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Wash Section for a Direct Contact Aftercooler Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021020D
Publication Date: 2003-Dec-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database

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Wash Section for a Direct Contact Aftercooler




The present invention is an apparatus for the direct contact cooling of compressed air by poor quality (e.g. highly corrosive) cooling water (CW), while preventing entrainment of this CW to susceptible downstream equipment. This is achieved by passing the cooled air through one or more bubble cap trays, which are supplied with a small quantity of ‘clean’ water. Any entrained poor quality CW from below is diluted on the bubble-cap tray(s). Any entrained liquid from the bubble cap section will then have a composition close to that of the clean water.


Compressed air can be cooled against CW indirectly (e.g. in a shell and tube exchanger) or directly in a DCAC (Direct Contact AfterCooler). The use of a DCAC is often preferred as a DCAC generally has a lower airside pressure drop and a closer approach to the inlet CW temperature.

Figure 1 shows the elements of a typical DCAC. Hot compressed air enters the bottom of the vessel, and is contacted with CW in the heat and mass transfer section (e.g. trays or packing) and then flows through a demister device (to minimise entrained water) before leaving the DCAC as cooled air.


In some localities the available CW quality is very poor (e.g. it might be highly corrosive). The demister minimises but cannot totally eliminate entrainment. If entrainment of corrosive CW occurred then the downstream equipment would have to be designed to handle this (e.g. resulting in high...