A Non-traditional Approach that Improves Random Packing Performance | AIChE

A Non-traditional Approach that Improves Random Packing Performance


“A Non-traditional Approach that Improves Random Packing Performance.”

Antonio Garcia


The chemical process industry benefits greatly from any improvements on mass transfer equipment performance due to its impact on energy consumption in distillation processes containing conventional equipment -trays and/or packings-. In existing grass-roots plants, process intensification (higher throughputs, higher purities, or yields) is typically achieved by upgrading from conventional to high-performance equipment and optimizing operating conditions. In high pressure distillation columns designed with trays, these columns are upgraded to contain either high-capacity trays or high-performance random packings. The latter typically achieved using fourth-generation random packings with improved geometries. These types of packings exhibit better hydraulics leading to higher capacities.

The patented non-traditional approach has been available for many years. This approach consists in blending different sizes of a third-generation random packing widely used in the industry. The resulting performance of the blended packing has a similar capacity to the larger random packing size with an improved efficiency.

Recent experimental work conducted in independent research centers confirm the improved hydraulic and mass transfer performance of this non-traditional approach.

A well-known design methodology for random packed columns is successfully applied when modeling these random packing blends.