AIChE Journal Highlight: Absorption Methods Determine Mass-Transfer Parameters of Packed Beds


To design and analyze absorber columns, engineers need reliable mass-transfer parameters for rate-based models in process simulations. However, unlike for distillation, no set of standardized measurement methods for absorption have been generally accepted. Mass-transfer parameters measured by different methods at different facilities, or calculated from different correlations, can have significant disparities. Thus, a need exists to improve the precision and accuracy of experimental methods for determining mass-transfer coefficients so that reliable and coherent sets of data can be derived.

In the August AIChE Journal article, “Absorption Methods for the Determination of Mass Transfer Parameters of Packing Internals: A Literature Review,” Laszlo Hegely, John Roesler, Pascal Alix, David Rouzineau, and Michel Meyer of IFP Energies Nouvelles and Laboratoire de Génie Chimique (Université Toulouse) review the measurement methods used to determine the key mass-transfer parameters — interfacial area and gas- and liquid-side mass-transfer coefficients — for packed absorption columns. For each parameter, the authors present the methods available to determine those parameters, grouped into categories based on their physical principle, and discuss the chemical systems used, the experimental protocol, and the advantages and inconveniences of each. They also review suggestions for...

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