Bulk separation of gas-liquid mixtures (PTQ Outlook, Q2 2011)

Effective gas-liquid separation is increasingly important to produce high-quality products from feedstocks of decreasing quality

The operating conditions of mixed phases and the requirements for separation efficiency may vary widely. Therefore, special care should be taken in selecting the most appropriate device to match the specific duty. For application to bulk gas-liquid separation, where generally not more than 95% of the liquid must be removed from the gas stream, the Schoepentoeter is a proprietary feed inlet vane device used for introducing gas-liquid mixtures into distillation columns or gas/liquid separators. It has two main functions:
* To separate the liquid from the gas; and
* To distribute the vapour in the gas compartment of the column.
The device accomplishes these objectives by slicing up the mixed-phase feed into a series of flat jets by means of properly distributed and oriented vanes. The jets dissipate a large part of the kinetic energy due to the vanes so that the vapour enters the gas compartment of the column in a smooth and uniform manner. The vanes also provide the mixed-phase feed with centrifugal acceleration to promote and/or enhance the separation of the liquid from the vapour — otherwise possible only by gravitational force.

For any given duty, the Schoepentoeter allows for a considerably smaller feed entry section of the vessel, thus a reduction of the total column’s height and costs.

For more information, please visit our web site www.shell.com/home/content/globalsolutions/

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