When the separation is performed in a parallel-plate thermal diffusion column with the operating expense fixed, either increasing the plate spacing and operating at the corresponding optimum inclined angle, or increasing inclined angle and operating at the corresponding plate spacing, will increase the maximum separation and maximum production rate. Il was found that the cosine of optimum inclined angles increase with the plate spacing in the exponents of -9/2 and —4, respectively, for maximum separation and maximum production rate, while the optimum plate spacings increase with the cosine of inclined angle in the exponents of -2/9 and — 1/4, respectively. The plate spacing is generally so small that changing it, as well as changing the inclined angle, may not cause additional fixed change. However, increasing the plate spacing will lead to increasing the difference of plate temperatures in order to keep the operating expense, as well as the energy consumption due to heat conduction between the hot and cold plates, unchanged. Therefore, additional cost is needed to maintain a high value of temperature difference. There do not exist simultaneously the optimum inclined angle and the optimum plate spacing for the best performances.
Chemical engineering communications 179(1), pp.179-199