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Additively Manufactured Packed Bed Device for Process Intensification of CO2 Absorption and Other Chemical Processes...

by Eduardo Miramontes, Lonnie J Love, Canhai Lai, Xin Sun, Constantinos Tsouris
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Chemical Engineering Journal
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A 3D printed, structured packed-bed device has been developed to facilitate mass and heat transfer in multiphase-flow systems. This multifunctional device is compatible with commercially available packing elements used to effectively contact gas–liquid or liquid–liquid systems, and can be positioned along a packed bed to remove excess heat or supply thermal energy to a reactive system. The device is investigated for process intensification of CO2 absorption by aqueous amines. The design, manufacturing, and functional characterization of the device are reported here. Its hydrodynamic properties are measured and compared to a polymer print of the same design. Pressure drop measurements are obtained for a dry system at various gas flow rates and also for an irrigated system at six liquid flow rates. The heat transfer properties of the process intensification device were explored by studying the behavior of the temperature profile inside the column for a gas only system before and after cooling. The behavior of the temperature profile was subsequently studied for an irrigated system. In order to better understand the physical behavior of the system, we developed a rigorous heat-transfer model using MFIX, a multiphase computational fluid dynamics software, and compared modeling results to experimental data. The overall heat transfer coefficient under various flow conditions was determined to be between 32 and 35 W/°C-m2.