Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.92, No.11, 2247-2254, 2014
Prediction of effective area and liquid hold-up in structured packings by CFD
Interfacial effective area and liquid hold-up in structured packing geometries are investigated using the volume of fluid method. Three-dimensional numerical simulations of gas-liquid flow on inclined plane plate and in a structured packing are performed. The VOF method is used to capture the gas-liquid interface motion. After a first validation case on the wetting phenomena prediction on an inclined plane plate, the effective interfacial area, the liquid holdup and the degree of wetting of packing are studied as function of liquid flow rate and wall surface characteristic (adherence contact angle). Results show that the liquid flow-rate and the contact angle play a significant role. It is found that the interfacial effective area and the degree of wetting of packing increase as the liquid flow rate increases and as the contact angle decreases. Moreover, under the influence of the contact angle, different liquid film shapes are observed. The simulations results are compared to experimental data available in literature. This work shows that the CFD is a powerful tool to investigate performance characteristics of structured packings. Moreover, this work shows how CFD can be used as an effective tool to provide information on fluid flow behavior and determination of interfacial area, liquid hold-up and minimum flow-rate to ensure complete wetting. These parameters could be further used in process simulation at larger scale for the development and the design of efficient packings. (C) 2014 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.