Influence of liquid redistributors on the mass-transfer efficiency of packed columns
In industrial mass-transfer columns liquid distributors and redistributors are used to mix the liquid after a certain random packing or structured packing height before it is applied to the next bed. The purpose of this is to counter a possible deterioration of the mass-transfer efficiency along the height of the column as a result of wall flow tendency of the liquid or to minimize the deterioration of the mass-transfer efficiency as a consequence of maldistribution of the liquid by the liquid distributor located above. However, when planning industrial columns, this influence on the mass-transfer efficiency can only be quantified with some difficulty which is why empirical standard values are mostly used for maximum bed and packing heights. This analysis shows that the height, after which liquid redistribution should take place, depends on numerous further influencing factors. It becomes evident that uneven irrigation of a packing with liquid over the cross section of the column is also a cause for the decline in the mass-transfer efficiency along the packed bed. The resultant decline in the mass-transfer efficiency is influenced, for instance, by the gas/liquid equilibrium behavior of the mixture that is to be separated, by the UV flow ratio in the rectification, absorption, and desorption columns, by the type of packing used, and by the number of theoretical stages to be executed. A simulation procedure is shown, with whose assistance these factors influencing the mass-transfer efficiency can be recorded quantitatively.