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Published: Kem. Ind. 71 (7-8) (2022) 399–412
Paper reference number: KUI-73/2021
Paper type: Original scientific paper
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Study of Spraying Technology on Absorber Performances in a H2O/LiBr Absorption Chiller

W. Maouche, M. Douani, A. Labbaci, Ü. Tezcan Ün and M. Derakhshandeh


For major thermal engines used in industrial sectors, the use of chillers has been growing steadily over the previous decades. Indeed, this is linked strongly to their large energy performance despite their investment costs, which are still high, in particular for low powers. Performance coefficients for absorption chillers are relatively low, and their profitability depends on the costs of the main equipment and more particularly on the price of the absorber. Several studies focusing on the development of mass contactors are underway with the principal objective of further improving their performance of mass and energy transfer. Relating to the mass and heat transfer, it is specified that the contact between the phases in circulation is ensured by different types of contactors. The transfer performance is correlated with the heat and mass transfer coefficient on the one hand, and the specific exchange area, i.e., the exchange area per unit volume of the contactor on the other hand. These contactors are distinguished by their mode of contact between phases (bubbling, spraying, falling film, etc.). While the exchange coefficient depends on the hydrodynamics regime in the contactor (flow regime and physicochemical properties of phases), the specific exchange area is dictated by its operating mode. Any limitation of its use for a specific application (physicochemical phenomena, such as crystallisation, deposited dust, etc.) requires research and development of better devices more adapted. Moreover, the most used contactors in chemical engineering are plate columns, packed columns, falling film columns, spray columns, etc. In order to intensify exchanges, a new absorber of the pulverised type is to be explored in relation with the physicochemical properties of the phases, and of their hydrodynamic flow conditions in the sprayed column. Therefore, an experimental study of the influence of operating variables (nozzle diameter, fluids flow rate, their concentrations, size of droplets, etc.) on the overall coefficient of mass transfer in gaseous phase in the absorber of the absorber chiller was conducted. After having fixed the pressure in the absorber, the first part of the study allowed developing new correlations linking the experimental results of the KG ∙ a to all operating variables (L, C, dd, etc.). The second part was devoted to the simulation of the absorption chiller functioning by introducing the concept of energy and exergy yields based on the mass transfer correlations.

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H2O/LiBr binary system, liquid vapour equilibrium, hydrodynamics of the spray absorber, overall coefficient of mass transfer, modelling