Calculating Minimum Liquid Flowrates: New Method for Rich-Phase Gas Absorption Columns


  • Simon I. Iveson University of Newcastle


An analytical method for teaching students how to find the minimum liquid flowrate in rich-phase gas-absorption problems. The analytical solution is found by deriving explicit analytical expressions for the location and slope of the operating line in terms of only one variable, and then solving for the liquid flowrate that gives only one point of intersection with the equilibrium line. This can be used alongside the more traditional graphical method that requires students to convert the concentrations into solute-free ratios.  Students seem to find this method easy to understand and it is well suited for use in computer packages.  The method is limited to cases where an analytical expression for the equilibrium line is known and can be assumed constant along the length of the column (i.e., isothermal operations).

Author Biography

Simon I. Iveson, University of Newcastle

Simon Iveson received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1997. Since then he has been a research fellow and part-time lecturer within the Centre for Multiphase Process in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research interests are in the field of particle technology, with his focus being on the agglomeration of fine particles by the addition of liquid binders.