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Draining Vessels

By Edward H. Steve, Chemical Engineer |

Throughout the chemical process industries (CPI), the need to drain a tank or process vessel arises. In batch-type plants, it is a regular occurrence and is one factor that affects the total cycle time per batch and ultimately the entire production capacity of the plant itself.  Figure 1. In a vertical cylindrical, flat-bottom tank, liquid is flowing into the outlet nozzle (point 1) located at x distance above the bottom of the tank and through a pipeline to some terminus (point 2)  Figure 2. If the inside surface of the outlet nozzle is aligned with the inside surface of the tank bottom as shown here, distance x is 0 and hi incorporates the entire contents of the tank Some operations rely on draining a freely flowing Newtonian liquid from a process vessel to another vessel or to elsewhere without the assistance of a pump. This article develops the equations that a process engineer can use to easily estimate the time required for draining a vertical, cylindrical process vessel with a flat bottom, a cone bottom or an ASME F&D (dish) bottom. Unlike other articles on the subject [ 1], this one includes the effect of the connected drain line. Using…
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