Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 month ago

How do I know how many adsorption column I need to use?

If I were to scale up an adsorption column, how do I know how many column I need and how to compute their dimensions?


(1) what type of column? 

>fixed-bed column(2) what is your feed characteristics ? >liquid phase, water or wastewater for example(3) what degree of separation do you want?> 95% decrease in solute for example(4) is this for industry or academia?>academia(5) what's your background?

background on what?

2 Answers

  • Dr W
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    that depends.  

    .. (1) what type of column are you using?

    .. (2) what is your feed stream(s) characteristics

    .. (3) what degree of separation do you want?

    .. (4) is this for industry or academia?

    .. (5) what's your background?



    Designing and scaling up things like adsorption columns / towers, etc is what we chemical engineers specialize in. And we speak a different language when do.  Having spent my entire career living in between the worlds of ChE's and chemists and management, I don't think it would be an easy translation. 



    Not enough detail.  "fixed bed" is a type but doesn't include any details.  There are a variety of fixed beds all with different design parameters.  Water feedstream tells me nothing.  What are the P, T, flowrate, mole fractions, etc of ALL components.  95% is meaningless.  you have to specify what chemicals you want in what stream.  If it's wastewater, you have local, state, federal limitations that must be designed it the "scaleup".  

    I asked about your background to understand how well you speak the language.  If you were a chemical engineering student working on a homework assignment, I'd refer you to "mass transfer operations" by Treybal or some other similar textbook or even Perry's and remind you to think about how you might go about determining dimensionless variables and how they relate to scaleup (which you should have covered in intro to chemical engineering - Felder and Rousseau - and in fluid dynamics).  If you were working in unit ops lab, I tell you the same thing EXCEPT you better follow the rules of the lab carefully and safely.  Review with your TA's prior to doing anything.  If you were a chem student, I'd recommend thinking about theoretical plates, but even then I wouldn't recommend a scale up without rigorous engineering input/review.  If you were a lab tech in industry, I'd recommend working with your process engineering team (if you have one) or hiring an outside consultant (if you don't).

    I've attached a pic from the beginning of the adsorption tower design and scaleup from McCabe and Smith "unit operations in chemical engineering".  That's the beginning of the section.  That's the warmup to the language I discussed earlier.  

    Attachment image
  • 1 month ago

    Simply too complex a problem to get an answer here. Too many variables.

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