Teaching Packed-Column Design from a Plate-Column Perspective


  • Daniel J. Lacks Tulane University


An approach is described for teaching the design of packed columns from the perspective of plate columns.  A packed column is shown to be equivalent to a plate column with an infinite number of infinitesimally-efficient plates.  The properties of packed columns are obtained from the properties of plate columns in the limit that the plate efficiencies approach zero.  The value of the present approach is that it elucidates the relationships between packed columns and plate columns and helps give an intuitive and concrete understanding of abstract packed column concepts such as transfer units.

Author Biography

Daniel J. Lacks, Tulane University

Daniel J. Lacks is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Tulane University. He received his BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University and his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University. After doing postdoctoral research at MIT, he joined the Tulane faculty in 1994. His research interests involve the application of molecular simulations to chemical engineering problems.