Advanced thermoplastic polymer supports processing of harsh chemicals

The proprietary NeXRing in VICTREX PEEK polymer from Sulzer Chemtech is ideal for supporting the processing of harsh chemicals, thanks to its high temperature (up to 250°C) and chemical resistance.

Sulzer Chemtech

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Article Summary

In effect, PEEK (poly ether ketone) is a thermoplastic and is versatile. It is designed to meet the need for component reliability and efficiency in challenging environments.

Providing enhanced support for key processes, typical NeXRing applications include separations that involve caustic soda, sulphur dioxide, phosphoric acid, halogenated organic compounds, chlorosilanes, acetic acid, seawater and, when concentrations are less than 10%, nitric and hydrochloric acids. Therefore, the technology can benefit companies in a variety of sectors, from chemical and petrochemical to refining industries.

By utilising this random packing product in new or existing columns, companies can benefit from considerable cost savings, as it is possible to operate at optimum conditions while reducing the frequency of maintenance activities and their associated expenses. In addition, PEEK-based components tend to be more economical than exotic alloys, lowering the initial investment.

The use of an advanced thermoplastic polymer also improves the mechanical strength, wear resistance, and separation performance of NeXRing. This fourth-generation random packing was developed to optimise hydraulic performance, maximising capacity and separation performance while minimising pressure drop. More precisely, it incorporates a large and uniform open area in every direction and under any orientation, maximising surface exposure to liquid and vapour while reducing the likelihood of dry zones.

The only random packing types in PEEK available on the market before NeXRing were obsolete second-generation rings, forcing users to compromise, as they had to choose between performance or resistance. Therefore, replacing  older-generation random packings made of metal or other materials with the latest NeXRing can lead to considerable enhancements in productivity, efficiency, and throughput. VICTREX PEEK material was selected after extensive testing as it proved to offer the best properties for many applications. 

Even more, compared to earlier random packing generations, the new solution can support the use of smaller columns while offering higher capacity and the same or improved separation performance. This can further reduce capital expenditure in new units or, when retrofitting existing columns, increase throughput and yield.

NeXRing and VICTREX are marks of Sulzer Chemtech.

This short case study originally appeared in PTQ's Technology In Action Feature - Q3 2023 Issue.

For more information contact: dorota.zoldosova@sulzer.com

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