June 2003

Rotating Equipment/Reliability

A quick guide to compressor suction knockout drum sizing

Mist eliminator and gravity settling methods are reviewed

Yu, F., Jacobs Engineering

Compressor suction knockout drums are used to remove liquid droplet carryover in gases and to thus protect the downstream equipment, usually a reciprocating or centrifugal compressor. Most compressor suction knockout drums are arranged vertically. There are several ways to size a vertically oriented compressor suction knockout drum. Our example of a typical knockout drum application is for a recycle gas compressor in a refinery hydrotreater. Here, the compressor may be either the centrifugal (dynamic) or reciprocating (positive displacement) type. Liquid droplets carried over into centrifugal compressors may cause

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