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Foam in Absorption Columns with Structured Packings – Part 2: Inhibition and Destruction

Leuner, Hannes; Gerke, Sören Jakob; Illner, Markus; Repke, Jens-Uwe

Foam in absorption and distillation processes is one of the main reasons for malfunctions in columns including higher pressure loss, lower throughput, and lower mass transfer rates leading to a reduction in the separation efficiency. This study evaluates different foam management solutions aiming at a foam‐reduced operation of columns with structured packings based on fundamental investigations. Firstly, the effect of spacers between structured packing layers is presented as a passive foam inhibition method. Secondly, the ability of acoustic waves at low frequencies around 50 s−1 (Hz) destructing existing foam in columns is analyzed and discussed. This method is able to reduce the pressure loss by –56 % and increase the corresponding F‐factor by +22 % in a DN300 column in continuous operation.
Published in: Chemical Engineering & Technology, 10.1002/ceat.202200050, Wiley