COMSOL Multiphysics Models for Teaching Chemical Engineering Fundamentals: Absorption Column Models and Illustration of the Two-Film Theory of Mass Transfer

W. Clark
Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA

COMSOL® models have been developed for teaching gas absorption fundamentals. Model results are compared to environmentally significant experimental results for removing CO2 and SO2 from air using water as solvent. For concentrated gas mixtures, the models are shown to be equivalent to but easier to use than the traditional graphical integration method and to a solution method developed with MATLAB®.

A more detailed model has been developed that explicitly uses the two-film theory of mass transfer and illustrates the resistance to mass transfer due to the liquid and gas films and the physical significance of the mass transfer coefficient.