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[APD] Re: CO2 reactor orientation

Is it determined that an external, "bio-ball-type" CO2 reactor needs to be
counter-current (i.e. water flow down while gas is injected at the bottom)
-?  I thought I had once read (can't remember where) that good diffusion may
also happen when gas and water are flowing up together.  It was probably a
discussion of protein skimmers, but the principle should be the same - how
to maximize the gas/water interface.  I ask because I want to add the
reactor inline to the output end of the canister, without looping up then
down.  What's your opinion?  Thanks...

Lew Newcomb
SE Michigan

The general idea is to keep the CO2 bubbles in contact with water for as long as possible. With a counter-current setup, the flow of the water helps to keep the bubble suspended (rather than shooting it out the outlet of the reactor) longer and thus provides a longer contact time and more efficient operation as a result. Protein skimmers work on a rather different principle since they end goal to remove as large an amount of dissolved organics as possible rather than to maximize gas exchange in the water. Even so, most of the better skimmers are counter-current designs. The skimmers also need long contact times, but for different reasons.

You should see maximum efficiency using a counter-current setup in your reactor. Hose is cheap and will only cost you once, while the efficiency you gain will save you real money in the form of fewer CO2 tank refills over the long term.


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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