Gas absorption operations

Gas absorption operations

The separation of solute gases from gaseous mixtures of noncondensables by transfer into a liquid solvent. This recovery is achieved by contacting the gas stream with a liquid that offers specific or selective solubility for the solute gas or gases to be recovered. The operation of absorption is applied in industry to purify process streams or recover valuable components of the stream. It is used extensively to remove toxic or noxious components (pollutants) from effluent gas streams. See Absorption

The absorption process requires the following steps: (1) diffusion of the solute gas molecules through the host gas to the liquid boundary layer based on a concentration gradient, (2) solvation of the solute gas in the host liquid based on gas-liquid solubility, and (3) diffusion of the solute gas based on concentration gradient, thus depleting the liquid boundary layer and permitting further solvation. The removal of the solute gas from the boundary layer is often accomplished by adding neutralizing agents to the host liquid to change the molecular form of the solute gas. This process is called absorption accompanied by chemical reaction.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.