Simulating Transport and Adsorption of Organic Contaminants in 3D Porous Activated Carbon Block Media
To evaluate the organic contaminants removal performance of hollow cylindrical block-shaped porous activated carbon media, COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software with Chemical Engineering module was used. The study clearly demonstrates how each organic compound in a steady-state fluid is dynamically transported in the three-dimensional porous media and removed by adsorption. The simulated adsorption results are compared to the experimental test data for validation. Axisymmetric geometry in COMSOL gives better simulation accuracy and faster computation than full three-dimensional geometry due to higher element quality and lower volume/area ratio. Based on 5% breakthrough (95% removal) line, the COMSOL simulations have only 0.9-2.9% discrepancy from the actual data, while a classical two-dimensional rapid-small-scale column test (RSSCT) model method has 39.8-782.2%. The COMSOL Multiphysics® model used in this transport/adsorption study successfully demonstrated not only flow patterns in the modulated reactor but also chemical concentration changes in the full-scale porous adsorbent structure.
porous media; flow analysis; chemical adsorption; filtration; activated carbon