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A dimensionless analysis of heat and mass transport in an adsorber with thin fins; uniform pressure approach
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A numerical study on heat and mass transfer in an annular adsorbent bed assisted with radial fins for an isobaric adsorption process is performed. A uniform pressure approach is employed to determine the changes of temperature and adsorbate concentration profiles in the adsorbent bed. The governing equations which are heat transfer equation for the adsorbent bed, mass balance equation for the adsorbent particle, and conduction heat transfer equation for the thin fin are non-dimensionalized in order to reduce number of governing parameters. The number of governing parameters is reduced to four as Kutateladze number, thermal diffusivity ratio, dimensionless fin coefficient and dimensionless parameter of Γ which compares mass diffusion in the adsorbent particle to heat transfer through the adsorbent bed. Temperature and adsorbate concentration contours are plotted for different values of defined dimensionless parameters to discuss heat and mass transfer rate in the bed. The average dimensionless temperature and average adsorbate concentration throughout the adsorption process are also presented to compare heat and mass transfer rate of different cases. The values of dimensionless fin coefficient, Γ number and thermal diffusivity ratio are changed from 0.01 to 100, 1 to 10 -5 and 0.01 to 100, respectively; while the values of Kutateladze number are 1 and 100. The obtained results revealed that heat transfer rate in an adsorbent bed can be enhanced by the fin when the values of thermal diffusivity ratio and fin coefficient are low (i.e., α -=0.01, δ=0.01). Furthermore, the use of fin in an adsorbent bed with low values of γ number (i.e. γ=10 -5) does not increase heat transfer rate, significantly.