*Brink, Can. J. Chem. Eng., 41, 134 (1963). Based on spherical water particles in air at 21°C and 1 atm.

*Brink, Can. J. Chem. Eng., 41, 134 (1963). Based on spherical water particles in air at 21°C and 1 atm.

is important because particles in the range of 2.0 to around 0.2 |m are the ones which penetrate and are deposited in the lung most efficiently. Hence, particles in this range constitute the largest health hazard.

Fiber Mist Eliminators These devices are produced in various configurations. Generally, randomly oriented glass or polypropylene fibers are densely packed between reinforcing screens, producing fiber beds varying in thickness usually from 25 to 75 mm (1 to 3 in), although thicker beds can be produced. Units with efficiencies as high as 99.9 percent on fine particles have been developed (see Chemical Engineers' Handbook, 5th ed., p. 18-88). A combination of mechanisms interacts to provide high overall collection efficiency. Particles larger than 2 to 3 | m are collected on the fibers by inertial impaction and direct interception, while small particles are collected by brownian diffusion. When the device is designed to use this latter mechanism as the primary means, efficiency turndown problems are eliminated as collection efficiency by diffusion increases with residence time. Pressure drop through the beds increases with velocity to the first power since the gas flow is laminar. This leads to design capability trade-offs. As pressure drop is reduced and energy is conserved, capital increases because more filtering area is required for the same efficiency.

Three series of fiber mist eliminators are typically available. A spray-catcher series is designed primarily for essentially 100 percent capture of droplets larger than 3 | m. The high-velocity type is designed to give moderately high efficiency on particles down to 1.0 | m as well. Both of these types are usually produced in the form of flat panels of 25- to 50-mm (1- to 2-in) thickness. The high-efficiency type is illustrated in Fig. 14-131. As mist particles are collected, they coalesce into a liquid film which wets the fibers. Liquid is moved horizontally through the bed by the gas drag force and downward by gravity. It drains down the downstream retaining screen to the bottom of the element and is returned to the process through a liquid seal. Table 14-29 gives typical operating characteristics ofthe three types of collectors. The application of these devices to sulfuric acid plants and other process gases has been discussed by Brink (see Chemical Engineers' Handbook, 5th ed., pp. 18-89, 18-90).

Solid particulates are captured as readily as liquids in fiber beds but can rapidly plug the bed if they are insoluble. Fiber beds have frequently been used for mixtures of liquids and soluble solids and with soluble solids in condensing situations. Sufficient solvent (usually water) is atomized into the gas stream entering the collector to irrigate the fiber elements and dissolve the collected particulate. Such fiber beds have been used to collect fine fumes such as ammonium nitrate and ammonium chloride smokes, and oil mists from compressed air.

FIG. 14-131 Monsanto high-efficiency fiber-mist-eliminator element. (Monsanto Company.)

Electrostatic Precipitators The principles and operation of electrical precipitators are discussed in Sec. 17 under "Gas-Solids Separations." Precipitators are admirably suited to the collection of fine mists and mixtures of mists and solid particulates. Tube-type precipita-tors have been used for many years for the collection of acid mists and the removal of tar from coke-oven gas. The first practical installation of a precipitator by Cottrell was made on sulfuric acid mist in 1907. Most older installations of precipitators were tube-type rather than platetype. However, recently two plate-type wet precipitators employing water sprays or overflowing weirs have been introduced by Mikropul Corporation [Bakke, J. Air Pollut. Control Assoc., 25, 163 (1975)] and by Fluid Ionics. Such precipitators operate on the principle of making all particles conductive when possible, which increases the particle migration velocity and collection efficiency. Under these conditions, particle dielectric strength becomes a much more important variable, and particles with a low dielectric constant such as condensed hydrocarbon mists become much more difficult to collect than water-wettable particles. Bakke (U.S.-U.S.S.R. Joint Work. Group Symp.: Fine Particle Control, San Francisco, 1974) has developed equations for particle charge and relative collection efficiency in wet precipitators that show the effect of dielectric constant. Wet precipitators can also be used to absorb soluble gases simultaneously by adjusting the pH or the chemical composition of the liquid spray. The presence of the electric field appears to enhance absorption. Wet precipitators have found their greatest usefulness to date in handling mixtures of gaseous pollutants and submicrometer particulate (either liquid or solid, or both) such as fumes from aluminum-pot lines, carbon anode baking, fiberglass-fume control, coke-oven and metallurgical operations, chemical incineration, and phosphate-fertilizer operations. Two-stage precipita-tors are used increasingly for moderate-volume gas streams containing nonconductive liquid mists which will drain from the collecting plates. Their application on hydrocarbon mists has been quite successful, but careful attention must be given to fire and explosion hazards.

Electrically Augmented Collectors A new area for enhancing collection efficiency and lowering cost is the combining of electrostatic forces with devices using other collecting mechanisms such as

TABLE 14-29 Operating Characteristics of Various Types of Fiber Mist Eliminators as Used on Sulfuric Acid Plants*

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