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A Gas Absorber Design Experiment For The Chemical Engineering Laboratory

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.51.1 - 8.51.9



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Paper Authors

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puszynski jan

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David Dixon

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Bhavani Puli

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James Munro

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

A gas absorber design experiment for the chemical engineering laboratory

James M. Munro, Bhavani Puli, David J. Dixon and Jan A. Puszynski Depar tment o f Chemistr y and Chemical Engineering South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


An open-ended, gas-abso rber design experiment has been developed for the undergr aduat e chemical engineering laborato ry. The experiment utilizes the Design-Build- Test (DBT) approach. Student teams are asked to design a column to perform a specific task , par tially build or configure the physical equipment for their design and operat e the gas absorber to test their design. Each laborato ry team conducting the experiment is assigned a unique objective involving the absor ption o f carbon dioxide, ammonia or ethanol from an air stream flowing at a specified rate. The experiment provides several choices of column diameter and packing types and size from which students can choose to complete their design.


While the traditional chemical engineering laboratory experiments provide valuable exposure to process equipment and unit operations, they often do not provide students with open-ended design experiences that include real choices of equipment selection and economic factors. Design experiences are, however, required of accredited engineering programs; the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation criteria require that graduates of engineering programs possess "an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs."1

The faculty of the chemical engineering program at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) has begun developing open-ended laboratory DBT experiments for the chemical engineering laboratory. The first such experiment created was a DBT experiment in pump selection and piping system design,2 which has been integrated into the junior-level fluid mechanics laboratory course. The faculty has established a goal of having at least one undergraduate DBT experiment in each of the three major areas (fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer) of transport phenomena. The present paper reports the details of our DBT experiment involving design of a packed column for gas absorption. The project was undertaken by the faculty of the chemical engineering program at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) and was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Dow Corning Foundation.

The goal of the present experiment is for students to design, build and test a gas

jan, P., & Dixon, D., & Puli, B., & Munro, J. (2003, June), A Gas Absorber Design Experiment For The Chemical Engineering Laboratory Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12520

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