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Bubble-Cap Tray Vapor Turndown

By Dan Summers |

The concept of tray stability can apply to bubble caps and be used as an alternative method to determine the minimum efficient capacity of these devices. A new stability correlation for bubble-cap trays is proposed and checked against FRI data The bubble-cap tray has been in the market place as a distillation device since the early 1800s [1]. It has been used extensively on distillation tray equipment worldwide as a highly efficient vapor/liquid-contacting device. Many people have examined the maximum capacity of bubble caps [2, 3], but very few have studied turndown. A U.S. Patent from 1987 [4] endeavored to enhance the turndown capability of bubble-cap trays to as high a turndown ratio value of 15:1. It is the intent of this article to establish a turndown criterion for bubble-cap trays such that the tray designer can maintain efficient operation at the lowest loads. A relationship is established, based on operational data, that shows what the minimum efficient vapor load can be on bubble-cap trays.   Bubble-cap tray and turndown The stability of sieve trays, movable-valve trays and fixed-valve trays was discussed in Ref. 5. The theory presented there is that there is a relationship between the upward force of the vapor…
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