CFD modeling of columns equipped with structured packings: I. Approach based on detailed packing geometry

X. Wen, S. Akhter, A. Afacan, K. Nandakumar*, K. T. Chuang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling approach based on detailed packing geometry for packed columns equipped with structured packings is presented. Simulations have been carried out by commercial CFD package FLUENT. Complex packing geometries were implemented by generating fine meshes for flow domains inside packed columns. Turbulence was modeled by the standard k-ε model with FLUENT'S enhanced wall treatment. Experiments on single-phase pressure drop through Flexipac 3Y structured packing have been carried out in a 0.3-m ID packed column with air flow to validate the modeling approach. A circular column and a rectangular column have been simulated with three different structured packings - BX packing with corrugation angles of 45° and 30° and Flexipac 3Y. One-component single-phase flow and two-component single-phase flow with species dispersion (mass transfer) have been simulated. Predicted pressure drop are in good agreement with the experimental data and data from literatures. The simulation results also demonstrated the ability of the CFD approach to capture the anisotropic characteristic of flow in structured packings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Mass transfer
  • Modeling
  • Pressure drop
  • Structured packing


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