Archives :: Processing & Handling :: Separation (Liquid-Liquid & Gas-Liquid) :: Distillation

Displaying 21 - 40 of 49 stories.
June 1, 2011
When it comes to distillation trays and packing, chemical processors require the same criteria they seek from all equipment in this tight economy — technology that will reduce energy use and boost throughput without costly facility expansion. In an effort to meet these needs, tray and packing specialists are improving existing technologies and launching a whole new generation of trays designed to...
May 1, 2011
Designed for new or existing separator and distillation tower operations, the Uniflow Inlet Diffuser can correct flow imbalances and improve gas...
April 1, 2011
It was the Dr. James R. Fair Heritage Distillation Symposium at the Chicago AIChE meeting last month. I had decided to finally give a presentation about something that has been bugging me since October 28, 1974, my first day as a practicing chemical engineer. “Regarding distillation trays, I do not believe in entrainment. I believe that I am at least 50% correct.” I had the audience’s...
April 1, 2011
Manufacturers of specialty chemicals are routinely required to reduce costs and increase the production of their high-value products. Specifically, competitive pressures from the developing world, increases in raw material costs and volatility in energy costs are putting significant pressure on manufacturers to minimize processing costs and maximize product yields. The economic impact of optimization...
March 1, 2011
Considering that Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI) has been performing distillation research since 1954, don’t we have all the answers yet? Not according to the membership. The vendors of trays and packings have had very aggressive R&D programs. New and interesting products have appeared annually. In addition to the testing of such products in hydrocarbon service and at commercial diameters, the...
January 1, 2011
The reboiler generally supplies most of the energy required to effect component separation. If too much heat is supplied, the tower may flood; conversely, if too little heat is available, separation performance may decrease via poor reflux ratio (pinching), excessive weeping or poor tray action. Proper design of reboiling systems involves coordinating aspects both outside and inside the tower. This article...
October 1, 2010
Every distillation engineer west of the River Neretva is familiar with the work of Professor Zarko Olujic. His distillation laboratory at the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands; is one of the largest and best facilities in the history of distillation. His work is typically funded by a consortium of companies that, most recently, included Bayer, BASF, Evonik, DSM, Montz...
July 1, 2010
In 1952, 37 companies established Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI). Most of those original members are now gone or absorbed by other companies. Nevertheless, their goal was to study distillation in columns having diameters and heights that were similar to industrial columns. The columns of the world were getting larger and more numerous and were too often being designed using bench-top apparatuses and...
June 1, 2010
In a distillation column tray, vapor passes upward through liquid that is flowing across a horizontal perforated plate. Vapor passing through the perforated plate forms a two-phase mixture with the liquid and enables mass transfer contacting. This mixture is typically quite turbulent. Tray design must allow the turbulent liquid to fall away from the rising vapor in the space above the tray, while also...
June 1, 2010
I have 70 supervisors. It sometimes feels like I am pulled in 70 different directions — north, south, east, west, up, down and inside-out. But even after two years at this job, I can still hold my hand steady — if I put it in a vice. Nevertheless, I feel that I have the best job in the distillation world; I am technical director at Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI; Stillwater, Okla....
May 1, 2010
On March 24, at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE; New York; Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Tex., the Separations Division honored the myriad contributions of Dr. Karl T. Chuang. Given the scope and impact of his contributions, we are likewise proud to recognize him here. “Very few chemical engineers have spent as much time at as many chemical...
May 1, 2010
A new approach to the design of the downcomer portion of distillation column trays — presented at the recent American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Spring 2010 meeting (San Antonio, Tex.; March 21–25) — promotes a uniform fluid flow pattern, which improves mass transfer efficiency. The Downcomer Distributor was developed through a joint research program between AMT International...
April 1, 2010
I read with great interest your article, Kettle Troubleshooting (February, pp. 26–33). The authors are to be congratulated on a very in-depth and timely presentation on the effects of boiling two-phase flow in kettle type reboilers. For over 45 years, I have been engaged in the refrigeration industry where refrigeration engineers are often challenged in designing evaporators to avoid liquid...
September 17, 2009
In an agreement with Raschig GmbH (Ludwigshafen, Germany) announced Sept. 16, UOP (Des Plaines, Ill.) has acquired exclusive rights to offer Super-Pak equipment for all UOP process units worldwide, as well as...
July 1, 2009
“When you improve the efficiency or capacity of a product, it almost always can be used to improve the process economics with respect to investment costs or operating costs,” says Mark Pilling, manager of technology with Sulzer Chemtech (Tulsa, Okla.). To help processors do this, separation-technology providers strive to maintain a strong base of engineering expertise to assist customers in...
June 1, 2009
A new correlation that matches most commercial trays The sieve tray has been in the distillation market place for many decades. It has been used extensively in distillation columns worldwide as a highly efficient vapor-liquid-contacting device. Many people have examined dry tray pressure-drop data for sieve tray decks and there have been several attempts to correlate these data. But the error of such...
February 1, 2009
For separating two components with similar volatilities, extractive distillation is typically used, whereby a high-boiling, non-volatile solvent is added to "break the azeotrope" — a process that is both energy intensive and often involves the use of hazardous solvents. In an effort to reduce the energy requirements and avoid the use of hazardous solvents used in extractive distillation, an...
January 1, 2009
Here, we present criteria needed for the intelligent, effective specification of trays for a distillation or stripping column. Among the key parameters and accessories during specification are column diameter, tray spacing, number of trays, number of passes, type of downcomers, weir heights, provision of downcomer backups, tray pressure drops, design of bottom seal pan, column bottom arrangement, and...
May 15, 2008
  FIGURE 1. In a typical system for wastewater treatment, the liquid feed is introduced at the top of the column and steam is introduced at the bottom In recent years, steam strippers have become integral parts of industrial plant operations. The goal when designing these types of columns is to have reliable operation for as long as possible. This article details the methodology used when designing...
March 15, 2008
An understanding of instrumentation is valuable in evaluating and troubleshooting column performance Instrumentation is critical to understanding and troubleshooting all processes. Very few engineers specialize in this field, and many learn about instrumentation through experience, myth and rumor. A good understanding of the various types of instrumentation used on columns is a valuable tool for engineers...
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