Interfacial Flows in Structured Packings

Structured packings have been used in chemical engineering processes such as carbon dioxide absorption and distillation columns. These systems typically consist of thin corrugated metal plates arranged in a way that force fluids to take complicated paths through the column, thereby extending the residence time of fluid and enhancing mass and heat transfer between fluid and solid phases. To improve design and operational efficiency of these processes, it is of a great importance to have better understanding of underlying physics and to be able to predict pressure loss, mass transfer efficiency and liquid spreading. In this project, we use the Volume-Of-Fluid method to study the hydrodynamics of gas-liquid flow in structured packings and building the necessary simulation platform to also study corresponding heat and mass transport. We will develop modules and add transport equations for the open source computational fluid dynamics toolbox, OpenFOAM, to simulate mass and heat transport along with the hydrodynamics. Then, we will simulate the hydrodynamics with heat and mass transfer of gas-liquid flows in a unit cell configuration representative of a typical structured packing used in absorption columns across a range of physical parameters, most notably high viscosity liquids. From these simulation results, we will extract the effective drag, interfacial curvature, lateral mixing, interfacial area, interphase heat and mass transfer coefficients for various fluid properties and flow conditions.

Supervisor name: 
Dr. Ali Ozel
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:
Project location: 
James Nasmyth Building, JN2.18