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4.9 Chimney Trays Chimney trays (Fig, 4.10~2, b) are used for withdrawing intermediate liquid streams from the column; in a packed tower, they are also used as liquid collectors or vapor distributors. Alternative devices used for liquid withdrawal are downcomer trapouts in tray columns, chevron collectors, and some redistributors in packed columns. Compared to these alternative devices, chimney trays have the following advantages: 1. They minimize liquid leakage to the section below. For this reason, they are preferred
m When all liquid in a column section is withdrawn (“total drawoff’). n When most (but not all) of the liquid is to be withdrawn, because excessive leakage will starve the draw off of liquid. n In low-liquid-load applications.
2. They provide greater residence times for vapor disentrainment, a greater surge volume, a better buffer against upsets, and smoother control. Therefore, they are frequently preferred
When the intermediate drawoff is pumped w When most of the liquid in a column section is withdrawn l When two-liquid phase separation is required.
3. In packed columns, chimney trays are the most effective liquid collection devices for high liquid flow rate services, for interreboilers, and for once-through reboilers. They are also sometimes used for collecting liquid from an upper bed for redistribution (when the redistributor is not self-collecting), and as vapor distributors. 4. In tray columns, chimney trays do not suffer from unsealing problems and are generally less troublesome than downcomer trapouts. The main drawback of chimney trays is that they consume more column height than alternative drawoff devices, resulting in a more expensive arrangement. Chimney trays are also relatively highpressure-drop devices, which is a major disadvantage in packed columns operating in deep vacuum. ,4.10 DOS and Don’ts for Chimney Trays
Detailed procedures for the design and operation of chimney trays are available in the published literature (138, 207, 420). The important factors and guidelines are summarized below: 1. The flow area of the risers is set by the allowable pressure drop. Too large an area wastes sump space; too small an area causes excessive pressure drop. A pressure drop of 5 in of water was recom-
c -^-. (b) with a submerged inlet downcomer.=-_ --. r. .= Vapor riser Liquid out let Overf lov V seal - i .-. I3 -_.P -. (a) With liquid entering from a seal pan.104 Dlstfllation Operation 1 nh Overflow downcomer =+ z --_ --_ .10 Chimney tray arrangements. . .I = _Ij \(a) inlet downcomer Aerated liauid Vapor .riser Liquid outlet uOverflow downpipe Overflow sea I / Figure 4.--2.L .
In packed columns. this split-flow arrangement also assists in obtaining a more uniform vapor profile. 257. Square or rectangular risers are usually less expensive to fabricate (144. especially when the chimney tray delivers vapor to a short or a low-pressure-drop bed. Further discussion is in Sec.4. This is essential in packed towers. A lower pressure drop may be desired in packed columns operating under deep vacuum. 4. 4. or rectangular. In larger towers. square. * An excessive number of risers should be avoided. The number of risers must be large enough to ensure good vapor distribution. the hydraulic gradient can be minimized by using a split-flow arrangement. rectangular risers are typically 4 to 6 in wide (237). 319. Caution is required to prevent any row of risers from restricting liquid flow. A method for estimating this pressure drop was detailed elsewhere (420).g. In such cases. The riser must be tall enough to ensure adequate residence time on the tray. Where residence time is not a significant consideration (e. riser height as low as 6 in (237) can be used. In packed towers. risers should be uniformly spaced to maintain uniform vapor distribution (386). An alternative criterion (179. A riser height of at least 12 to 18 in was recommended (74. when the sole purpose of the tray is to serve as a vapor distributor). this can provoke liquid overflow into risers. 237). it has been recommended (237) that the chimney tray be designed to a pressure drop of 1 in of liquid. A pressure drop of 8 in of water was recommended for packed-tower chimney trays in pressure services (~25 psig) in order to improve vapor distribution to the bed above (237). it has been recommended to locate the top of the vapor risers 6 to 9 in above the maximum liquid level on the chimney tray (179. 2. 207). Risers may be round.Bottom Section and Column Outlets 105 mended for chimney trays (420). With short risers. The split-flow arrangement has been advocated (386) for large-diameter (>12-R) packed columns unless the amount of liquid drawn is small. For good vapor distribution. The hydraulic gradient can be estimated by techniques similar to those used for estimating hydraulic gradients on bubble-cap trays (48.. . 307). 371). with two downcomers or draw sumps located at opposite ends of the chimney tray. For total draw-off arrangements. 307) recommends setting the risers’ flow area at 15 percent of the tower area. 3. because they will obstruct liquid flow and form a hydraulic gradient on the chimney tray.
25 times the riser area. 421). Chimney trays equipped with rectangular risers that stretch from one end of the tray to another often use open-top gutters (“rainwater conduits”) rather than hats (see Fig. 207. 8. A cap or hat should be placed over each riser to deflect liquid raining from above. 207. The g-utters can be V-shaped or U-shaped. or fling this liquid on the shell. 10.6b later). thus promoting corrosion. The recommended slope is 15” (143. especially when . because surges often blow off the hats. and slope toward the short edges of the rectangles. standard pipe caps may be used (420). these reduce riser pressure drop and eliminate the downward velocity component of vapor leaving the chimneys. 8. In services prone to pressure surges. which should be the same through the hat as through the riser. so that no liquid enters the risers and bypasses the chimney tray. A method for determining this flow area is detailed elsewhere (420). are mounted above the risers. This is most important in packed towers.421). 9. An alternative criterion (207) is to make the peripheral area of vapor outlet at the hat 1. but at the expense of allowing some liquid to rain into the risers. The net flow area between each hat and the column shell must be sufficiently large to avoid excessive vapor velocities. Compared to hats. or be equipped with a drip lip (typically a l-in-wide strip seal-welded to the edge of a flat hat and protruding and sloping downward) (143.207). and because they may lead to blowing the liquid running off the hat into the tray above. the peripheral area should be further increased to at least twice the riser area (237). In tray columns. 6. Alternatively. Excessive vapor velocities may entrain liquid dropping from above. Failure to do this may cause vaporization in the downcomer. All sides of each hat should either slope down. but 18 in or more is preferred (74. The caps also improve vapor mixing by forcing it to move laterally. vapor leaving the chimneys should not impinge on the downcomer feeding the tray. 7. The practice of using flat hats (without drip lips) is not recommended because they may not prevent liquid from running back underneath the hat and down into the chimney (207). although up to 45” slopes are sometimes used in leak-tight services (421). Flow area for the hat is set by the vapor velocity.106 Distillation Operation 5. This makes them less suitable for total drawoffs. Hats should extend at least 1 in past the chimney (on all sides) to prevent liquid from entering the vapor risers (143. 207). Spacing between the top of the hat and the tray or packed bed above should be at least 12 in.