Tomorrow my lab partner and I will be doing our last Unit Operations Lab for this semester. Now I think about it, this semester has really gone by fast. We only have 13 days of school left this semester. Next week is a full week, and then we’ll have a two day week thanks to Thanksgiving break. And then we’ll come back for another full week and then finals week will start afterwards.
Anyways, in Unit Ops I, we only have to do 5 labs, 2 of which we get 3 weeks to work on; they are the first and last lab. The middle three labs we only get 2 weeks to work on. Also for the first and last lab, we’ll present our lab results by giving oral presentations in front of the entire lab section. However, for the middle 3 labs, we have to present the results by writing final lab reports. So for tomorrow, we’re going to start our last unit ops lab experiment.
The experiment my lab partner and I are going to be doing is the Gas Absorption column experiment. In this experiment, oxygen is being forced to dissolved in a tank of water, which is being pumped into stripper columns going from top to bottom. Meanwhile, a steady stream of Nitrogen is going to flow from the bottom of the column to the top to absorb oxygen in the water into the nitrogen stream. A diagram is shown at the bottom of this post. In the Gas Absorption experiment, we are going to study two different types of packing materials, Raschig Rings vs. Wire mesh, and also the length of the column and its effect on gas absorption characteristics. Concentrations of oxygen in water will be monitored using a probe at the inlet and outlet streams of the tank. It is important to control the flow rate of water so we don’t flood the stripper column. It is also important to maintain a steady Nitrogen Flow. Absorption characteristics such as liquid size mass transfer coefficient, Height of transfer units (HTU), and Number of Transfer Units (NTU) are to be determined.