Published: CABEQ 16 (4) (2002) 199–206
Paper type: Preliminary Communication

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An Economical Criterion for Packed Absorption Column Design

E. Brunazzi, G. Nardini and A. Paglianti

In the last few years an increasing number of restrictions have been introduced to limit pollutant emissions into the environment and, on the other hand, industry requires internals that reduce, both, operating costs and dimensions of absorption columns. In the present work, besides some new experimental data on pressure drop and mass transfer efficiency of a new structured packing, an economic analysis on column packings has been performed. The results show that, in some cases, structured packings can save energy and significantly reduce the operating and investment costs by offering reduced values of pressure drops per transfer unit in comparison to conventional dumped packing. In some other cases columns equipped with random packings give better economical performances than columns equipped with structured packings. The economical analysis has been performed analysing the effects of a number of variables (e.g. column dimensions, working pressure, gas flow-rate, packing or vessel material, absorption efficiency and depreciation period).

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absorption, structured packings, operating cost, economic analysis, packed columns