Modeling of packed absorption tower for volatile organic compounds emission control

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Development of chemical industry and high vapor pressure of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been caused that these materials recently be considered as a source of air pollution. These are different methods for separation of VOC from air that absorption by suitable and selective solvent is an efficient method. In this research, mathematical modeling of a packed absorption tower for separation of VOCs from air has been presented. Then, acetone vapors separation in this tower and with Intalox saddle packing has been investigated. Concentration of acetone in inlet air stream was 1.5 mol % which has reduced to 150 ppm (0.015 mol %) in effluent air stream. The results show that the packed absorption tower with this type of packing can separate 99% of acetone vapors. Comparison of the results obtained by Intalox saddle packing with the results obtained by another type of packing (with trade mark of Kerapak patented by Sulzer Company) shows that the tower gives the same efficiency for acetone separation. Thus, the efficiency of absorption process, mainly, depends on solvent type, composition of VOC in feed air, desired composition of VOC in outlet air (or percentage of VOC separation) and pressure drop.

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