Optimizing the Design of Splitter Towers
Nieuwoudt, Izak
Sandford, Neil
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How to Cite

Nieuwoudt I., Sandford N., 2018, Optimizing the Design of Splitter Towers, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 69, 745-750.
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The abundance of affordable natural gas and continued growth in the utilization of ethylene and propylene derivatives are key drivers that are leading to the construction of large olefin plants. As is the case for most plants, the trend is to build ever larger olefin plants. To handle the capacity of these mega plants, large diameter splitter towers have to be designed and built. Novel trays and tray support structures were developed to meet these challenges. With these novel approaches, it was possible to build towers of more than 10 m in diameter without having the support structures interfering with the tray operation. Overall tray efficiency values in the range of 92 – 100 % were obtained in these splitter towers. This allowed the companies to minimize reflux ratios and maximize production rates.
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