(7a) Mega Columns: Challenges and Solutions | AIChE

(7a) Mega Columns: Challenges and Solutions


Pilling, M. - Presenter, Sulzer Chemtech USA
De Villiers, W. E., Shell Projects and Technology (US)
Roza, M., Sulzer Chemtech Ag
Wilkinson, P., Shell
As processes become more complex and economies of scale drive plant economics, mega columns become more and more common. This presentation discusses challenges associated with the design of mega columns and presents innovative solutions to those new challenges.

Examples of processes requiring extremely tall columns and/or extremely large diameters will be discussed. With these columns, there are unique considerations for hydraulic feed and distribution, the optimal type of column internals, mechanical support of internals, achievable and allowable mechanical design tolerances, as well as installation and revamp logistics. The sheer size of such processes and columns creates huge economic pressures. Correct design, efficient startup, and proper operation of these columns is imperative.