The mechanics of a spray column

Ruth Letan, Ephraim Kehat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Local and average holdup and drop size distribution as function of flow rates were measured for kerosene drops and water in a countercurrent, 15‐cm. I.D., 160‐cm. long, spray column. The range of flow rates was 5 to 40 liters/min. of kerosene and 0 to 50 liters/min. of water. At the same pairs of flow rates of the dispersed and the continuous phases in spray columns, three modes of drop packings can be obtained. These are termed, in order of increasing average holdup and increasing regularity of flow patterns, dispersed, restrained, and dense packings. For dispersed packing, at low flow rates of the two phases, the holdup and the drop size are constant along the column. At high flow rates the drop size increases from bottom to top of the column and the holdup increases from top to bottom of the column. The range of flow rates for the operation of a spray column is extended by the use of a conical entry section (Elgin design) at the bottom of the column, by the formation of an equilibrium region in the conical section. The average holdup increases with increased flow rates of both phases for dispersed and restrained packings, and with decreased flow rates of both phases for dense packing. The best definitions of flooding in a spray column are either the point of maximum average specific area of the drops, which corresponds to the onset of coalescence in the column, or the start of rejection of drops from the column proper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-449
Number of pages7
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1967
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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