Case Study

Separator process performance

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Challenge

Throughout the process industry, separating gases and liquids leads to situations in which liquid droplets remain in the gas stream.  These droplets not only compromise the quality of gas stream but can damage equipment downstream, so must be removed.  Many methods exist, and we use our fluid dynamics experience to help manufacturers perfect and assure their devices – as we did here, with a vertical scrubber that was not meeting its performance objectives.

We applied our standard approach – first build a detailed model of the vessel, internal devices, and upstream and downstream pipework. Then, model the flows through the device at a number of operating points, before finally calculating the droplet size range generated and tracking the droplets through the system. If the separation devices work properly, these droplets should be captured before leaving the vessel. In reality different proportions of droplets are captured of different sizes, allowing the performance to be described as a graph showing percentage captured against size.
We applied our standard
Outcome

In this case we identified the relative position of the operating liquid level and the droplet capture device to be the cause of the poor performance, and once rectified the device operated as intended.  This lifted a plant operating restriction, greatly increasing throughput.

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