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BTX Extractive Distillation Capacity Increased by Enhanced Packing Distributors

Karl Kolmetz

Jeff Gray

Mel Chua

Raghu Desai

Presented at the
AIChE 2002 Spring Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
10-14 March 2002

Published in
Oil and Gas Journal
13 October 2003


A new grassroots BTX Extractive Distillation Unit was commissioned in February 2000. A test run was preformed in July 2000 and plant design criteria was marginally accomplished. A review of the tower internals was completed and recommendations made to improve the distributors and reduce the area of the distributor supports that obstructed the packing.

In January 2001, with the turn around of the Ethylene Cracker, the recommended modifications were installed. With the modifications to the distributors and re-traying a limiting stripping section, all the plant design criteria were met. Additionally an 18% increase in aromatic production capacity was achieved while improving aromatic recoveries. Enhanced distributors can greatly improve the fractionation capacity of structured packing.

This was the first industrial application of the Chua / Kolmetz multiple-liquid phase distributor.

Introduction to the paper


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