Mobile Navigation

Tower Doctor

Member Exclusive

Tower Doctor: X-Raying The Patient: Gamma Scanning Vapor Cross-Flow Channeling

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers In 1988, the author led a team to troubleshoot a chemical tower that was revamped to achieve a small increase in capacity (up to 4%) by increasing the tray hole areas…

Member Exclusive

Tower Doctor: A Quick Diagnosis Makes a Short Assignment

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers On an assignment to troubleshoot a vacuum tower for a petroleum refinery, my team was tasked to “run simulations to determine why the heavy vacuum gas oil (HVGO) has a very…

Member Exclusive

Can Trash Interfere With a Cure?

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers Construction of new production units has an undesirable byproduct: trash. Sometimes the hard question is­— Who will clean? The author was the startup superintendent on a new unit in an olefins…

Member Exclusive

Should the Doctor Believe a Flowmeter?

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers Many cooling-water systems do not have flowmeters. This is a tale about a cooling-water flowmeter that made a difference. As a startup superintendent at ICI Australia in the late 1970s, the…