3D numerical study of multiphase counter-current flow within a packed bed for post combustion carbon dioxide capture

Li Yang, Fang Liu, Zhengchang Song, Kunlei Liu, Kozo Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The hydrodynamics within counter-current flow packed beds is of vital importance to provide insight into the design and operational parameters that may impact reactor and reaction efficiencies in processes used for post combustion CO2 capture. However, the multiphase counter-current flows in random packing used in these processes are complicated to visualize. Hence, this work aimed at developing a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to study more precisely the complex details of flow inside a packed bed. The simulation results clearly demonstrated the development of, and changes in, liquid distributions, wetted areas, and film thickness under various gas and liquid flow rates. An increase in values of the We number led to a more uniform liquid distribution, and the flow patterns changed from droplet flow to film flow and trickle flow as the We number was increased. In contrast, an increase in gas flow rate had no significant effect on the wetted areas and liquid holdup. It was also determined that the number of liquid inlets affected flow behavior, and the liquid surface tension had an insignificant influence on pressure drop or liquid holdup; however, lower surface tension provided a larger wetted area and a thinner film. An experimental study, performed to enable comparisons between experimentally measured pressure drops and simulation-determined pressure drops, showed close correspondence and similar trends between the experimental data and the simulation data; hence, it was concluded that the simulation model was validated and could reasonably predict flow dynamics within a counter-current flow packed bed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1441
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Flow characteristics
  • Multiphase counter-current flow
  • Post combustion CO2 capture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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