AbstractComputational investigation of the countercurrent flows in an additively manufactured (AM) column packed with triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) is challenging. Multiphase flow simulations using the volume of fluid (VOF) method can explain the column’s hydrodynamic characteristics, including interfacial area, liquid holdup, pressure drop, flow regime, etc. The interfacial area is a key factor dictating the mass transfer via the absorption process, and thereby the overall efficiency of the column. The impacts of a solvent's physical properties, liquid and gas loads, and contact angle on the hydrodynamics are extensively explored. The solvents include traditional solvent (monoethanolamine [MEA]) used in industry as well as a water-lean solvent (EEMPA) as prospective solvents for carbon capture. As expected, interfacial area and liquid holdup increase with increasing liquid loads (q_L). The EEMPA exhibits higher values for the interfacial area and liquid holdup compared to those for the MEA. The dry and wet pressure drops per unit length in the column at different gas loads (F_G) are calculated and further compared with the empirical correlations for traditional packings. At low gas loads, i.e., in the preloading regime, the predicted values of the wet and dry pressure drops match well with the corresponding values calculated from available correlations. The gas load has a marginal impact on the interfacial area at its lower value, but the higher value of F_G (>2.18 vPa) causes flooding in the column. The effect of varying contact angles on the interfacial area and liquid holdup in the preloading regime is also studied. Both interfacial area and liquid holdup decrease with the increase in the value of the contact angle. Overall, the effect of the contact angle on interfacial area is more pronounced than other parameters influencing the interfacial area.
Published: September 21, 2022