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The scientific interest in the efficiency of packed bed columns is part of the world-wide pursuit of sustainability of processes. The maldistribution of the phases in the apparatus reduces the efficiency and makes difficult the prediction of process performance and scaling up. In the present work the operation of liquid distribution devices and high performance packings are investigated addressing the reasons for hydrodynamic non-uniformity of the liquid phase, including the formation and development of wall flow. Data are obtained from semi-industrial size experimental studies and mathematical modeling of the liquid flow through a layer of random Raschig Super-Ring packing. The effect of measures for ensuring uniform initial liquid distribution in the column apparatus is evaluated and the parameters in the mathematical model are identified.
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