Packed beds are typically columns filled with a packing material that allows fluids to flow from one end to the other. Frequently used as a means of increasing contact between a liquid and gas. As the liquid flows over the packing material it spreads out and the gas is then able to react for a longer period and with a higher proportion of the liquid (then natural flow through a bubble column).
Whilst the packing may be random, it is often structured to optimise particular reaction and the packing may often contain a catalyst to promote a specific reaction.
The performance of a packed bed is highly dependent on the flow of material through it, which in turn is dependent on the packing and how the flow is managed (for example design of distributor and relative direction of the liquid and gas flows).
Electrical tomography may be used to observe the distribution of liquids at different cross sections of the vessel, or indeed the flow pattern throughout the packed column.
Depending on the nature of the materials, capacitance or resistance tomography may be used. Careful consideration of the process conditions and design of sensor are important. For example where an aqueous fluid at low volume concentrations, this can present challenges to ERT (due to the interrupted conductive pathways, and also to ECT (due to the high relative permittivity of water)).
ITS has many years of experience in designing sensors and interpreting results of research into packed beds / columns.
If you’re interested in the applications of packed beds/columns, then request more information today! You can reach us through our website, via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or by giving us a call at +44 (0) 161 832 9297.