Packed columns can be made with either random dumped packing or sections of stacked or arranged packing materials. The two primary types of packing include random packing and structured packing.
Random packing refers to the packing of various geometrical shapes into the column. Once in the tower, the randomly packed shapes orient themselves on their own without a specific direction. Structured packing refers to the placement of corrugated sheets and crimpled layers that are stacked inside the column. Each layer of these materials will be placed at a 70-degree to 90-degree angle to the layers below it. While structured packing has its uses, here we’ll talk about random packing.
If you’re interested in designing a random packed column, you’ll need to choose random packing. This method has a few advantages that make it the choice of companies nationwide. It’s very cost-effective while still offering high-quality performance. It also has greater efficiency than other technologies, higher mass transfer and an improved contact area. If you’re conducting separation tasks, random packing is often the go-to choice.
You’ll select your packing sizes based on the size of the vessel. Overstacking the column can cause poor liquid distribution. Some of the recommended size ranges for a random packed column include:
- Less than 1 foot of column diameter should have a packing size of 1 inch or less.
- Between 1 to 3 feet of column diameter will have a packing size of 1 to 1.5 inches.
- A column diameter of greater than 3 feet will need a packing size between 2 and 3 inches.