This 321 stainless steel, high-pressure stripper column system was designed by ICI and built by Whaley Engineering, LTD. The column is rated for 353 psig at 350oC and typically ran at about 250 psig and 200oC. The system used live steam to strip light components from a maximum flow of 7.9 m3/hr of crude methyl amine product (932 kg/m3 density).
The 321 stainless steel (10.5% Ni) column is 2.0' diameter by 64' straight side. It has a design pressure of 353 psig @ 350oC. The column volume is 5,820 liter and it has three, 10' high packing sections with 1" stainless steel (321) pall rings. The column has an internal overhead condenser mounted in the top head. It also has an overhead stream cooler as well as two bottoms coolers. There are four feed interchangers for heating the feed with the column bottoms stream.
Feed to the column could be as high as 7.9 m3/hr (7,400 kg/hr) of crude amine products at 250 psig and 180°C. The feed enters the column in the upper-middle section between the second and third packed-sections.
An internal condenser is used in the top of this column to condense heavier compounds in the overhead stream. The condensed compounds are collected and further cooled in the overheads cooler before being sent to storage. The condensed overhead stream to the overheads cooler typically ran only 0.1 m3/hr at 210 psig and 62°C but was rated for a maximum flow of 1.6 m3/hr. The piping is 2” diameter for the condensed overheads stream.
The hot bottoms stream from the column is cross-exchanged with the incoming feed using four interchangers in series. The flow typically ran 3.5 m3/hr at 211 psig and 200°C but the system was rated for a maximum flow of 10 m3/hr. The feed was heated with these exchangers to 180°C. The bottoms stream was cooled by these interchangers from 200°C to 101°C. The bottoms stream was further cooled in the two bottoms cooler exchangers. These exchangers took the bottoms stream down to 30°C.
Intermediate pressure steam was injected into the column bottoms at about 1.0 mt/hr through a 3” nozzle to provide the stripping momentum.
Typical industrial distillation towers; Continuous distillation
and desired products. Given a simple, binary component feed, analytical methods such as the McCabe–Thiele method or the Fenske equation can be used. For a multi-component feed, simulation models are used both for design and operation. Moreover, the efficiencies of the vapor–liquid contact devices (referred to as "plates" or "trays") used in distillation towers are typically lower than that of a theoretical 100% efficient equilibrium stage. Hence, a distillation tower needs more trays than the number of theoretical vapor–liquid equilibrium stages. A variety of models have been postulated to estimate tray efficiencies.
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