I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More
Chementator Briefs
Caprolactam Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) recently announced the production…
BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILESOLIDS PROCESSINGEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUSNEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment PDF Operations & Maintenance

Vortex Breakers in Practice

By Jim Gregory and Katy Lentz, Fluor Corp. |

When vortex formation limits outflow from a tank, consider a disc-type vortex breaker Chemical engineers have long said that, while it is easy to get liquid into a tank, it can be difficult to get liquid out. Large line sizes or high-pressure pumps can fill tanks at any desired rate. Tank drainage rates, in contrast, are strictly limited by vortex formation. High-powered pumps cannot increase the drain rate because a vortex extends into the outlet nozzle and blocks the flow. The vortex is caused by the Coriolis effect. Coriolis forces and the resultant vortex formation are widely misunderstood because they are not well described in chemical engineering textbooks or other information sources. The Wikipedia entry for Coriolis force actually includes a Simpsons TV show episode as a reference. As a result, some explanation is in order. Coriolis force, like centrifugal force, is sometimes referred to as a “fictitious” or “pseudo” force. This does not mean these forces are in any way unreal. It just means that they derive from changes in our frame of reference, rather than from matter and energy, which give rise to forces like gravitation and electromagnetism. Coriolis force causes a moving object to deflect in the horizontal…
Related Content

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Improving chemical production processes with IIoT and AI technologies
New filtration technology for highly corrosive media
PTA production: Lowering OPEX without compromising on quality
Sure that zero means zero in your zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) process?
How separation processes profit from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions

View More