A 6-in. i.d. catenary contactor was used to evaluate the performance of this device as a new type of cooling tower. A fractional factorial statistical study facilitated the incorporation of all 21 independent variables applicable to this system. Regression models showed that the catenary behavior is analogous to and can be predicted by traditional cooling tower theory. These models also showed that an improved available coefficient based on mass transfer more accurately predicts catenary cooling tower performance. In comparison with conventional cooling towers and within the range of these data it appears that a catenary is more stable with changes in liquid-to-gas ratio, L/G, and that it can handle nearly twice the liquid and gas loadings. Catenary contactors could have a promising future in that they should also conserve space and be economical to purchase.

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