Employed in certain treatment equipment, such as industrial gas purification columns, structured packings are ordered stacks of corrugated metal sheets that promote contact between the gas and a flowing liquid, while minimizing pressure drop.
The developed surfaces of the sheets can be up to hundreds of square meters per unit of volume. The liquid that absorbs and transforms the element to be captured flows through them in the form of laminar films while the gas flow is turbulent. My HDR thesis summarizes research relating to structured packing columns that I contributed to.
In order to dimension and optimize facilities, it is necessary to have precise knowledge of packing performance. To this end, pressure drop, acceptable gas-
liquid flowrates — and mass transfer measurements were taken at IFPEN using various test columns (from 150 mm to 1 m in diameter(1)). Contributions from partner universities supplemented the results obtained.
Knowledge and consideration of multiscale phenomena are necessary to optimize the choice of packing or to develop new ones (figure). Research conducted for several theses resulted in the development of flow models (interface monitoring, equivalent porous medium). One such thesis(2) was dedicated to the sheet wetting mechanism and to velocity and local retention acquisition.
The study of phenomena acting on local flows is continuing in the laboratory but the road ahead is long and experimentation on a scale representative of real equipment remains essential. To this end, the results of all the research mentioned above are currently being used within the framework of an industrial pilot for the H2020 3D projecta.
This project, conducted at a steelworks site operated by ArcelorMittal, is aimed at demonstrating the efficacy of the CO2 capture process using as a liquid a demixing solvent developed as a result of IFPEN research.
a - DMXTM (Demonstration in Dunkirk)
(1) L. Hegely, J. Roesler, P. Alix, D. Rouzineau, M. Meyer, AICHE Journal, 63(8), 3245-3275, 2017.
(2) Z. Solomenko. Lyon University PhD thesis, 2016.
Scientific contact: Pascal Alix