Author(s): Thomas W Weber, Ranjit K Chakravorti
Most models for fixed bed adsorbers have used either the homogeneoussolid or pore diffusion model for the pellets. When the adsorption isotherm is linear, the two models can lead to identical breakthrough curves. The conditions for this equivalence are presented here. It is shown that one of the bulk flow factors that was included in the formulation of one pore diffusion model will be significant only for feedstreams containing a relatively high concentration of adsorbate. The prosity factor of the pore model is shown to be very important, especially as the porosity decreases. The importance of the two diffusional models with respect to the predicted breakthrough curves is demonstrated. For comparable beds, it is shown that the breakthrough curve based on the homogeneous model is delayed with respect to that based on the pore model at early times, regardless of the shape of the isotherm. Finally, the various possible solutions for an irreverisble isotherm are reviewed for each of the models, and a solution is presented for the general case of a pore model with an outside film resistance.