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Comparison of uniform and non-uniform pressure approaches used to analyze an adsorption process in a closed type adsorbent bed
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Heat and mass transfer in an annular adsorbent bed filled with silica gel particles is numerically analyzed by uniform and non-uniform pressure approaches. The study is performed for silica gel-water pair, particle radius from 0.025 to 1 mm and two bed radii of 10 and 40 mm. For uniform pressure approach, the energy equation for the bed and the mass transfer equation for the particle are solved. For non-uniform pressure approach, the continuity and Darcy equations due to the motion of water vapor in the bed are added, and four coupled partial differential equations are solved. The changes of the adsorbate concentration, pressure, and temperature in the bed throughout the adsorption process for both approaches are obtained and compared. The obtained results showed that the particle size plays an important role on the validity of uniform pressure approach. Due to the interparticle mass transfer resistance, there is a considerable difference between the results of the uniform pressure and non-uniform pressure approaches for the beds with small size of particles such as 0.025 mm.