The effects of plate aspect ratio on the degree of separation, production rate, and plate surface area in a flat-plate thermal diffusion column with transverse sampling streams have been investigated. Theoretical considerations show that when a thermal diffusion column is constructed with the best plate aspect ratio, either maximum separation or maximum production rate or minimum plate surface area can be obtained. The optimum plate aspect ratio for maximum separation is obtained with a given production rate and plate surface area, while that for the maximum production rate is determined with the degree of separation and plate surface area fixed, and that for the minimum plate surface area is estimated with a known degree of separation and the production rate. It is interesting that the optimum plate aspect ratio for maximum separation is exactly the same as that for minimum plate surface area. The maximum separation and maximum production rate are achieved without changing the total expenditure, while the design with minimum plate surface area results in minimizing the total expenditure.
Separation Science and Technology 33(2), pp.227-240