January 2007


How to handle low-liquid loadings

Better tray design techniques reveal dynamics to improve minimum liquid load conditions

Sloley, A. W., CH2M Hill; Summers, D. R., Sulzer Chemtech USA, Inc.

Failure to address minimum liquid-load requirements on trays can cause many operating problems. Minimum liquid-load operation requires special tray features to improve performance. Processing operations that involve wash sections of main fractionators, upper sections of low-pressure distillation towers and separation of high boilers all can lead to tray designs that encounter very low-liquid loads. Several case histories will demonstrate how to design tray towers to operate at optimum levels under difficult service conditions. Background. Most people look at two criteria for standard downcomer trays: Minimum weir loading Spray (blowing) factor. For truncated downcomers, a third

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