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  • Packed Bed Columns
  • Packed Bed Columns

Packed bed columns are largely employed for absorption, desorption, rectification and direct heat transfer processes in chemical and food industry, environmental protection and also processes in thermal power stations like water purification, flue gas heat utilization and SO2 removal.

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Product Description

Packed bed columns are largely employed for absorption, desorption, rectification and direct heat transfer processes in chemical and food industry, environmental protection and also processes in thermal power stations like water purification, flue gas heat utilization and SO2 removal.


Packed beds are typically columns filled with a packing material that allows fluids to flow from one end to the other. Frequently used as a means of increasing contact between a liquid and gas. As the liquid flows over the packing material it spreads out and the gas is then able to react for a longer period and with a higher proportion of the liquid (then natural flow through a bubble column).


Packing material typically varies in size and shape and can consist of metal, graphite, plastic, clay, porcelain or ceramic. Beds can be stacked, dumped or randomly packed, to meet the separation requirements of the application. The large surface area provided by packed beds is the column’s key characteristic, due to the fact that as it increases there is more time for liquid-vapor to come in contact, which improves separation efficiency.


When liquid blend is fed into the column and heated, vapors rise and the liquid descends. The fluid that pools at the base of the column is then fed into a re-boiler that creates vapor, which re-enters the column. The vapor that rises through the column is fed into a condenser. It then is directed into a reflux drum, separating the overhead product stream, or distillate, from the reflux stream, which is then fed back into the distillation column.



Liquid flow must be carefully controlled in order to achieve cost and contact efficiency in packed bed columns. Packing material can also break due to thermal expansion or during the loading process. Overall, however, packed bed columns are well suited to thermally sensitive liquids, low-pressure operations, and corrosive substances — making them a popular distillation choice in a broad range of industrial applications.



Applications
In most applications, the purpose of a packed bed is to provide intimate contacting of the upward flowing vapor and the downward flowing liquid in separation processes such as distillation and absorption.

In the packed bed, liquids tend to wet the surface of the packing and the vapors pass across this wetted surface, where mass transfer takes place. Packing material can be used instead of trays or plates to improve separation in distillation columns. Packing offers the advantage of a lower pressure drop across the column when compared to trays or plates, which is especially beneficial when used in vacuum distillation columns.

Advantages
Low pressure drop required.
Small diameters possible.
Can handle foaming systems.
Low capital, operating, and maintenance cost.
Simple construction.
Can handle corrosive materials due to corrosion-resistant packing.
Reduces backmixing in comparison to spray columns.
Better mass transfer than in spray columns.

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