Published: CABEQ 23 (4) (2009) 507–512
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Experimental Characterization of Liquid Distribution Quality of a Multiple-Nozzle Spray Distributor

Ž. Olujić

Spray distributors as used in conjunction with large diameter packed beds consist of a multiplicity of spray nozzles that produce a circular liquid distribution pattern, arranged in a rectangular grid with a large degree of overlap to avoid “dry spots”. This inherent non-uniformity is reflected in an uneven cross sectional distribution of the liquid, the extent of which depends on the factors such as spray angle, homogeneity of spray cones, nozzle pattern, and, importantly, the distance between the nozzles and the bed. The information on the performance of spray distributors is scarce and mainly qualitative, and therefore it is not surprising that rules for spray distributor design are unavailable in open literature. This paper aims at filling this gap and describes experiments carried out to characterize the liquid distribution of a 4-nozzle distributor, equipped with full-cone, wide-angle spray nozzles. The TU Delft column hydraulics simulator with an internal diameter of 1.4 m was used for this purpose. The test system was water/air at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. Particular attention was paid to the effects of the nozzle pressure and the spacing between the nozzles and the bed; however, the distance required to smooth out poor initial distribution to an acceptable level appeared to be impractical.

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Liquid distribution, spray distributors, distillation, packed columns