From Chemical Engineers' Portable Handbook
Absorption in Plate Columns
Plate or stage columns can be used as absorbers. In such cases (Figure 5-27) the liquid (absorbing) stream and the gas streams move countercurrently.
Figure 5-27: Schematic of plate absorption column (3, 38).
In essence the absorber works like a stripping column.
In absorption, we convert the mole fractions and flow rates to a solute-free basis if the system is not dilute. This process makes the mass balance lines linear. The primed quantities are created by the conversion Y' = [ Y/(1- Y)] and X' = [ X/1- X)]. For dilute cases, Y = Y' and X = X'.
where L M' and G M' are the molal mass velocities in kg-moles per hour-square foot for solute-free liquid and gas streams.
If we do a mass balance on an overall basis, then
for a dilute gas
solution for the number of ideal stages involves the McCabe-Thiele method. Figure 5-28 illustrates such a solution.
Figure 5-28: McCabe-Thiele solution for plate absorber (3, 38).
The equilibrium line in Figure 5-28 is linear (i.e., Y=HX; Henry's law). See that the slope of the mass balance line is L M/ G M and that X 0, Y 1 is the column top while X N, Y N+1 is the column bottom.
A case corresponding to minimum reflux exists for absorption. In this instance we have...
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