Distillation Tower

Distillation Tower

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Shandong henghe machinery manufacturing co., Ltd.


Fractional distillation is the most common form of separation technology used in petroleum refineries, petrochemical

and chemical plants, natural gas processing and cryogenic air separation plants.In most cases, the distillation is

operated at a continuous steady state. New feed is always being added to the distillation column and products are

always being removed. Unless the process is disturbed due to changes in feed, heat, ambient temperature, or

condensing, the amount of feed being added and the amount of product being removed are normally equal. This is

known as continuous, steady-state fractional distillation.

Industrial distillation is typically performed in large, vertical cylindrical columns known as "distillation or fractionation

towers" or "distillation columns" with diameters ranging from about 65 centimeters to 6 meters and heights ranging

from about 6 meters to 60 meters or more. The distillation towers have liquid outlets at intervals up the column which

allow for the withdrawal of different fractions or products having different boiling points or boiling ranges. By increasing

the temperature of the product inside the columns, the different hydrocarbons are separated. The "lightest" products

(those with the lowest boiling point) exit from the top of the columns and the "heaviest" products (those with the highest

boiling point) exit from the bottom of the column.

For example, fractional distillation is used in oil refineries to separate crude oil into useful substances (or fractions)

having different hydrocarbons of different boiling points. The crude oil fractions with higher boiling points:

have more carbon atoms
have higher molecular weights
are more branched chain alkanes
are darker in color
are more viscous
are more difficult to ignite and to burn

Large-scale industrial towers use reflux to achieve a more complete separation of products. Reflux refers to the

portion of the condensed overhead liquid product from a distillation or fractionation tower that is returned to the

upper part of the tower.Inside the tower, the reflux liquid flowing downwards provides the cooling needed to

condense the vapors flowing upwards, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the distillation tower. The more

reflux is provided for a given number of theoretical plates, the better the tower's separation of lower boiling materials

from higher boiling materials. Alternatively, the more reflux provided for a given desired separation, the fewer theoretical

platesare required.

Fractional distillation is also used in air separation, producing liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, and highly concentrated

argon. Distillation of chlorosilanes also enable the production of high-purity silicon for use as a semiconductor.

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Tony Zhang
Shandong henghe machinery manufacturing co., Ltd.
Liuquan road
Zibo city, shandong China, 2500023