Distillation Troubleshooting | AIChE

Distillation Troubleshooting


March, 2006





The last half-century of research on distillation has tremendously improved our understanding and design of industrial distillation equipment and systems. High-speed computers have taken over the design, control, and operation of towers. Invention and innovation in tower internals have greatly enhanced tower capacity and efficiency. With all these advances, one would expect the failure rate in distillation towers to be on the decline. In fact, the opposite is the case: the tower failure rate is on the rise and accelerating.

Distillation Troubleshooting collects invaluable hands-on experiences acquired in dealing with distillation and absorption malfunctions, making them readily accessible for those engaged in solving today's problems and avoiding tomorrow's. The first book of its kind on the distillation industry, the practical lessons it offers are a must for those seeking the elusive path to trouble-free distillation.

Distillation Troubleshooting covers over 1,200 case histories of problems, diagnoses, solutions, and key lessons. Coverage includes:

A unique resource for improving the foremost industrial separation process, Distillation Troubleshooting transforms decades of hands-on experiences into a handy reference for professionals and students involved in the operation, design, study, improvement, and management of large-scale distillation.

  • Successful and unsuccessful struggles with plugging, fouling, and coking
  • Histories and prevention of tray, packing, and internals damage
  • Lessons taught by incidents and accidents during shutdowns, commissioning, and abnormal operation
  • Troubleshooting distillation simulations to match the real world
  • Making packing liquid distributors work
  • Plant bottlenecks from intermediate draws, chimney trays, and feed points
  • Histories of and key lessons from explosions and fires in distillation towers
  • Prevention of flaws that impair reboiler and condenser performance
  • Destabilization of tower control systems and how to correct it
  • Discoveries from shutdown inspections
  • Suppression of foam and accumulation incidents