US 2143016 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan.l0, 1939. R. v. KLEINSCHMIDT FIBROUS MATERIAL FDR FLUID CONTACTS Filed June 14, 1935 1- n L n t 2a U17 INVENTOR.
BY W ATTORNEY Patented 1.1m. 10, 1939 Robert V.
signor to Arthur of Massachusetts Kleinschmldt, Stoneham, Mass., as-
D. Little, Inc., a corporation Application June 14, 1935, Serial No. 26,563
Chemical and physical interactions between liquids and gases, or
between two or more immisrible liquids, which may be generically referred to as fluid phases, require large surfaces of coneconomical operatic tact compressed into relatively small volume for n. Such large surfaces of contact have in the past been attained in several ways: by spraying a liquid in fine particles into a gas, or by emuisification of two immiscible liquids, or by flowing the mingled fluids over more or less finely divided, packing materials of various kinds, such as coke, broken stone or other irregular fragments.
volume of the conta materials have occupying a relatively large the "disadvantage of percentage of the ining vessel with inert material, and in particular of leaving relatively narrow passages for the fiow of the fiuids. This difiicuity has been partially overcome by the use of hollow rings of earthenware or of metal, or by the use of spirals or coils of wire, or other ingenious shapes cases, however,
of sheet metal or wire. this material has been inserted in In most a more or less random manner, or in a manner dictated by the structural characteristics of the,
The present invention is based on the discovery that suitable arrangements of fibrous materials may be made to yield Fibrous materials have unusually good results. the general advantage of furnishing a large amount of surface with a minimum weight or volume of solid material and a maximum of space however, in the past, to
fiuid fiow. Attempts, use fibrous materials,
have led to failure, since the materials have been packed more or less at random after the fashion of the granular materials.
It is well known that for the satisfactory operation of a. contact equipment, uniform medium in the usual types of resistance to flow in all parts of the packing material is necessary. This is especially true of equipment of large cross-sectional area.
I have discovered that a desirable degree of uniformity in fibrous packing can be secured only by suitable arrangement of the direction of the fibers, and that in general the fibers must be I have further discovered that unusual results can be obtained by a. suitable choice of direction for the fiber general rules which s in accordance with certain I have determined.
' that certain forms of glass the use f horizontal fibers which prevent a smooth flow of liquid, breaking it up and expos- 5 ing fresh surface. Such an arrangement also creates turbulence in rising or falling currents of gas and thereby aids contact. It creates a high resistance to flow and increases the hold-up of liquid, which is advantageous in certain processes, although detrimental to others. For the latter, vertical fibers give less intimate contact but reduce both fiow resistance and hold-up of liquid.
I have found that by suitable sloping of fibers downward in a given direction, the flow of liquid can be directed at will to various points of the cross-section of the containing vessel or tower. Thus a uniform, balanced flow can be obtained under almost any conditions.
-For the carrying out of my invention, I find fibers serve admirably. These are characterized by relatively long fibers laid down in mats in such a way that the fibers, although interlaced sufficiently to form more or less coherent fabric, are nevertheless mainly lying in parallel planes. Such material may be laid horizontally in layers if substantially horizontal fibers are wanted, or they may be rolled up into rolls of suitable size if vertical and circumferential fibers are desired.
Referring to the accompanying drawing: Fig. 1 is-a sectional elevation of one form of apparatus constructed in accordance with my interial H1 is contained within a vessel l l which may be of conventional or any approved form. The packing I0 is supported on a platform 20 spaced above the floor of the container II. A muiti- 40 pllcity of perforations l3 which may be arranged at short intervals over the entire platform, permit the passage of fluids therethrough.
The packing l0 comprises fibers of glass or other suitable material. I have found that glass fibers are particularly adapted for use as a con-' tact medium in the treatment of various liquids or fluids, owing to the chemical inertness and other characteristic properties of glass.
The fluids to be treated, comprising liquids and/or gases, are introduced into the container II and discharged therefrom through pipes I5,
I 6, I1 and I8. For example, a liquid may be introduced through the pipe l5 opening into the bottom pipe"; At the san time a gas may be introducedthrough the lower pipe l8 and discharged through the pipe I 6. The descending liquid is retarded in its downward movement by the fibers II) which also tend to produce a uniform distribution of the liquid throughout the entire lateral area of the container. This is particularly true when the liquid is of a nature to wet the fibers so that the tendency is for the liquid to move along the fibers.
This uniform distribution provides a large area of contact for the gases or vapors which pass upward through the openings I3 and thence through the body of packing material It, the gas being uniformly distributed throughout the mass and thereby brought into contact with the liquid which is distributed over the large. surface area supplied by such material. Where glass fibers are used, they may be of any degree of fineness desired, ranging from a microscopic fineness in which the individual fibers may be as small as two or three microns in diameter, up to fibers of several millimeters in diameter.
The apparatus shown may also be used in treating two or more immiscible liquids, or for treating two or more vapors or gases. The contact material In in each instance provides for a uniform distribution of the circulating fluid or gas. A liquid, for example, entering the container at the upper end thereof and flowing downward, is distributed laterally by the fibrous material which effectively prevents any smooth downward flow directed into one or more 10- calized channels.
The fibers by breaking up the continuity of flow and spreading the liquid, expose a large surface to the action of the contacting vapor or gas which may be passing either upward or downward through the packing material. The arrangement of the fibers by interfering with a vertical flow of the liquid and tending to carry it in lateral directions, offers a high resistance to the passage of the liquid through the container, which is desirable in various processes in the practice of which this apparatus may be used.
Fig. 1 illustrates a construction in which the platform is of conical formation, the walls thereof being downwardly convergent. The packing material It! is also correspondingly arranged, the general direction of the fibers being downward and inward, approximately parallel with their supporting surface provided by the platform 20. This arrangement of the fibers tends to direct the flow of the descending liquid away from the walls of the container and toward the center thereof, and thereby counteracts any tendency for the flow to be directed to the side walls of the container.
Fig. 2 shows a radial disposition of the fibers which converge inwardly from the wall of the container toward the center thereof. The platform on which the radially disposed material is supported maybe of conical form as shown in Fig. 1, or of other approved arrangement or form, depending upon thespecific requirements and the kinds of fluids being treated.
Modifications may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of my invention.
I claim: I
l. A contact medium for two or more immiscible fluid phases, said medium consisting of a body of matted glass fibers, said body having a conical surface definitely related to the direction or axisof flow of fluids therethrough.
2. A contact medium for two or more immiscible fluid phases, said medium consisting of a body of radially extending glass fibers, the fibers comprising said body being arranged to cause a' resistance to the flow of fluids through said body, which resistance varies to a predetermined extent at various points.
3. The combination of a container circular in cross-section, and a contact medium therein for two or more immiscible fluid phases, said medium consisting of fibrous material, the flbers thereof being radially disposed and converging inwardly from the side wallsof the container toward ,the center thereof.
ROBERT V. KLEINSCHMIDT.