Solvent-based post combustion CO2 capture is a promising technology for industrial application. Gas-liquid interfaces and interactions in the packed bed are considered one of the key factors affecting the overall CO2 absorption rate. Understanding the hydrodynamic characterizations within packed beds is essential to identify the appropriate enhanced mass transfer technique. However, multiphase counter-current flows in the structured packing typically used in these processes are complicated to visualize and optimize experimentally. In this paper, we aim to develop a comprehensive 3D multiphase, counter-current flow model to study the liquid/gas behavior on the surface of structured packing. The output from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) clearly visualized the hydrodynamic characterizations, such as the liquid distributions, wettability, and film thicknesses, in the confined packed bed. When the liquid We (Weber number) was greater than 2.21, the channel flow became insignificant and flow streams became more disorganized with more droplets at larger sizes. The portion of dead zones is decreased at higher liquid We, but it cannot be completely eliminated. Average film thickness was about 0.6–0.7 mm, however, its height varied significantly.

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Published in Energies, v. 11, issue 11, 3103, p. 1-14.

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This research was funded by the Key Laboratory of Coal-based CO2 Capture and Geological Storage, Jiangsu Province (China University of Mining and Technology) (NO: 2017A02).), and by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20180645), the author also thanks the support from the Key Project of Scientific Research Frontiers of CUMT (2017XKZD02).