September 2000

Process Technology

Prevent plugging in stripping columns

A plant operator replaced packing with new trays to minimize fouling from tars

Hauser, R., Norton Chemical Process Products Corp.; Richardson, J., BASF

Heavy organic tars can cause many process-operating problems for separation columns. At the Beaumont, Texas facility, BASF experienced operational difficulties with a stripping column due to organic tars present in the feedstream. These organic tars plugged the packed column; with accumulation, the tars eventually crushed the packing. Consequently, these conditions compromised processing operations, limited product recovery and diminished service life of the packing and column. In the following case history, BASF investigated various column internals to resolve processing challenges with the tar-containing stream. By choosing the right column internals, BASF minimized plugging problems and

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