An experimental study of the absorption of ammonia vapor in a constrained thin film of ammonia-water solution is presented. A large aspect ratio microchannel with one of its walls formed of a porous material is used to constrain the thickness of the liquid film. Experiments are performed at a pressure of 2.5 bar absolute and 4 bar absolute and at a fixed weak solution inlet temperature. Weak solution flow rates are varied from 10 g/min to 30 g/min (corresponding to the weak solution Reynolds number, Re, from 15 to 45), inlet mass concentrations are varied from 0% to 15%, and gas flow rates are varied between 1 g/min and 3 g/min (corresponding to the vapor Re from 160 to 520). Six geometries, including three smooth-bottom-walled channels of differing depths and three channels with structured bottom walls, are considered. Results indicate that, for identical rates of vapor absorption, the overall heat transfer coefficient of the 400μm absorber is in most cases significantly larger than that of other absorbers. For the 150μm and 400μm absorbers, a trade-off between the high overall heat and mass transfer coefficients is achieved for the highest vapor to solution flow rate ratio.

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