Column Downsizing Techniques

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Andrew W. Sloley
The Distillation Group, Inc.*
P.O. Box 10105
College Station, Texas 77842-0105

Brad Fleming
Jaeger Products, Inc.*
4035 Schilling Way
Dallas, Texas 75237

Presented at the
AIChE Spring National Meeting
Symposium on Recent Advances in Distillation and AbsorptionVI: What is New in Tray Technology
Houston, Texas
1 April 1993

Copyright A.W. Sloley and P.B. Fleming
April 1993

Distillation tray design techniques used for design and sizing of new columns are abundant in the literature. So too are the guidelines for modifying distillation towers for operation beyond their original design range. Reducing capacity of distillation trays merits at least as much consideration. Lack of knowledge and experience in this area causes many tower failures and misdesigned columns. The objective of this paper is to present some practical design considerations based on field experience that lead to effective operation of industrial equipment. The information presented covers design of tower trays for operation at loadings dramatically lower than normal for a particular design. General considerations cover liquid and vapor hydraulics and flow behavior. Detailed case studies are included for three typical units: a refinery vacuum crude still (lubricants service), a petrochemical superfractionator, and a steam stripper.

21 pages.
Electronic version available in Adobe PDF format file 006.PDF 1637k.

Request paper 006.

* Current affiliation.

This page updated May 29, 1999.
© 1999 The Distillation Group, Inc. All rights reserved.