Analysis of Two-Phase Pressure Drop in Structured Packings by Computational Fluid Dynamics

Document Type : Research Article


1 Professor, Shahid Nikbakht Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran.

2 Master of Science, Faculty of Engineering, Shahid Nikbakht, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran


Packed towers are continuous contact systems in which unlike tray towers, the liquid phase is dispersed, and the gas phase is continuous. Packed or packed distillation towers are widely used in chemical industries. The use of such towers is preferable to tray towers, especially in vacuum distillation operations. These columns are suitable in low pressure-drop or low liquid hold up operations. In this study, the pressure drop for the air-water system was simulated, and presented by a 3D model consisting of two layers of Gempak 2A structured packings by using computational fluid dynamics. Computational Fluid Dynamics is a useful tool for scale-up, design and optimization of chemical engineering equipment for its detailed prediction of hydrodynamic characteristics. The BSL turbulence model was used for simulation. The total number of meshes were 1315200. The simulation results were compared with laboratory and existing experimental data. The simulation error of the two-phase pressure drop compared with experimental data was 16.6%. The results of prediction agree well with the experimental data indicating the suitability of the proposed method for the simulation of the hydrodynamics in structured packed columns. The results of this study can be used in the hydraulic design of packed towers containing structured packings.