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What are the characteristics that a packing should have for it to be employed
in a mass transfer operation
Tower packing is a supported mass of inert solid shapes. Its purpose is to
basically improve the contact of two phases.A tower packing must be strong
and chemically inert, must provide maximum contact between the gas and
liquid and it must maintain uniform distribution in the packed bed. It should
also have large void volume in order to permit large volume flows and
prevent flooding and channeling.
2. Explain the mechanism of gas flow through a packed be with liquid flowing
Gas is introduced at the bottom of the column at a certain flowrate to be able
to move from bottom to top. On the other hand, liquid enters the top most
part of the column pouring down the column at a certain flowrate. The gas
flows is sheared through the packing which consists of thin trickling liquid
films that circulates in communicating tortuous channels. The resulting flow
in a packed column is complex since it induces interactions between various
scales going typically from liquid films (100 mm) to column scale (10 m). [6]
3. Differentiate between static and dynamic or operating hold-up. How does this
affect the pressure drop through a packed column?
Static holdup represents the volume of liquid per volume of packing that
remains in the bed after the gas and liquid flows are stopped and the bed has
drained. On the other hand, operating or dynamic holdup is the volume of
liquid per volume of packing that drains out of the bed after the gas and
liquid flows to the column are stopped. The static holdup is dependent on :
the packing surface area, the roughness of the packing surface, the contact
angle between the packing surface and the liquid, system properties. While,
operating holdup primarily is a function of the liquid flow rate and gas/liquid
system properties
The pressure drop increases slightly with increased viscosity. Hold-up
increases with increased viscosity. The influence of viscosity is stronger at
high liquid load than at low liquid load. [7]
4. Define loading and channeling. Give the relevance of these two factors in
packed column operation.
Loading is where an amount of liquid is accumulated inside the packed
column which generates pressure drop. The point the liquid holdup starts to
increase is the loading point.Channeling is the chief reason for the poor
performance of large packed towers. It is the phenomenon where the liquid
flows in films, wherein the films tend to grow thicker in some places and

thinner in others. At low liquid rates, Channeling results to having dry packing
surface or packing surface covered by stagnant film or liquid. [8]
5. How does the packing factor obtained from the flooding velocity differ from
the one estimated empirically with the use of the correlation of Lobo et. al.?
The formula of Lobo et al. considers packing factor as dependent only to bed
porosity and doesnt consider flooding situations. Therefore, it is not that
accurate from the packing factor obtained from the flooding velocity since the
latter considers the point at which the bed is flooded.