not subject to flooding limitation. Co current designs are only efficient where large absorption driving forces are available. Removal efficiency is limited since the gas-liquid system approaches equilibrium at the bottom of the tower.

4.5. Packed Tower Internals:

  • 4.5.1. Tower Shell:

The tower shell may be made of steel or plastic, or some combination which may require the addition of liners or inner layers of rubber, plastic or brick. The mechanical problems of attaching depending on the corrosiveness of the gas and liquid streams, and the process operating conditions.

  • 4.5.2. Mist Eliminator:

At high gas velocities, the gas exiting the top of the column may carry off droplets of liquid as a mist. To prevent this, a mist eliminator in the form of corrugated sheets or a layer of mesh can be installed at the top of the column to collect the liquid droplets, which coalesce and fall back into the column.

pollutant concentration. This serves to maximize the average driving force for absorption throughout the column. 4.4.2.

4.5.4.

Packing:

Packing materials provide a large wetted surface for the gas stream maximizing the area available for mass transfer. Packing materials are available in a variety of forms, each having specific characteristics with respect to surface area, pressure drop, weight, corrosion resistance, and cost.

4.6. Packing Selection:

 

Packing materials are categorized as random or structured.

 

Dumped tower packing

Stacked tower packing

4.6.1.

Dumped Tower Packing:

Random packing as the name implied, are dumped into a column during installation and allowed to fall in random. Small packing’s poured randomly into a vessel is certainly the more popular and commonly employed form of packed-tower design. However, in certain instances where exceptionally low pressure drop and very high flow rates are involved, stacked or oriented packing have also been used. Random packing’s are usually dumped into an absorption column and allowed to settle.

4.6.2.

Stacked

4.6.2. Stacked Tower Packing:

Tower Packing:

Structured packing’s are considerably more expensive per unit volume than random packing’s. They come with different sizes and are neatly stacked in the column. Structure packing usually offer less pressure drop and have higher efficiency and capacity than random packing. Structured packing may be random packing connected in an orderly arrangement,

4.7. Types of Packing:

  • 4.7.1. Pall rings:

Structured packing’s are considerably more expensive per unit volume than random packing’s. They come with different

Pall ring that is improved on the basis of rashing rings. The design of pall rings provide higher capacity and lower pressure drop than other packing the open cylindrical walls and inward bends protrusions of pall rings allow greater capacity and lower pressure drop. Lower pressure drop (less than half) than Raschig rings, also lower HTU (in some systems also lower than Berl saddles), higher flooding limit. Good liquid distribution, high capacity. Considerable side thrust on column wall. Available in metal, plastic and ceramic. These are of two types:

  • 4.7.2. Metal Pall Rings:

The rings are made up of metal.

Structured packing’s are considerably more expensive per unit volume than random packing’s. They come with different

The rings are made up of plastic material.

4.8. Distributor:

The rings are made up of plastic material. 4.8. Distributor: Distribution of the liquid onto the

Distribution of the liquid onto the packed bed or structured packing is realsed by appropriate liquid distributors. It is important to distribute the liquid flow equally across the column area in order to secure an intensive mass transfer between the phases.

In addition to the task of regular liquid distribution the part has to meet following requirements:

pressure drop in the gas phase should be low

part should be resistant against dirt or solids in the liquid

high turn down ratio

low entrainment of droplets

prevention of irregular gas distribution

prevention of wall effect on liquid flow

Distributors are used for the good distribution of liquid over the packing so that the liquid come in contact properly with incoming gas.

The rings are made up of plastic material. 4.8. Distributor: Distribution of the liquid onto the

4.8.1. Types of The Distributors:

The following types of liquid distributors are available:

orifice distributor

trough distributor

rough-type distributor

ladder-type distributor

spray nozzle-type distributor

  • 4.8.1.1. Trough Distributor:

Trough distributor provides good distribution under widely varying flow rates of gas and liquid. the liquid may flow through simple V notched weirs, or it may flow through tubes that extend from troughs to near the upper level of the packings.some deposition of solids can be accommodated. Because of its large free area at is suitable for high gas rates

4.8.1. Types of The Distributors: The following types of liquid distributors are available:  orifice distributor

Orifice trough liquid distributor

  • 4.8.1.2. Orifice Distributor:

Orifice distributor type which gives very fine distribution though it must be correctly sized for a particular duty and should not be used where is disk of plugging. The orifice riser distributor is

designed to lay the liquid carefully onto the bed, with a minimum of contact with gas during the process.

designed to lay the liquid carefully onto the bed, with a minimum of contact with gas

4.8.1.4. Perforated Pipe Distributor:

The perforated ring type of distributor for use with absorption columns where high gas rates and relatively small liquid rates are ecounter.this is specially suitable where pressure loss must be minimized, for the larger size of tower where installation through manholes is necessary, it may be made up in flanged sections. The orifices are of 4 to 6 mm in diameter, and can be subject to plugging if foreign material is present. The pipe must be carefully leveled for larger diameter column.

designed to lay the liquid carefully onto the bed, with a minimum of contact with gas

4.8.2. Redistributors:

The liquid coming down through the packing and on the wall of the tower should be redistributed after a bed depth of approximately 4 tower diameter for rashing rings and 5-10 tower diameters for saddle packings.Collector/Redistributors, is very similar to the distributor in that it will

contain a deck and chimneys. The collector is used under a packed bed section to collect the liquid to aid in mixing and redistribution. The difference is that the redistributors will contain caps or hats to prevent the water falling from the packing from bypassing the collector.

contain a deck and chimneys. The collector is used under a packed bed section to collect

4.9. Support Plates:

These are the simplest and least expensive type of packing supports. They also utilize the least vertical space. They are designed for low to medium gas loading when used for dumped packing and typically have 50 to 90% open areas depending on the material used. The support grids are available in various materials such as plastic, FRP and metals. They can also be used as bed limiters. Sometimes support beams are required for structural reasons depending on the material and size of the support grate.

4.9.1. Gas Injection Support Plate:

It is a device used to hold the packing. It generally sits on a support ledge and can be supported additionally by structural beams. There are two design criteria for the gas injection support plate. It must hold the packing and liquid hold-up but also requires an open are greater than the cross sectional area of the tower. The larger open area is accomplished by using slotted or perforated plate that is corrugated or positioned in such a way to allow increased gas flow. Open area ranges from 85% to greater than 100%.

contain a deck and chimneys. The collector is used under a packed bed section to collect

4.9.2. Grid Type Support Plates (APS-GS):

Grid type packing supports are used for structured packing to provide a horizontal contact surface and to prevent distortion of the packing. This design can also be considered for random packing. A wide range of openings is available to prevent the packing from falling through. The supports typically rest on support ledges. For larger towers with man ways, sectional designs are standard.

4.10. Design of 4.10.1. General

Absorber: Design Steps:
Absorber:
Design Steps:

The designer is required to consider and determine

select suitable column type

select appropriate solvent

select type and size of packing

]material and energy balance

Calculate column diameter

Pressure drop calculation

Determine the number of transfer units

Determine height of transfer unit

Find the height of column

Select column internals

4.10.2. Input Data:

Operating temperature

263.5K

Operating pressure

61.22atm

6203571.4Pascal

Packing type

Pall rings

Packing size

1.5 Inches

0.0381m

Packing factor, (Fp)

130/m

Surface area of packing (a p )

128 m 2 /m 3

  • 4.10.3. Gas Properties:

Gas flow rate

6357 kg/hr

249.82K

Gas pressure at entry Gas temperature at entry

587.52 kgmoles/hr 68.02 atm

Gas mol weight (Mg)

10.82

Gas density (ρ g )

35.88 kg/m 3 2.24 lb/ft

  • 4.10.4. Component to be Scrubbed:

Component Name

Ammonia

Component flow rate

197 kg/hr

0.05472 kg/s

Molecular weight of comp (M g )

17

4.10.5. Liquid Properties:

Liquid flow rate, L

80kgmoles

1439 kg/hr

Liquid Density, (ρ l )

999.92kg/m 3

Liquid Viscosity, (µ l )

0.0014 Pa-s

1.4 Cp

Molecular wt of liquid (M l )

17.99

4.10.6. Humidity Calculations:

Total pressure (Pt) = Vapor Pressure of water = Molecular wt of exit gas (M g2 ) =

6203.57 kpa 0.836 kpa

10.69

H

=

V.P

* M g

(P t -V.P) *M g2

 
 

H

=

0.000227 kg/kg dry gas

1.422 kg/hr

 

4.10.7. Material Balance:

Mol fraction of ammonia in entering gas

= 5.5x10-4

Mol fraction of ammonia in exiting gas

= 7.9x10-5

Mol fraction of ammonia in entering liquid

= 0

Mol fraction of ammonia in exiting liquid

= 4.5x10-3

  • 4.10.8. Column Diameter Calculations:

Pressure drop for absorber = 15 to50 mmH 2 O/m of packing

Assume pressure drop

= 42 mmH 2 O/m of packing = 0.0569psi/m of packing = 0.01734psi/ft of packing

  • 4.10.9. Column Diameter:

Where

D = 1.1283[G(kg/sec)/G(kg/secm 2 )] G= gas mass flow rate G = 200,000kg/h

  • L = liquid mass flow rate

  • L = 8500kg/h

X- Coordinate value:

X

L/V(

 g
g

/

l

g

)

0.5

  • X = 0.04368

Y- Coordinate value:

By using the assumed pressure drop = 42mmHg/m of packing

Y

G

2

* F

p

0.1

l

/(

g

/

l

g

)

0.5

Y = 0.055 (unit operation by McCabe & smith edition 5 fig 4.1) After putting the variables known, mass velocity of gas can be calculated as

G =1431 Lb/ ft 2 h Put in the equation;

Cs=0.184

µ=Cs

X

L/V(

 g
g

/

l

g

)

0.5

4.10.10. Area Calculation:

Ac = Π/4(D) 2

Ac =

0.15 m 2

  • 4.10.11. Liquid Mass Velocity:

L = 2.665Kg/s m 2 L = 0.5449 Lb/ ft 2 sec

  • 4.10.12. Pressure Drop Calculation:

Where:

P

(10

L

)

G

2

g

∆P = 0.48 in H 2 O / ft of packing

∆P = Pressure drop in inches of water /ft of the packing height G = Gas superficial mass velocity lb/s-ft 2 tower cross section

  • L = liquid superficial mass velocity lb/s-ft 2 tower cross section = Gas density ,lb/ft 2

ρ g

α & β are constant taken from (Applied process design for chemical & petrochemical plant by

Ernest E. Ludwig table 19-24)

  • 4.10.13. Percentage Flooding:

K 4 at flooding from graph = 3.2

K

4

13.1V

w

2

*F (

p

l

/

l

)

0.1

/(

v

/

l

v

)

K 4 = 1.991 Percentage flooding = (K 4 / K 4 ) 0.5 *100 = 78%

From graph 11.44: by using K 4 = 1.77 and F LW =0.0429 the д P line come out to be 42mmHg/m of packing and is same as was assumed

Δ P assumed = Δ P calculated

  • 4.10.14. Calculation of Equilibrium Constant:

As our operating temperature and pressure is such that they are out of range of data so we calculate equilibrium constant by using thermodynamic relationship which is as follow K e = y i /x i = γ i f i OL /P T ф i

Where γ i = activity coefficient of component ammonia ‘i’=7.4 f i OL = (fugacity of pure liquid component ‘i’ ammonia N/m 2 )

f i OL = P i ф i [exp {(P T -P i )V i L /RT] P i (vapor pressure of ammonia at 263.5 K) = 2.7 bar P T = 62.03 bar V i L = specific volume After putting all values we get f i OL = 1.7884 bar

ф i = ( fugacity coefficient of pure liquid component ‘i’ ammonia unit less) calculated by generalized correlation available in thermodynamics ln ф i = B o P r /T r +ωB 1 P r /T r For ammonia all values available in literature we get the value of фi = 0.57078 Putting all values in equation the value be:

K i = 0.374 Which is the slope of operating line Absorption factor = slope of O.L/ slope of E.L = L/mG = 0.77/0.374

=2.1

As absorption factor is greater than 1 this indicate that more and more solute absorbed in liquid cause the decrease in height of column and hence the cost. Equilibrium curve plotted according to (ref McCabe and smith) Slope of equilibrium line = 0.374

  • 4.10.15. Number of Transfer Units Calculations:

NTU

=

A

* (ln [(yb/ya)*(A-1) +1])

A-1

A

NTU

=

9

  • 4.10.16. Height of The Column:

As our packing size is 1.5 inch and column diameter less than 3 ft the HETP can be taken in the range 0.4 to 0.75m so we select it HETP = 0.7m D c = 0.438m L s = V L t / A

Where L s =height of bottom section for liquid surge time t s = 10sec V L = volumetric flow rate of liquid = 1439kg/hr After putting values we get L s =1.598m Z t = N e * HETP + 3ft +0.25D c + L s Z t = 8m Height of packing:

Z = H OG N OG H OG = height of overall gas phase transfer unit N OG = number of overall gas phase transfer unit As we know H OG = H G + m ( G/L)H L m = slope of equilibrium line L/G= slope of operating line To calculate H OG there are two methods:

Cornell’s method Onda’s method

We use Cornell’s method:

According to it

4.10.17. Individual Height of Gas Phase Transfer Unit Calculations:

H G = 0.01ψ h (Sc) v 0.5 (Dc/0.305) 1.11 (Z/3.05) 0.23 / (L*f 1 *f 2 *f 3 ) H G = height of gas phase transfer unit

ψ h = at 58% flooding = 80 L w = 2.67kg/m 2 sec f 1 = liquid viscosity correction factor

f 1 = (µ L / µ w )

(from fig:4.2)

f 1 = 1.089 f 2 =liquid density correction factor

f 2 = (ρ w /

ρ L ) 1.25

f 2 = 1.0532 f 3 = surface tension correction factor

f 3 = (σ w / σ L )

f 3 = 0.93

(Sc) v = gas phase Schmidt number= (µ v / ρ v D v )

(Sc) v = 0.429

H G =0.699m

4.10.18.

Individual Height of Liquid Phase Transfer Unit Calculations:

H L = 0.305ф h (Sc) L 0.5 K 3 (Z/3.05) 0.15

H L = height of liquid phase transfer unit

 
 

K 3 = at 58% flooding = 0.87

(from fig:4.3)

ф h = 6.2 * 10 -2

(from fig:4.4)

(Sc) L = liquid phase Schmidt number= (µ l / ρ l D l )

(Sc) L = 976.47

 
 

H L = 0.6

4.10.19.

Overall Height of Gas Phase Transfer Unit:

H OG = 1.03

Now

Y 1 / Y 2 = 0.02/0.0002021

 

Y 1 / Y 2 = 94.96

 

N OG = 6.2 (from fig: 4.5 by using mG m /L and Y 1 / Y 2)

Then

 

Z = H OG N OG

Z = 6.4m approximately same as calculated from the estimated value

4.10.20.

Liquid Hold up Calculation:

H lw =0.0004(L’/d p )

H lw = water holdup (ft 3 liquid/ ft 3 vol of tower)

  • d p = equivalent spherical packing diameter (inches)

L= liquid rate (lb/ft 2 hr)

So

H lw =0.0004(1961.64/1.5) 0.6

H lw = 0.03m 3 /m 3 of tower (ref. applied process design for chemical & petrochemical

plant By Ernest E. Ludwig)

  • 4.10.21. Minimum Wetting Rate:

L min = MWR*a p

Volumetric flow rate = V= L/ ρ L

= 1.439m 3 /hr

Velocity= vol flow rate/ area of column

Velocity=9.54m/hr

MWR= v/a p

=0.00749m 2 /hr= 0.84 ft 2 /hr

(Ref. applied process design for chemical & petrochemical plant by Ernest E. Ludwig)

  • 4.10.22. Check for Channeling:

=D/D p

=17.5/1.5

=11.5

In the ratio 1:8 to minimize the channeling. (Ref. applied process design for chemical &

4.11. Mechanical Design:

Petrochemical plant by Ernest E. Ludwig)

4.11.1.

Material Selection:

 

Low alloy steel 43XX (nickel 1.83%, chromium 0.80%, molybdenum 0.25%)

4.11.2.

Thickness of The Column:

e = P i D i /2f- P i

P i = internal pressure = 6.646N/mm 2

f = design stress = 250N/mm 2

e = 6.0597mm

 

e . = e + corrosion allowances

e . = 6.0597+ 2

 

e

.

= 8.059mm

4.11.3.

Packing Support:

Simple grid and perforated plate supports

Function:

The function of support plate is to carry the weight of wet packing whilst allowing the passage of

gas & liquid.

Function: The function of support plate is to carry the weight of wet packing whilst allowing
  • 4.11.4. Liquid Distributors:

Orifice type liquid distributor

Function:

Liquid distributors are needed to ensure the good distribution at all liquid flow rates.

Function: The function of support plate is to carry the weight of wet packing whilst allowing
  • 4.11.5. Redistributors:

Wall wiper type redistributors

Function:

Redistributors can be equipped with wall wipers to collect the liquid clinging to the tower walls.

SPECIFICATION SHEET

Item

Packed Absorption Column

No. required

01

Function

To absorb ammonia in aqua ammonia.

Operation

Continous

Design Temperature

280 K

Design Pressure

6894 kPa

Height of packing section

5.22 m

Size and type of packing

Plastic pall rings

Total height of column

8.27 m

Inside diameter

0.44m

Packing arrangement

dumped