Properly Design Thermosyphon Reboilers

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

Published in
Chemical Engineering Progress
March 1997

Abstract copyright Andrew W. Sloley

Thermosyphon tower reboilers can be the most reliable means of heat input into a distillation, stripping, or absorption tower. They have no moving parts requiring maintenance or mechanical seals that leak. Properly designed, they can be used across a wide range of process conditions.

However, application experience with them has lead many plants, and occasionally entire industries, to avoid using thermosyphons. This is unfortunate, since often a low-cost alternative for a reboiler may be unjustly eliminated.

This article covers some of the major design and operating requirements for thermosyphon reboiler systems. For example, the nature of the pressure balance loop and the interaction between fluid flow and heat transfer make designing thermosyphons more difficult. The engineer must pay attention to more details and understand both the static design of the system and potential dynamic behaviors.

14 pages.
Electronic version available in Abode Acrobat PDF format file 053.PDF 3110k.

Request paper 053.

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This page updated June 1, 1999.
© 1999 The Distillation Group, Inc. All rights reserved.