Engineers rarely apply the most rigorous tray efficiency models due to the significant effort required to implement them and due to their relative lack of accuracy. Rigorous traditional models require a good deal of information; and mechanistic models increase the complexity even further. In sharp contrast, O’Connell’s empirical but simple correlation is widely applied despite its shortcomings.
This paper presents a simplified model based on the traditional approach that allows a process engineer to estimate the tray efficiency for sieve trays during the hydraulic design phase, when an equilibrium stage simulation is available. Despite the simplifications, the new model is more accurate than more modern methods and the O’Connell method.