Tracer dispersion in packings of porous activated carbon grains

German Drazer, Ricardo Chertcoff, Luciana Bruno, Marta Rosen, J. P. Hulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A new method based on radioactive dispersion is reported which permits the accurate determination of the parameters which describe the transport and exchange mechanisms for packed beds of porous particles: characteristic exchange time between the internal and external pores (including adsorption effects), mean tracer velocity, mobile fluid fraction and longitudinal hydrodynamic dispersion coefficient. The method relies upon the fitting of the Coats-Smith model to radioactive tracer transit time distributions at regularly spaced intervals along a packed column for low Peclet numbers. Relationships between the transport and exchange mechanism parameters and relatively easily measured properties of the porous particles (size, porosity, intraparticle diffusion coefficient, adsorption isotherm) and packed bed (packing density) have been determined. These relationships may be used to estimate the hydrodynamic parameters. It is shown that the transport and exchange mechanism parameters determined at low Pe numbers using the new method can be used to accurately predict behavior of the packed bed at high Pe numbers provided transport within the porous particles is explicitly included within the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4137-4144
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jun 25 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Activated carbon
  • Diffusion
  • Dispersion
  • Double porosity
  • Nonlinear adsorption
  • Radioactive tracer

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