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VACUUM SYSTEMS






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REVISION

ORIG.

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DATE

OCT 96










ORIG.BY

VA ROWELL










APP.BY














CONTENTS

SECTION SUBJ ECT

1. PURPOSE

2. SCOPE

3. REFERENCES

4. GUIDELINE

4.1 Selection Parameters for Vacuum Pumps
4.2 Pump Types
4.3 Calculation Methods
4.4 Supplier Information
4.5 Vacuum Pump Selection on Various Projects
4.6 Vacuum Systems in Oil Refining






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1. PURPOSE

For Projects where it is the Process Engineer's responsibility to design a vacuum
system as part of the Process Design work, a wide range of options are available.
The purpose of this guideline is to aid the selection of the best type of system for
a particular application.



2. SCOPE

This guideline covers vacuum systems commonly required for a variety of process
duties in pharmaceutical or fine chemical production plants. Examples of selections
made on several projects are given along with specific supplier information,
together with calculation methods for air in leakage, and evacuation times.



3. REFERENCES

This document is a guideline only. Further information is given in FW Process
Standard 704 entitled "Steam J ets and Eductors", and FW Vacuum Unit Design
Manual.



4. GUIDELINE

4.1 Section Parameters for Vacuum Pumps

4.1.1 Pressure/Capacity

The most important parameter affecting selection is the suction pressure that must
be reached or maintained and the throughput that the vacuum system must
handle. Available capacities and operating ranges most commonly used in process
applications are described in Table 1. A suction pressure of less than 25 mbar is
defined as fine vacuum. Rough vacuum is anything greater than 25 mbar. The
minimum suction pressures in Table 1 show practical lower limits, not ultimate
limits for the units. The information presented in this table can be used to
eliminate systems that cannot meet suction-pressure requirements and to obtain a
crude estimate of the number of pumps of a given type that will be required to
meet the capacity demands.











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Table 1 - Capacities and Operating Ranges for Vacuum Sources







Type

Lowest recommended
suction pressure
mbar abs



Capacity range, m
3
/hr

Steam ejectors
One-stage
Two-stage
Three-stage
Four-stage
Five-stage
Six-stage


100
16
1.3
0.27
0.027
0.004


17 - 1700 000

Liquid-ring pumps
15EC water sealed
One-stage
Two-stage
Oil-sealed
Air-ejector first stage



100
53
13
13



5 - 17 000

Rotary-piston pumps
One-stage
Two-stage


0.027
0.001


5 - 1400

Rotary-vane pumps
Operated as a dry compressor
Oil-sealed
Oil-sealed, spring loaded vanes
One-stage
Two-stage


67
1.3

0.03
0.001


35 - 10 000
85 - 1400

5 - 85

Rotary blowers
One-stage
Two-stage


400
80


50 - 50 000

Dry Vacuum Pumps

0.1

160 - 250
Integrated pumping systems
Ejector - liquid-ring pump
Rotary blower - liquid-ring pump
Rotary blower - rotary-piston pump
Rotary blower - rotary-vane pump
Rotary blower - dry vacuum pump


0.2
1.3
1 x 10-6
0.13*
0.001


170 - 170 000
170 - 17 000
170 - 50 000
170 - 50 000
4000
* Based on two-stage, oil-sealed rotary-vane design that relies on centrifugal force to throw
the vanes against the casing wall.






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4.1.2 Suction load characteristics

The main points to be considered are, is the stream wet or dry, corrosive or non
corrosive, are there likely to be any solids carry-over. When considering how the
system will stand up to corrosive or abrasive loads both materials of construction
and method of operation should be analysed.


4.1.2.1 Tolerance for wet process stream or liquid slugs

Ejectors and liquid ring pumps handle wet process streams with little trouble.
Liquid slugs carried over from the process will reduce the capacity of an ejector but
provided it is constructed of a structurally sound material the slugs will not cause
mechanical damage. Direct discharge of a liquid stream to an ejector is permissible.

A liquid ring pump will handle liquid slugs up to 3% of total volumetric flow with
no loss to pump capacity. However direct discharge of a liquid stream to a pump
may result in mechanical damage (broken vanes or broken shaft) to large pumps
(over 200 cfm).

Mechanical damage to rugged small pumps (under 200 cfm) is unlikely: the motor
simply kicks out and the pump stops.

The mechanical pumps, the rotary-piston, vane pumps, rotary blowers and dry
vacuum pumps may all be damaged by liquid slugs and would require installation of
a knockout pot.


4.1.2.2 Performance in pumping condensables

Ejectors can handle 100% condensable loads. Condensation in intercondensers of
multistage ejector systems improves performance.

The performance of liquid ring pumps is improved by condensation of process
vapours. With liquid ring pumps the vacuum pressure attainable depends on the
physical properties of the sealant fluid. Consequently condensing liquid will dilute
the sealant liquid if different, and may necessitate the use of once through sealant
or a bleed system to prevent the dilute sealant adversely affecting vacuum
attainable.

Condensation of process vapours in a rotary-piston pump can significantly reduce
capacity. In addition condensate accumulates in the pump oil and reduces the
efficiency of the lubrication system which can result in mechanical failure. A
number of techniques have been developed to prevent condensation of process
vapours in oil-sealed pumps.









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The most common method is to inject gas ballast into the cylinder during the latter
portion of the compression stroke which reduces the partial pressure of the
condensable vapour and thus reduces or eliminates condensation. The addition of
gas ballast will significantly reduce the capacity of rotary-piston pumps operating
below 1 mbar abs but the effect on pump capacity is negligible in most process
applications.

Condensation of process vapours in a rotary/sliding vane pump causes rapid
deterioration in pump performance and necessitates cleaning and reassembling of
the pump. However a once-through sealing oil system and operation above the
condensation point will virtually eliminate the problems caused by contamination of
the sealing oil system.

Rotary blowers are normally operated at high temperatures and low compression
ratios consequently condensation is not a problem.

As rotary-piston pumps, dry vacuum pumps use raised gas temperatures and gas
ballast to ensure no condensation takes place.


4.1.2.3 Tolerance for entrained solids

An ejector can handle a reasonable quantity of entrained particulates without
excessive wear or damage as a result of abrasion. However for multi-stage
ejectors entrainment of process solids, in particular polymeric materials, that have a
tendency to foul intercondensers leads to unstable operation and eventually failure.
There are two solutions, either use direct contact condensers or use an organic
solvent as the motive fluid.

Liquid-ring pumps are sometimes more reliable than steam ejectors in applications
involving materials fouling surface condensers particularly when a solvent can be
used as the sealing liquid. Clearances between the casing and rotor are not tight
consequently binding is seldom a problem. Accumulation of abrasive solids in the
liquid seal will erode the pump casing and rotor resulting in reduced pump capacity
at low suction pressures. This problem can be alleviated by using the sealing liquid
once-through.

The rotary piston pump and the rotary/sliding vane pumps both relay on small
clearances between moving parts consequently entrained solids can cause
excessive wear or result in seizure. Installation of inertial traps and/or bag filters in
the suction line are recommended where solids may be present.

Rotary blowers can tolerate soft polymeric materials which will not damage a
blower operating at low rpm, however suction filters are recommended for
applications involving abrasive materials. Dry vacuum pumps can also tolerate
particulates, their design enabling easy discharge of solid waste, eliminating residue
in the pump.






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4.1.2.4 Operation in Corrosive Environments

Steam ejectors can be fabricated from virtually any machinable material and
consequently ideal for corrosive fluids. The standard materials of construction
include ceramics, graphite, cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel and alloys.

Liquid-ring pumps can be manufactured in stainless steel, bronze, carbon steel and
cast iron, plus phenolic coating of pump internals.

Rotary-piston pumps are not available in other than mild steel construction. If a
fluid is corrosive in the liquid phase only the fluid can be handled provided a gas
ballast is used to prevent condensation.

Rotary/Sliding Vane pumps are not available in other than mild steel construction.
If a fluid is corrosive in the liquid phase only then operation at relatively high
temperatures will prevent condensation.

The Rotary blowers can be manufactured in aluminium alloy, stainless steel or
carbon steel so can handle some corrosive gases.

Dry vacuum pumps are generally of carbon steel and some can have corrosion
resistant liners. Operation at high temperatures and the use of gas ballast prevents
condensation of corrosive vapours.


4.1.2.5 Response to a surge in air leakage/demand on capacity

The steam ejector does not respond well to a sudden demand for additional
capacity and can lead to unstable operation with steam back-streaming to the
process. If the duty is for a common vacuum system to serve a number of units,
opening the vacuum header to a vessel at atmospheric pressure may immediately
overload the ejector system and kill the vacuum. A large over design factor is
recommended for critical applications.

The liquid-ring pump responds much better to sudden surges in capacity than the
steam ejector but not as well as the Rotary piston and Rotary/Sliding Vane pumps.

Rotary piston and Rotary/Sliding Vane pumps are true positive displacement
compressors with flat operating curves across the entire rough-vacuum region.
The effect of a surge in air leakage on the performance of these pumps is minimal
(see Fig. 1).

Dry vacuum pumps have very similar performance characteristics to oil-sealed
rotary pumps covering the pressure range of 1000 to 1 mbar at near constant
volumetric efficiency, hence a high stability of operation over a wide range of
conditions.









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Figure 1 - Range of operation of the various vacuum producers















The rotary blowers do not respond well to surges in air leakage, the operating
curve being similar to that of the ejector. If the blower is to be used in a critical
application the blower should be designed to handle double the anticipated air
leakage.


4.1.3 Discharge load characteristics

Subjecting a steam ejector operating over a critical range, to discharge pressures in
excess of its design discharge pressure will result in unstable operation,
characterised by pulsating flow, which may cause back streaming of steam into the
process. In critical duties it is recommended that a condenser is installed between
the process and the ejector to contain any back streaming of steam.

Liquid-ring and rotary-piston pumps handle excess discharge pressure best. The
single-stage liquid-ring pumps rapidly lose capacity at low suction pressures as
discharge pressure increases, and some designs are quite vulnerable to mechanical
damage.

The two-stage designs are less vulnerable and can handle discharge pressures of 3
to 5 psig with no significant reduction in capacity. "Double acting" liquid-ring
pumps are a special class of hydraulically counterbalanced machines that can
discharge against 60 to 80 psig. These pumps are not normally specified for
vacuum applications but should be considered when discharge pressures
consistently exceed 5 psig.







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For the rotary-piston pump, the effect of excess discharge pressure on capacity is
minimal, but they are more susceptible to mechanical damage than are liquid-ring
pumps. Stalling of rotary piston pumps as a result of excessive discharge pressure
can result in dumping of the oil reservoir back into the process. Installation of a
liquid receiver in the suction line to contain dumping is recommended in critical
applications.

The rotary/sliding vane pump is sensitive to excessive discharge pressure which
can result in vane breakage. Interlocks that ensure the discharge valve is open
during start-up is recommended.

Excessive discharge pressure on rotary blowers may cause overheating in the
exhausts parts. This is usually prevented by fitting a temperature limit switch in
the blower exhaust to stop or slow down the blower before damage occurs.

Dry vacuum pumps are sensitive to high body temperatures and can be designed
to operate with a positive discharge pressure.

Many vacuum pumps have a high discharge temperature and a nitrogen purge may
be required to keep the mixture below its Lower Explosability Limit. Many pumps
have the facility to inject nitrogen into the interstage of the pump to minimise the
effect on pump capacity.


4.1.4 Reliability/Maintenance

The major factors affecting reliability are:-

i) the ability of the vacuum system to deal with process upsets.
ii) the ability of the system to withstand abuse
iii) the skills required for field maintenance
iv) the effect of hostile environments on performance.

Table 2 tabulates the various parameters affecting choice which can easily be used
to narrow an evaluation to those pumping systems that can best meet process
requirements in critical applications and to determine the requirements for filters,
knock out pots, temperature controls etc. for protecting the system against
damage and hence minimising downtime.


4.1.4.1 Skills required for field maintenance

Steam ejectors are simple vacuum pumps. Maintenance consists primarily of
replacing worn nozzles or diffusers changing gaskets and cleaning condenser
tubes, all of which require minimum skill and can be performed on site.
Determining the cause of failure for a large multistage ejector system entails
checking each stage and condenser separately.








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Liquid-ring pumps are the simplest mechanical-vacuum producer to maintain.
Specialised mechanics are not needed and with the exception of a major overhaul,
maintenance can be performed on site.

Rotary-piston pumps and rotary/sliding vane pumps both require highly skilled,
specially trained mechanics to handle servicing and major maintenance.

Rotary blowers are relatively easy to maintain, however highly skilled personnel
should handle servicing of the gear drives and timing mechanisms.

Dry vacuum pumps are like rotary blowers but are easier to maintain due to the
non-contacting rotor (eliminating wear) and no-seal fluid hence reducing expensive
regular maintenance.






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Table 2









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4.1.5 Environmental Factors

The cost of solvent recovery, coupled with environmental regulations as to air and
water pollution will frequently favour section of liquid-ring or rotary-vane pumps.

Most solvents can be used as the sealing liquid for liquid-ring pumps. When the
solvents removed can be used as the sealing liquid for the pump the vapour
condensate can be returned directly to the process eliminating the need for solvent
recovery.

Alternatively solvents such as toluene, acetone, chlorinated organics, and alcohols
have been successfully recovered using oil-sealed rotary/sliding vane pumps.
These pumps use a once-through sealing-oil system which prevents contamination
of the oil reservoir and operates at high temperature such that the solvents pass
through uncondensed. A condenser on the atmospheric side liquefies the solvent
for re-use, recovery or burning.

When process gases and/or vapours exhausted from the vacuum source contribute
to air pollution, exhaust filters, scrubbers or more elaborate measures may be
required to control emissions.

With the exception of oil seals, air-pollution problems are identical, regardless of
the vacuum pump selected. If solvent recovery is not significant, environmental
problems will not affect an evaluation of alternatives. Oil-sealed pumps can
contribute heavily to air pollution by exhausting pump lubricating-oil in the form of
oil spray and aerosols along with exhaust gases. Pump manufacturers have solved
this problem by using a system of mechanical baffles to prevent slugs of oil from
entering the exhaust line and by following these inertial traps with coalescing
filters. Such filters can reduce oil contamination of the exhaust to less than 100
ppm.

If waste treatment of cooling water is required economics will normally prohibit
consideration of steam ejector systems that use direct-contact condensers.
Surface condensers eliminate contamination of cooling water and reduce volumetric
flow to the waste-treatment facility by approximately 98% (the remaining flow is
from condensed steam). Waste treatment of contaminated condensate is still a
problem but because of low volumetric flow it will not normally effect an evaluation
of alternatives.

When water sealed liquid-ring pumps are used, waste-treatment costs will dictate
recycling water back from the discharge to the suction side of the pump to reduce
the effluent to an acceptable level.

The cooling water used in rotary-piston pumps, rotary/sliding-vane pumps, rotary
blowers and dry vacuum pumps, does not come into contact with the process and
so does not require waste treatment.







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Dry vacuum pumps have an additional environmental advantage due to no service
fluids in the pumping chamber to contaminate the process. The pumped stream is
not contaminated by oil or water and so valuable solvents and products can be
recovered simply and efficiently using inlet and exhaust condensers.


4.1.6 Purchase Costs

The purchase price of alternative vacuum sources may be ranked within vacuum
ranges over which these devices are normally compared, according to Table 3.
The information in the table is based on gross approximation but does provide
useful cost comparisons particularly for combination systems.










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Table 3 - How various Vacuum Systems rank in regard to their Purchase Costs



Standard Vendor Materials*


Stainless Steel


Least Expensive

Suction Pressure
m bara
One-stage jet, DCC
One-stage jet, SC
One-stage rotary
blower
One-stage liquid-ring pump


One-stage jet, DCC
One-stage jet, SC
Liquid-ring pump




200 - 800

Two-stage jet, DCC
Two-stage rotary
blower
Two-stage liquid-
ring pump
Two-stage jet, SC
Rotary-vane pump
Rotary-piston pump

Two-stage jet, DCC
Two-stage jet, SC
Liquid-ring pump




25 - 200

Two-, three - and
four-stage jets
Rotary-vane pump
Rotary-piston pump
Steam-jet - liquid-
ring pump system
Rotary-vane
rotary blower system
Rotary-piston -
rotary blower system

Two-, three-, and
four-stage jets
Steam jet - liquid-ring
systems




0.10 - 25

Dry vacuum pump



Most Expensive

0.001 - 10
* Carbon steel or cast iron.
DCC, SC; direct-contact condenser(s); surface condenser(s)






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4.2 Pump Types

4.2.1 Steam Ejectors

Steam ejectors are the simplest of all vacuum producers as they have no moving
parts. A high pressure stream (usually steam) is expanded through a nozzle where
the pressure energy is converted to velocity. This high velocity fluid entrains the
load to be handled and the combined stream is recompressed through a diffuser
and discharges at a higher intermediate pressure.

Steam ejectors can be specified as single-stage or multi-stage depending on the
suction pressures required. A practical compression ratio for a single stage unit is
typically 6 : 1 when discharging to atmospheric pressure. For a six-stage unit the
ratio can reach 100,000 : 1.

Multistage ejectors are equipped with interstage direct-contact or surface-type
condensers. Surface-type condensers are commonly used because they prevent
contamination of cooling water. It is essential that the process engineer distinguish
between condensables and non-condensables in the suction load when writing
specifications for multistage steam ejectors.

For process fluids with large quantities of condensables the interstage condenser
can be used for both the motive steam and the process vapours. This can
considerably reduce the load to the downstream ejector stages. The resulting
ejector system is smaller, uses considerably less steam and will have a lower
purchase and installation cost than a system designed to handle process vapours
as non-condensables.

The main advantages and disadvantages of steam ejectors are listed below.

Advantages

1. Simple device with no moving parts.

2. Excellent reliability.

3. Low maintenance costs.

4. Low capital costs.

5. Can be operated over a wide range of conditions depending on number of
stages.

6. Can tolerate liquid slugs and entrained solids

7. Can handle 100% condensable loads. Condensation in ejector
intercondensers improves performance.








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8. Less prone to problems than other types if installed outside in freezing
weather. Good for House vacuum - versatile.

Disadvantages

1. Requires large amounts of water and energy while also creating water and
air pollution.

2. High operating costs unless steam is readily available as a by product.

3. Will fail immediately if precondenser fails

4. Precondenser advised to contain backstreaming of steam.


Figure 2 - Steam-jet Ejectors have no moving parts and can be sized to handle high
flowrates





















For further details on steam ejectors see Foster Wheeler Process Standards section
704.








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4.2.2 Liquid-ring pumps

Liquid-ring pumps have only one moving part, the rotor. All of the functions
normally performed by mechanical pistons or vanes are done by the liquid ring.

Prior to start up the pump casing is partially filled with a sealant liquid. When the
pump is turned on, the rotating impeller throws the liquid to the periphery of the
casing. A liquid ring is formed that conforms to the cylindrical pump body.

The rotor axis is offset from the body axis. Thus a piston action is established as
the liquid almost fills, then almost empties, each of the chambers between the
rotor blades.

The reciprocating liquid piston draws the process gas into the chamber through an
inlet port, compresses it, and forces the gas, along with some of the sealant liquid,
out through a discharge port. Compression ratios can reach 10 : 1 when
discharging to atmosphere for a single-stage pump.

The liquid ring acts as a heat sink to maintain constant-temperature operation.
Assuming a normal sealing liquid flow, and compressing air from 270 mbar abs to
atmospheric pressure the temperature rise will be 3 to 6 EC. For a similar
compression, the temperature differential across an adiabatic compressor would
exceed 100EC.

Both evaporative and condensing effects must be considered in sizing this pump.
Evaporative cooling takes place whenever dry gases are introduced at temperatures
higher than those of the seal liquid. Condensation occurs when pumping gas that
is saturated with vapour is introduced at temperatures higher than that of the liquid
seal. If the condensate is a different fluid to that used for the liquid ring this will
result in contamination of the liquid ring and may necessitate use of a once through
system to prevent concentration of condensate particularly when handling
corrosive materials. The vacuum achievable is determined by the properties of the
liquid ring sealant.

The main advantages of liquid-ring pumps are listed below:-

Advantages

1. Only one moving part - the rotor

2. Good reliability

3. Low maintenance costs

4. Good capacity range









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5. Can handle gases saturated with moisture, small drops and slugs of liquid
and entrained solids.

6. Can pump condensables

7. Resistant to contaminants

8. Responds quite well to surges in air leakage

9. Responds well to precondenser failure and excess discharge pressure.

10. Lower operating costs than steam ejectors

11. Compact machine with little noise and no vibration.

12. No requirements for lubricants


Disadvantages

1. Requires large throughput of recirculating liquid ring sealant which can
become polluted. Treating or disposal of the fluid, normally water can be
costly

2. Vacuum attainable dictated by sealant fluid properties

3. Many applications require special materials of construction eg. bronze.

4. Auxiliary equipment commonly needed to meet performance/pollution
standards.








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Figure 3 - Single-stage, single-action liquid-ring gas pump











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Figure 4 - Gas and Liquid paths







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4.2.3 Rotary-piston pumps

Rotary-piston pumps are positive-displacement oil-sealed machines that isolate a
specific volume of gas with each revolution, compress it and exhaust it to
atmospheric pressure. As the oil-sealed piston revolves, it closes the inlet port
trapping the gas ahead of it. The piston compresses the gas, the discharge valve
opens and the gas is exhausted to atmosphere. Compression ratios can be up to
100,000 to 1 when discharging to atmosphere for a single-stage pump.

The pump operates in an oil bath. The sealing oil lubricates the pump and seals
against backstreaming from the exhaust into the intake. The rate of flow and the
distribution of oil through the pump are important features of the design. The
piston needs the proper amount of oil to be correctly lubricated or it can fail.

Condensation of process vapours in a rotary-piston pump can significantly reduce
capacity. In addition, condensate accumulates in the pump oil and reduces the
efficiency of the lubrication system which can result in mechanical failure and
permanent damage. Water, solvents and the higher alcohols normally encountered
in vacuum operations have a tendency to condense during compression and
contaminate the lubrication system.

A number of techniques have been developed to prevent condensation of process
vapours in oil-sealed pumps. The most common is to use gas ballast, which
involves drilling a hole in the head of the pump to admit air (or another gas) into
the cylinder during the latter part of the compression stroke. This occurs when the
gas being compressed is sealed off from the intake by the piston. The method
reduces the partial pressure of the condensable vapour and thus reduces or
eliminates condensation. The introduction of gas ballast air into the pump
increases the exhaust. The resulting increase in leakage, past the seals will
significantly reduce the capacity of rotary-piston pumps operating below 1 mbar
abs, but the effect on pump capacity is negligible in most process applications.

The main advantages and disadvantages of rotary-piston pumps are listed below.

Advantages

1. Reasonably low operating costs.

2. Can attain exceptionally high compression ratios in a single stage.

3. Rugged design.









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4. Responds very well to surges in air leakage.

5. Gas ballast permits handling of corrosives provided they are not corrosive in
the vapour phase.

Disadvantages

1. Oil lubricants become contaminated by process vapours resulting in
abnormal part wear and/or frequent pump failure.

2. Limited capacity range.

3. High capital cost.

4. Aspiration of solids can result in seizure. Suction filters are normally
installed to prevent this.

5. Liquid slugs will cause mechanical damage unless a knockout pot is installed
in the suction to prevent this.

6. High maintenance costs requiring skilled personnel.

7. Condensation of process vapours is a major problem which can be partially
solved by using gas ballast although this adversely affects pump capacity.

8. Pump is not available in stainless steel.


4.2.4 Rotary-Vane pumps

The conventional rotary-vane pump is an oil-sealed positive displacement machine.
The basic design has a cylindrical rotor that is mounted eccentrically in a cylindrical
casing. The rotor houses two or more spring-loaded vanes that are pushed out
against the stationary cylinder to provide a seal between intake and exhaust. Gas
entering the pump is trapped between the two blades, compressed, and forced out
the discharge port. The clearance between the vanes and the ends of the
cylindrical housing is extremely tight. This clearance is sealed by pump oil.
Compression ratios can be up to 100,000 to 1 for discharge to atmosphere for a
single stage unit.

Contamination causes a rapid deterioration in pump performance, and necessitates
cleaning and reassembling of the pump. Field maintenance requires highly skilled
personnel, because an error in setting clearances may seriously degrade pump
performance or cause vane breakage during start up.







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Rotary-vane pumps designed for process applications incorporate a number of
features that have eliminated many of the objections to the basic design. Process
pumps rely on centrifugal force to throw the vanes against the casing wall, thus
doing away with spring-loaded vanes. The elimination of spring loaded vanes, plus
more liberal clearance between the vanes and end plates together with dowelled
construction has simplified field maintenance. Dowels are used so that precision
parts can be fitted together in only one way during reassembly eliminating vane
breakage caused by a part being put in improperly.

Isolation of the bearing lubrication-system from the vacuum chamber permits a
wider choice of sealing liquids. A once through sealing-oil system and operation at
110 to 120EC virtually eliminates contamination resulting from condensation of
water vapour and more volatile process vapours. Non-metallic vanes
(fibre-reinforced resins) and low rotational speeds permit the device to operate
without lubrication.

The main advantages and disadvantages of rotary vane pumps are listed below.

Advantages

1. Very wide operating range for both capacity and pressure.

2. Good response to surges in air leakage.

3. Can handle corrosives at high temperatures provided non corrosive in
vapour phase.

4. If the design is modified to non-metallic vanes and low rotational speed no
lubrication is required.

5. Compact machine with low noise and vibration levels

Disadvantages

1. Maintenance costs severely limit their use in process applications.

2. Contamination causes a rapid deterioration in performance and necessitates
cleaning and reassembly of the pump.

3. Condensable vapours should be removed prior to passing through the
vacuum pump or operated at high temperatures to prevent condensation
within the pump.

4. Aspiration of solids can cause seizure. Suction filters are normally installed
to prevent this.









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5. Liquid slugs will cause mechanical damage unless a knock out pot is
installed in the suction to prevent this.

6. Excessive discharge pressure causes vane breakage.

7. Cost is less than a rotary piston pump but more than a liquid ring or ejector
system.


Figure 5 -






















The shaft and rotor assembly is supported at both ends by double row spherical
bearings and is axially located by an angular contact ball thrust bearing which
maintains the running clearances necessary for high volumetric efficiency.







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4.2.5 Rotary blowers

A rotary blower uses two interlocking rotors to trap and compress gases. The
rotors are synchronised by external gears and rotate in opposite directions. The
gears and rotor bearings are oil-lubricated, but they are external to the pump. The
rotors normally run dry. Clearance between the rotors are generally between
0.001 and 0.01 inches, and back-leakage across these clearances reduces pump
capacity, increasing as the pressure differential between intake and exhaust
increases. These pumps operate a high rotational speeds, typically 3000 to 4000
rpm. The rotary blower is, therefore, limited to operation across relatively small
compression ratios but it can be designed for higher throughput than any other
mechanical pump.

The potential for overheating is inherent in the design of the blower. This device
operates without a discharge valve. Gas in the discharge line, heated during
compression, backstreams into the blower, is recompressed, and raises the
operating temperature. The principal use of rotary blowers for process applications
is in combination with other mechanical pumps. The blower operates as part of an
integrated pumping system, exhausting to a backing pump which removes hot
gases that would otherwise sit in the blowers exhaust duct and backstream. Using
blowers in this manner extends the range of application for rotary-piston,
rotary-vane and liquid-ring pumps.

Overheating limits the maximum compression ratio across single-stage blowers that
continuously discharge against atmospheric pressure to about 2.3 to 1. However
the compression ratio across a rotary blower that is discharging to a rotary-piston
oil-sealed pump can exceed 1,000,000 to 1.

Overheating is not a consideration in operating a blower below 1 mbar abs because
the work done in compressing the process load is small. An aftercooler, installed
immediately after the blower, is used to ensure that the blower does not overheat
in systems designed to operate in the range of 1 to 130 mbar abs.

The main advantages and disadvantages of rotary blowers are listed below.

Advantages

1. Very large operating capacities although the pressure is very limited.

2. Vastly extends capacities of other mechanical vacuum pumps when used in
conjunction with them.

3. General maintenance is relatively simple but skilled personnel required for
servicing the gear drives and timing mechanisms.









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4. Handling of condensables is not a problem as blower operates at high
temperatures and low compression ratios.

5. Can handle corrosives provided non corrosive in vapour phase.

6. Low capital costs, although more than a steam ejector.

7. Low operating costs.

Disadvantages

1. Aspiration of solids can cause damage. Suction filters are normally installed
to prevent this.

2. Liquid slugs or droplets will cause mechanical damage unless a knockout pot
is installed in the suction to prevent this.

3. Poor response to air leakage and large over design factor is recommended
for air leakage for integrated mechanical systems used in critical
applications.

4. Excessive discharge pressure causes overheating unless a temperature
switch in the exhaust shuts down or slows does the blower.

5. Pump is not readily available in stainless steel.







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Figure 6 - Rotary Blower








1. Two intermeshed impellers rotate
in opposite directions as each passes
the inlet it traps air.














2. Entrapped air-in this case between
left impeller and wall is forced
toward outlet.














3. Air entrapped by left impeller is
pushed through outlet as other
impeller begins new cycle.








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4.2.6 Dry Vacuum Pumps

There are different types of dry vacuum pumps, such as Edwards Dry Vacuum
Pump and Busch's 'Cobra'.

The Edwards DP160V incorporates a unique configuration that gives real
performance and operational advantages. The patented Roots and Claw rotor
arrangement with inverted claws on alternate stages gives a very stable speed
characteristic down to 1 mbar and a very short, simple, high conductance gas path
through the centre of the pump. This enables particulates and liquid droplets to
pass easily through the pump and minimises the volume available for the build up of
residues. The DP160V rotor configuration represents a major advance on
conventional arrangements where gas has to be ducted laterally across the pump
from the outlet of one stage to the inlet of the next. The high efficiency of the
Claw mechanism keeps gas temperatures well below the autoignition range and
eliminates the need for interstage gas coolers. The Claw mechanism also has
improved performance against back-pressures, making it ideal for pumping to after-
condensers or scrubbers.

The DP160V is vertically mounted in its own integral frame. This greatly assists
the pumping of saturated vapours and entrained liquids, which drain through the
pump. This self-draining facility also prevents the build up of corrosive condensate,
and allows pump flushing to be part of routine maintenance. Particulates also pass
easily through the pump.

Edwards dry pumping technology reduces the explosion risk when pumping strong
oxidants. The high gas ballast capability allows toxic gases to be diluted to safer
concentrations. All integral exhaust valves are eliminated to prevent corrosion or
blockage. System safety is maintained by a 316L stainless steel isolation valve
fitted to the pump inlet.

The pump is maintained at a temperature of about 80EC by an integral water cooled
jacket. The temperature is controlled by a mechanical control valve fitted to the
pump body. In areas where a suitable quality of cooling water is not available,
closed circuit secondary cooling can be provided using either a water or air cooled
exchanger. An over temperature cut out device is fitted to the water jacket to
protect the pump in the event of cooling water failure.







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Busch also manufacture dry, that is non-touching, pumps as rotary lobe in Claw
and Roots versions and a dry screw Cobra system. In the Cobra system the gas is
transmitted in a horizontal direction by the screw type rotors. The distance
between the inlet and discharge is short, and agitation of the gas is minimal due to
the straight gas flow pattern. The Cobra design uses no intercoolers so severe
changes in direction of the gas flow within the pump are eliminated reducing the
chances of product build-up. Because there are no intercoolers, the potential for
condensation in the pump is also reduced. As a result, the potentially detrimental
effects of high reactive products are greatly reduced. This allows for minimal
maintenance over a long period of time even under difficult operating conditions.

The Cobra also has a nitrogen purging system with flow control devices for dilution
of toxic, corrosive and condensable process gases.

The main advantages and disadvantages of dry vacuum pumps are listed below:

Advantages

1. Non-polluting.

2. Non contact design eliminates pump rotor wear.

3. Good response to surges in air leakage.

4. Can handle corrosives provided non corrosive in vapour phase.

5. No seal lubrication required.

6. Enhanced recovery of valuable products or solvents.

7. Greatest thermal efficiency of any vacuum producing system.

8. Low operating cost.


Disadvantages

1. Aspiration of solids can cause damage. Suction filters are normally installed to
prevent this.

2. Liquid slugs or droplets will cause mechanical damage unless a knock-out pot is
installed in the suction to prevent this.

3. Sensitive to high pump body temperature.









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4. Pump is not readily available in stainless steel.

5. High purchase cost.



4.3 Calculation Methods

A variety of calculations must be done in order to specify the parameters which are
likely to influence selection of the size of vacuum pump required. For general
vacuum distillation the parameter determining capacity is likely to be the liquid
evaporation rate required at the required vacuum. For a batch dryer the critical
parameter may well be the final vacuum required in the dryer which is determined
by the air leakage.

Another major consideration is whether or not to use a precondenser in the suction
of the vacuum pump as this can radically reduce the load to the pump.


4.3.1 Air leakage

Many vacuum pumps are used primarily for handling air leakage into the vacuum
vessel and are sized on this basis. It is not possible to accurately predict the air
leakage into a vessel resulting, for example, from an error in fabrication or from an
improperly seated gasket. Air leakage estimates are ultimately estimates of the
degree of maintenance that can be justified, because any given vessel can be made
virtually air tight.

There are various methods for estimating acceptable air-leakage rates. These
generally approach the problem by attempting to correlate air leakage with the
volume of the vessel and the system pressure, or by assigning nominal leakage
rates to the various sizes and types of fittings in the system.

Correlating air-leakages rates with the volume of the vessel and the system
pressure is more widely accepted because it is easier to do (see method 1). This
approach is based on two observations:

1) Larger systems will usually contain more larger air-leakage paths.

2) It is more expensive to remove air from a fine-vacuum than from a
rough-vacuum system.

However this approach also leads to errors, because it is based on the assumption
that the acceptable air-leakage rate correlates directly with the volume of the vessel,
and disregards the numbers of connections and flanges etc.







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An alternative method of estimating air leakage is to sum individual air leakages for
fittings which are given in Table 4 of Method 2. This method should only be
employed when the engineering work is advanced and good take-off data is
available. The results obtained by this method are usually conservative.

If the system is existing and the air leakage is to be checked (for instance if the
vacuum pump installed is unable to perform the required duty, necessitating a check
on the specified load) the best method of determining the air leakage is by carrying
out a pressure rise test. The system is evacuated to any pressure where critical
flow is produced through leakage paths and the pressure rise over a period of time
recorded. The results of this test are used to calculate air leakage rates as described
in Method 3.

A further method for calculating air leakage can be done if a leak test has been done
either on an existing similar system or on trials equipment of different volume to
that required. The air leakage can be calculated for the test system using Method 3
and scaled up or down to suit the required system using Method 4.

Method 1, Foster Wheeler Standards ref 704 page 2.0 - 4

If the system pressure is sufficiently low (approximately half atmospheric pressure)
to produce critical air flow through all leakage paths, then further reduction in
pressure will not cause an increase in the air leakage rate. Therefore, for most
systems dealt with in process plants, air infiltration rates are independent of system
pressure. Secondly, systems designed for high vacuum are made more air tight
than systems designed for lower vacuum. These two points are reflected in the
following formula.

L = a Vs
0.665
Equation 1

Where, L = air leakage rate, 1b/hr
Vs = system volume, including pipework, ft
3

a = allowance for air-tightness, see below.

Degree of vacuum Allowance "a"

90 to 760 mm Hg abs 0.195
21 to 89 " 0.149
3.1 to 21 " 0.0993
1.0 to 3.0 " 0.0496
0.0 to 1.0 " 0.0245


Note that the above values are for a commercially tight system.









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The air leakage rate from equation (1) should be doubled for design purposes. For
a tight efficient plant the leakage values may sometimes be reduced to 0.5 to 0.75
of the calculated value, while for a poorly maintained plant the values may be
multiplied by 2 or 3.

Method 2, Foster Wheeler Standards ref 704 page 2.0 - 5

The number and size of the various connections on vessels and pipework are
counted then the air leakage calculated according to Table 4. Specialised items eg.
proprietary dryer discharge valves need to be considered on an individual basis and
the vendors consulted for advice on air leakage rates.

Table 4

Estimated Air Leakage Into Equipment under Vacuum

Estimated Average
Type Fitting Air Leakage 1b/hr

Screwed connections in sizes up to 2 in 0.1
" " " " above 2 in 0.2
Flanged connections in sizes up to 6 in 0.5
" " " " 6 in to 24 in
including manways 0.8
" " " " 24 in to 6 ft 1.1
" " " " above 6 ft 2.0
Packed valves up to 1/2 in stem dia 0.5
" " above 1/2 in stem dia 1.0
Lubricated plug valves 0.1
Petcock 0.2
Sight glasses 1.0
Gauge glasses including gauge cocks 2.0
Liquid sealed stuffing box for shaft of
agitators, pumps etc., per inch shaft dia 0.3
Ordinary stuffing box, per inch shaft dia 1.5
Safety valves and vacuum breakers, per inch
of nominal size 1.0








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Method 3, Foster Wheeler Standard ref 704 page 2.0 - 4 and 5

Once the pressure rise over a period of time has been recorded for the system air
leakage rate can be calculated from the following formula.

L = 0.006 Pmm Vs Equation 2
t

Where L = air leakage rate, 1b/hr
Pmm = pressure rise in air leakage test, mm Hg

Vs = system volume, ft
3

t = time interval in system air leak test, min

Method 4

This uses the same basic formula as Method 1 to scale up or down the air leakage
rates based on test data from a similar system of different volume.

L = LT V
0.665
Equation 3
VT

Where L = air leakage of required system 1b/hr
LT = air leakage of test system 1b/hr

V = Volume of required system ft
3


VT = Volume of test system ft
3


Method 5, Chemical Engineer, Dec 14, 1981

This method uses a combination of air leakage based on the system volume and
system pressure, and also based on the sizes and types of fitting within the
system. However in order to estimate the air leakage associated with the fittings an
accurate detail of the layout is required which is only available during engineering.
For preliminary calculations to obtain an approximation of the total air leakage the
value obtained based on system volume and pressure should be doubled to allow
for air leakage in seals and flanges etc. For vessels that have rotary seals allow an
additional 5 1b/hr for each conventional seal, and 2 1b/hr for each mechanical seal
and 'O' ring.









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The acceptable air leakage resulting from the metal porosites and cracks along weld
lines can be calculated from the following equations.

1 < P < 10 torr, W = 0.026 p
O.34
V
0.6

10 < P < 100 torr, W = 0.032 p
O.26
V
0.6

100 < P < 760 torr, W = 0.106 V
0.6


Where, P = system operating pressure, torr
V = Volume, ft
3

W = air leakage from metal porosises and cracks along weld lines, lb/hr

The acceptable air leakage resulting from leakage around static or rotary seals,
valves and flanges etc can be calculated from the following equations and summed
to give an air leakage from all components.

1 < P < 10 torr, W = p D? p
0.34

10 < P < 100 torr, W = 1.2p D? p
0.26

100 < P < 760 torr, W = 3.98p D?


Where D = sealed diameter, in
? = specific leakage rate, 1b/hr/in from Table 5
w = air leakage assigned to a system component 1b/hr

Total acceptable leakage = W + S w.


Table 5


? = specific leakage
COMPONENT rate, 1b/h/in

Static seals
O-ring construction 0.002
Conventional gasket seals 0.005
Thermally cycled static seals
t<200EF 0.005
200<t<400EF 0.018
t>400EF 0.032

Motion (rotary) seals
O-ring construction 0.10
Mechanical seals 0.10
Conventional packing 0.25







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Threaded connections 0.015

Access ports 0.020

Viewing windows 0.015

Valves used to isolate system
Ball 0.02
Gate 0.04
Globe 0.02
Plug-cock 0.01

Valves used to throttle control
gas into vacuum system 0.025

Assumes sonic (or critical) flow across the component.


This procedure does not account for the submerged portions of the vessel which
must be considered separately. A very conservative approach would be to ignore
the effects of the liquid and to calculate the air leakage into the connections as
above. The full method for calculating air leakage rates in submerged parts is given
in Perry (5th edition p.5-2).


4.3.2 Evacuation Times

If the time taken for initial evacuation is unimportant (eg. on a vacuum distillation
unit where periods between shut downs are long) then the vendor should merely be
asked to advise the duration of the evacuation time.

If the evacuation time is important (eg. on a batch dryer where drying times
typically determine the batch time) then the allowable time for evacuation should be
given. Care should be taken in specifying the time allowed as too short a time may
result in an oversized vacuum system, alternatively specifying too long a time may
result in operating difficulties.









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Method 1

Foster Wheeler Standards ref 704 page 2.0 - 24 and 27

To estimate the approximate time required to evacuate a system from atmospheric
pressure down to the design suction pressure the average air handling capacity may
be assumed to be twice the design capacity. The air leakage into the system can be
considered negligible during evacuation. With these assumptions the approximate
evacuation time is:

t = 2.3 Vs Equation 4
Wa, d

Where t = evacuation time, mins

Vs = system volume, ft
3

Wa, d = design air flow, lb/hr

Method 2

A method of calculating evacuation times is given below (method from Hick
Hargreaves 'A technical guide to vacuum and pressure producing equipment'.)

Evacuation times are calculated using the formula given below,

760 C - J
t = 2.3 V log10 V Equation 5
C PC - J
V

Where, t = evacuation time, mins
V = Volume of system, ft
3

C = Pump capacity at working pressure of system, ft
3
/min
J = Rate of pressure rise due to leakage, mmHg/min
P = Working pressure of system, mmHg abs

Table 5 gives suitable "maintenance test" limits for J for three pressure ranges and
in three categories. Category A represents common practice and is often adequate.
Category B represents better practice and Category C may be used when ingress
of air is harmful to process materials.







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Table 6 - Rate of rise of pressure due to leakage

Operating Pressure Pressure Rise Rate J
(mm. Hg. abs.) (mm. Hg./min.)

A B C
1 - 10 0.5 0.2 0.05
10 - 30 1.0 0.5 0.05
30 - 100 2.0 0.5 0.05

Test rates of 2.0 and 1.0 can be obtained on most plants constructed with
reasonable engineering practice, but 0.5 and lower need special attention. The
figure of 0.05 is attainable on large plant employing the very minimum of large
flanges or similar leak-points, and on systems of volumes less than about 100 cu.
ft., is attainable only with special care.


4.3.3 Use of Precondensers

In almost every application a precondenser can be justified if it significantly reduces
the load to the vacuum pump as this permits the use of a smaller vacuum pump.
Precondensers increase reliability by protecting the vacuum pump from solids and/or
liquid carry over, and by reducing the concentration of corrosive chemical vapours
in the load to the vacuum pump. The loss of a valuable product, and waste
treatment requirements, may be significantly reduced in many applications by
returning condensate from the precondenser directly to the process.

Consideration for precondenser design

When a noncondensable gas and a vapour flow through a condenser, the condenser
acts to reduce the load to the vacuum pump. The amount of vapour retained by
the gas depends on the equilibrium vapour pressure, the molecular weight of the
vapour, and the total system pressure.

For instance, if air is removed from a pure component condenser, the pounds of
vapour retained per pound of air leaving the condenser may be calculated from
Equation 6, which follows directly from Raoult's Law and Dalton's Law of partial
pressures:

lb vapour = ( pE ) Mv Equation 6
lb air ( Pc - pE ) 29

where: Mv = molecular weight of vapour
Pc = condenser operating pressure, torr
PE = equilibrium vapour pressure, torr









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Fig 7, based on handling air saturated with water vapour indicates the limitations
imposed by the available cooling-water temperature on the condenser application.
The areas to the left and above the curves indicate those regions where one would
normally expect to use a precondenser to reduce total system costs.

Figure 7

Temperature of available cooling water limits use of precondenser in the system.

























The design of surface precondensers involves an optimisation that considers total
purchase, installation and operating costs for both the condenser and the vacuum
unit. Designing a precondenser to sub-cool the vapour/gas moisture to within say
5EF of the coolant temperature may well virtually eliminate the vapour load and
reduce the cost of the vacuum device but the cost of the large area condenser will
argue against this practice. Designing a precondenser to use a large pressure drop
to achieve the desired subcooling will reduce the surface area requirements but will
increase the size of the vacuum pump.







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Preliminary estimates which serve as a good starting point for overall optimisation of
the vacuum pumping system can be made by assuming that:

1. The temperature of the vapour-gas mixture leaving the condenser will be equal
to the temperature of the saturated vapour at the condenser inlet pressure
minus 10EF.

2. The pressure loss across the condenser will be equal to or less than 10% of
the system operating pressure.

Direct contact condensers present a less difficult design problem than do surface
condensers. A large baffle-tray column (condenser diameter that is greater than 24
in) can be expected to cool the vapour-gas mixture leaving the condenser to within
5EF of the initial coolant temperature, with much lower pressure-losses than would
be expected with a surface condenser. This terminal cooling-temperature difference
will increase when the noncondensables increase beyond 10%.

Direct contact condensers are inexpensive, and the penalty for oversizing is minimal
if cooling water pumping costs can be neglected. The major disadvantage of these
condensers is the cooling water becomes contaminated with process vapours. If
this stream then needs waste treatment the cost of the treatment is usually
prohibitive and surface condensers are more suitable.



4.4 Supplier Information

Further information on the various vacuum pumps used on recent projects is
included in the following sections. The vendors detailed in these sections have
either been used on a recent project or provide good catalogue information and are
included as typical of the equipment available. Many other vendors also supply
similar equipment.


4.4.1 Liquid-Ring Vacuum Pumps

An EFD showing a typical liquid-ring vacuum pump using water as the liquid ring is
shown below. The ring water is drained at intervals and topped up with fresh. The
vacuum pump shown is used on a Still. The majority of the solvent load is
condensed in heat exchangers prior to the suction of the pump so there is very little
solvent in the vacuum pump or venting to atmosphere.









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4.4.1.1 Nash

Nash manufacture 3 basic types of vacuum pump, single stage, double stage and
double duty.

Nash MHF/AHF Range - Single Stage

The single stage vacuum pump consists of a single undivided rotor which has a
stable capacity performance up to 300 mbar abs and a maximum vacuum attaining
ability to 70 mbar abs. Pump capacities range from 16 to 240 m
3
/hr at 300 mbar
abs although this capacity rapidly reduces at finer vacuum eg. 150 m
3
/hr at 100
mbar abs.



























1. Cast rotor
2. Internal porting
3. Motor drive
4. Mechanical seal
5. Grease lubricated bearings
6. Service connections
7. Internal and external porting
8. Support mounting









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Nash MT/AT Two Stage Range

The two stage vacuum pump consists of a balanced two stage rotor, each stage
consisting of a series of equally spaced blades around a central hub, which is used
to rotate the ring of liquid within the body casing. The mixture discharges from the
first stage and is then directed internally within the pump to the second stage inlet
port to enter the second stage of the rotor and undergo a further identical
compression by the rotating liquid ring.

The use of a two stage vacuum pump extends the vacuum range down to a
maximum attainable of 30 mbar abs and similar pumping capacities as the
MHF/AHF range.




























1. Mechanical seal
2. 2-stage rotor
3. Shrouded rotor ends
4. Cone porting
5. Automatic stage transfer valve
6. Rotor-cone clearances
7. Support mounting
8. Drive Shaft






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Nash also manufacture a larger capacity, more sophisticated 2 stage machine which
can have enhanced pumping capacity by the use of inlet sprays to permit
precondensing of saturated process vapours. The machine also incorporates an
automatic interstage non return valve to maximise evacuation performance.

This range of pumps are designed for 1400 to 4500 m
3
/hr at 300 mbar abs.

Nash CL Range - Double Duty

Each pump is divided internally into two halves both of which have separate
corresponding inlet and discharge ports and external terminating connections.

The two halves can be used for a single duty or separately for two different duties.
The pump is available with a choice of cone designs allowing maximum operating
efficiency to be achieved over the full vacuum range. For split vacuum duties, two
cones of different designs can be incorporated into the same pump.

This range of pumps are designed for 160 m
3
/hr at 100 mbar abs up to 11,000
m
3
/hr at 240 mbar abs.

Inlet seal liquid sprays can be used to enhance the effective capacity of the pump
when handling saturated gas.









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1. 2-stage rotor
2. Inlet port
3. Cone porting
4. Bearings external to pump body
5. Discharge port
6. Rotor end shroud
7. Rotor/cone clearance
8. Drive shaft






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4.4.1.2 Sulzer Burckhardt 'Apovac' (Anti pollution vacuum)

The Apovac system consists of a ring-liquid tank, distributor head, ring-liquid
cooler, exhaust gas cooler and liquid-ring vacuum pump all supplied mounted on
one skid for ease of installation.















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As with liquid rings pumps a variety of different liquids can be used as the ring and
if the solvent contained in the process stream is suitable for the sealant ring this
enables the solvent to be recovered.



































One use of the Apovac system is in conjunction with Rosenmund on their
Filter/Dryer. In this instance the Apovac provides the vacuum required for drying
but can also act as a compressor providing a 2 bar pressure differential which
enables it to be used for recirculating hot nitrogen to aid drying. The use of an
Apovac to recycle Nitrogen can greatly reduce nitrogen usage and cost. The range
of the Apovac duty can be extended by using a gas ejector.

The coolers are used to condense as much solvent as possible to reduce the solvent
load vented to atmosphere to a minimum.







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Performance curves for the Apovac system





































Performance curves show suction volume at given vacuum with tolerance of 10%
at following conditions:

- Evacuating dry air at 20EC
- Compression to 1013 mbar
- Ring liquid: water 15EC at inlet









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4.4.2 Rotary-Vane Pumps

4.4.2.1 Busch Huckepack

Busch have developed the conventional rotary vane pump to incorporate a number
of design features which would normally limit the use of this type of pump. The
Huckepack utilises a once through sealing fluid system, that avoids the pump
chamber and oil sump contamination inherent with conventional oil sealed pumps.

The once through sealing fluid system is completely independent from the bearing
lubrication system which is separated from the vacuum pumping chamber by a
mechanical seal. The seal fluid simply provides the vacuum seal and lubrication
between the vanes and chamber wall, consequently a seal fluid compatible with the
process vapours can be chosen typically glycerine, polyglycols, automotive oil and
extracted paraffinics. The seal fluid usage is low, approximately 2 litres every 24
hours in the 630 m
3
/hr Huckepack consequently the volumes of contaminated oil to
be handled are small.

The Huckepack can be supplied with cooling water connections or as a self
contained system with air cooling.







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1. Oil supply to Mechanical Seal
2. Oil Reservoir
3. Low Oil Level Switch
4. Oil Metering Pump
5. Oil Reverse-Flow Check Valve
6. Air Reverse-Flow Check Valve
7. Water Connections
8. Interstage Take-off
9. Pump Base
10. Interstage Over-pressure Relief Valve (Integral with By-pass Line)









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As can be seen from the capacity curves given below the volume pumped is
constant over a wide range of pressure conditions down to almost 10 mbar abs.















Flowsheet details of a typical water cooled Huckepack are given below together
with some additional engineering details.







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Notes:

A) Spray Ball Connection
B) Liquid trap

27. Discharge to floor at safe location

Particular attention must be paid to the discharge line from the Huckepack to
ensure that any condensation of solvent vapour drains to the vacuum condenser
and not back to the seal fluid catch pot. It may be necessary to steam trace the
discharge line in order to prevent condensation.

Attention must also be paid to the discharge of waste oil, if a lute seal is used.
The height of the lute must be designed for initial start-up at 5 psig without
blowing the lute.









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4.4.3 Dry Vacuum Pumps

4.4.3.1 Edwards

Edwards manufacture a dry pump which incorporates one roots stage and two
claw stages within a single pump body. Although originally designed to cope
with the arduous conditions in the semi-conductor industry, this pump has now
been developed for the chemical industry.

The chemical dry-pump is mounted vertically to ease liquid transfer and pump
cleaning. Numerous features have been built in, such as generous gas ballast
flow rates without loss of pumping speed. This helps to prevent condensation of
high boiling solvents and also facilitates fast warm-up of the pump as well as fast
clean-up after shutdown.

A thermostatically controlled water jacket around the pump maintains the optimum
operating temperature. This can be adjusted within certain limits to suit the
pumped vapours and thus avoid condensation during compression. Outlet vapour
temperatures are in the order of 80-130EC depending on the inlet pressure to the
pump and the thermal conductivity of the vapours.

By maintaining the pumped fluid in the vapour phase, all these features effectively
prevent the pump from running wet. Should condensation still occur, however,
the patented condensate extraction grooves will eject condensate towards the
pump exhaust and prevent their accumulation and stalling of the pump. Vapour
mists or small droplets may be pumped without undue harm. If heavy liquid
carry-over is expected a catchpot should be provided as additional protection.






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DP 160V










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Performance Curves of DP160V and DP250







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4.4.3.2 Busch 'Cobra'

The Busch 'Cobra' has a simple, extremely durable dry vacuum pump design.

The Cobra has for screw rotors a low rotational speed of 3000 rpm at 50 Hz and
3600 rpm at 60 Hz and is able to operate from atmospheric pressure to its
ultimate pressure level of 10
-2
mbar.

With the COMBI System Cobra/Roots-type booster, a higher pumping speed and
a lower ultimate pressure can be obtained. The simple design, single-stage Cobra
screw vacuum pump requires no intercooler, and offers greater efficiency and
easier maintenance than other types of pumps. The capability to introduce
nitrogen purge is a standard feature to improve its reliability in critical and
hazardous applications.

The Cobra rotor screw design attains an ultimate pressure in the range of
10
-2
mbar while operating at low rotational speeds. Unlike other designs,
continuous operation at any pressure level between atmospheric pressure and the
pump's ultimate pressure is possible.

The Cobra's highly anti-corrosive, dry shaft seal design prevents oil contamination
and insures clean oil-free operation.

































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Performance Curves for Various 'Cobra' Systems







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4.5 Vacuum Pump Selection on Various Projects

The following sections list the various operating parameters and details that effect
the choice of vacuum system for a variety of duties and detail the final system
chosen for each duty.

4.5.1 Project "A"

4.5.1.1 Evaporator Overhead System

Duty

Evacuation Duty

Initial pressure 1026 mbar abs
Final pressure at inlet to system 30 mbar abs
Temperature of gas 16 to 105EC
Volume of equipment, excl this system 9m
3

Gas composition Air/Nitrogen
Evacuation time 30 mins

Normal Operation

(Maintaining vacuum and condensing IPA/water).

a) Conditions Exit KO Drum
Case IA Case IB Case II

Normal Design Normal Design Normal Design
Operating
pressure
(mbar abs) 40.5 30 40.5 30 40.5 30.5

Operating
temperature
(EC) 27 22 27 22 27 22

Flowrates

IPA vapour
(kg/h) 962 1100 1120 1281 461 527

Water Vapour
(kg/h) 1333 1525 1175 1344 1397 1598

Air (kg/h) 10 10 10 10 10 10

Total (kg/h) 2305 2635 2305 2635 1868 2135
Design Alternatives









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The following design alternatives were examined by the Supplier:

a) Vapour exit KO drum to steam jet ejector (to boost pressure) followed by
cooling water cooled condenser, chilled water cooled condenser, sliding vane
vacuum pump and finally, vent condenser.

b) Vapour exit KO drum to chilled water cooled condenser followed by steam
jet ejector, a second chilled water cooled condenser, sliding vane vacuum
pump and finally, vent condenser.

c) Vapour exit KO drum to chilled water cooled condenser followed by multiple
vacuum pumps and, finally, vent condenser.

The three alternatives were compared on the basis of capital cost, utilities
consumptions and practicality. The result of the comparative exercise was
discussed with FWEL at the earliest possible time, before a decision was taken to
proceed with any one design. Design b) was determined to be best option.

System Used















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Basis of Selection

The selection was basically the responsibility of the Supplier based on the above
specification. The vast majority of the vapour load is condensable hence the
ejector and two precondensers to reduce the load to the main vacuum pump.


4.5.1.2 Dryer Vacuum Pump and Spare

Duty

Evacuation

Initial pressure 1026 mbar abs
Final pressure at pump suction 17 mbar abs
Temperature 20EC
System Volume 4m
3

Gas Composition Nitrogen/Air
Evacuation time 30 mins

Start of Drying

Operating pressure at pump suction 68 mbar abs
Operating temperature 25 to-20EC
Dryer Vapour load 49.5 kg/hr
Composition 92% wt acetone, 8% wt water
Air leakage 8.53 kg/hr

The pump is required to evacuate the system to the operating pressure while
removing the constant dryer load and air leakage in approximately 1.25 hours.

End of Drying

Final operating pressure at pump suction 17 mbar abs
Operating temperature 25 to 40EC
Vapour load (composition as above) 3.1 kg/hr
Air leakage 8.53 kg/hr









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System Used





























At these flowrates and level of vacuum, the only single device that can do the
duty are rotary/sliding vanes or rotary piston pumps. A liquid ring pump would
need to be used in combination with another vacuum device to achieve the level
of vacuum required.

Glaxo have very good experience of using the Busch Huckepack (sliding vane)
pump on this type of duty where the process fluid is clean and this was used for
this duty and purchased complete with its own cooling means.


4.5.1.3 Air Ejectors, 14B-X101, 201, 301

Duty

A source of vacuum is periodically required to provide vacuum for process vessel
sampling systems. The vacuum system is required to evacuate air and process
vapours from sampling pots in order to pull liquid samples into the pots.






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Suction pressure : 400 mbar abs
Air evacuation rate : 9 kg/hr

System Used






















Basis of Selection

This type of duty, small flowrate and rough vacuum, is ideally suited for an
ejector as they are very simple to stop and start, very cheap and for an
intermittent duty, the operating costs are unimportant. Compressed air is used as
the motive fluid as this can be vented directly to atmosphere without the need for
a condenser.









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4.5.1.4 Steam Ejector Set, 11S-X302

Duty

During the drying cycle the majority of the solvent will flash off during the first
one to three hours and as the drying proceeds, solvent rates of removal will drop
to a minimal figure. Hence a vacuum profile with a coarse vacuum (40 to 50
mbar abs) during initial drying and a finer vacuum (10 mbar abs) as the drying
proceeds is required.

Final Vacuum Required

Air removal rate 20 kg/hr
Suction pressure at vacuum source 10 mbar abs
Temperature Amb
Discharge pressure Atmosphere

Initial Drying Load

Air removal rate 13 kg/hr
Acetone removal rate (MW=58) 51.6 kg/hr
Suction pressure at vacuum source 40 to 50 mbar abs

System Used

















Basis of Selection

This type of system was selected based on good experience of the client using a
similar system on an identical duty. Ejectors have the advantage of being easy to
sterilise and in the event of a suck back to the process, there is less likely to be a
problem from loss of sterility than if a mechanical vacuum pump is used.






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4.5.2 Project 'B'

4.5.2.1 Still Vacuum System 1 and 2

Duty

Volume flow at system suction 2000m
3
/hr design
System suction pressure 2 mbar abs
System discharge pressure 1100 mbar abs
Suction temperature 20EC

System Used






















Basis of Selection

The large flowrates required at the very low suction pressure cannot be achieved
by use of a single vacuum device, consequently a combination system is required.
The roots blower is an ideal first stage as it is capable of very large throughputs.
The process fluid was believed to be fairly dirty which eliminates the use of
rotary/sliding vane pumps.

Two precondensers are used to maximise recovery of solvent which has the
additional advantages of reducing the load to the vacuum system.

It was suggested that Toluene could be used as the liquid ring which would
permit the recovery of more Toluene. However, the client was against this idea
and water was used.








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4.5.2.3 Toluene Distillation Vacuum Pump 430/200/02, 36 and 37

Duty

Volume flow at pump suction 180m
3
/hr norm
220m
3
/hr max
Pump suction pressure 100 mbar abs
Pump discharge pressure 1100 mbar abs
Gas suction temperature 20EC


System Used




















Basis of Selection

For the pump capacities required and the suction pressure of 100 mbarabs, this is
an ideal duty for a liquid ring pump. Water is used in a recirculation system as
the liquid ring which is changed to fresh water at intervals.

The two precondensers are used to recover the maximum quantity of toluene
which has the additional advantage of reducing the load to the vacuum system.







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4.5.2.4 Dryer Vacuum Pump 430/200/01

Duty

Volume flow at pump suction 630m
3
/hr norm
Pump suction pressure 25 mbar abs
Pump discharge pressure 1100 mbar abs
Gas suction temperature 20EC

System Used


























Basis of Selection

Glaxo have very good experience of using the Busch Huckepack (sliding vane)
pump on dedicated duties to achieve high levels of vacuum. To achieve this level
of vacuum by a liquid ring pump would require it to be used in combination with
another vacuum device.

In this instance, a precondenser using brine was found to be beneficial as this
drastically reduces the size and number of vacuum pumps required.

One Busch Huckepack type 441-001 was purchased.









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4.5.2.5 General Vacuum Pumps Stage 1 and 2 430/200/80 and 81

Duty

Volume flow at pump suction 300m
3
/hr norm
360m
3
/hr design
Pump suction pressure 100 mbarabs
Pump discharge pressure 1100 mbar abs
Gas suction temperature 20EC

System Used




















Basis of Selection

For the pump capacities required and the suction pressure of 100 mbarabs, this is
an ideal duty for a liquid ring pump. Water is used in a recirculation system as
the liquid ring which is changed to fresh water at intervals.







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4.5.3 Project "C"

4.5.3.1 Dryer/Filter Vacuum Pumps

Duty

Evacuation of Dryer

Initial pressure 1012 mbarabs
Final pressure at pump suction 29 mbarabs
Temperature 10 to 15EC
Volume to be evacuated 4.6m
3

Evacuation time 30 minutes max
Air leakage 2.4Nm
3
/hr

Maintaining Operating Pressure

Operating pressure mbarabs (in dryer) Start 32; finish 10
Operating temperature EC 6 - start of cycle
30 - end of cycle
40 maximum

Flowrates Nm
3
/hr (based on min drying time)

System Press at Suction
Time Air IPAC Total Pressure Drop of Vacuum Pump

Mins Nm
3
/hr Nm
3
/hr Nm
3
/hr m bar mbar abs

0 2.4 13.4 15.8 12 By Vendor
60 2.4 9.4 11.8 7
120 2.4 6.9 9.3 4.5
180 2.4 5.0 7.4 4
240 2.4 4.0 6.4 4
300 2.4 1.2 3.6 3
360 2.4 1.2 3.6 3

At the start of the drying cycle, it is envisaged that the two units will be utilised,
operating in parallel until one pump alone can handle the load.









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System Used



















Basis of Selection

The client specified the use of Busch Huckepack sliding vane vacuum pumps
based on previous good experience. These pumps were sized based on drying
curves obtained during trials. The pumps purchased were Huckepack type
441-001.

There were a number of problems experienced during the commissioning of these
machines; the main one being caused by the discharge temperature of the gas
from the pump being much lower than that specified by Busch. This resulted in
solvent condensing in the discharge pipework and flowing to the seal fluid catch
pot which trips the pump once high level is reached. This problem was resolved
by steam tracing the discharge pipework.


4.5.3.2 Crystalliser Vacuum Pump P-381

Duty

Gas handled See below
System vacuum 35 mbar abs
System volume 10m
3

Evacuation time 20 min max (vendor to advise
if lower)







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Operating Case System Vacuum
Evacuation Transfer Distillation

Capacity am
3
/hr 415 290

MIBK vapour kg/hr 25.0 17.3

Water vapour kg/hr 6.0 4.3

Air in leakage kg/hr 7.0 7.0 7.0

Air displaced
during charging kg/hr 3.0

Weight flow (total) kg/hr 7.0 41.0 28.6

Temperature (initial) EC 16.0 20.0 20.0
Note 1

Pressure (initial) mbar abs 1012 1212 1212
Note 1

Pressure (final) mbar abs 35 55 55
Note 1

Pressure (Note 2) mbar abs 1212 1212 1212

Temperature (final) EC 16


Note 1 - Inlet conditions upstream of vendor equipment
Note 2 - Discharge pressure downstream of separator

System Used






















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The duty for this pump is for a much cruder vacuum and consequently a liquid
ring pump with ejector will suffice. The liquid ring pump uses process water in a
recirculation system, part of the gas discharged from the separator is used as the
motive fluid for the ejector.

The majority of the solvent is condensed and recovered in the solvent condenser
prior to the vacuum system. Some of the remaining solvent will dissolve in the
liquid of the liquid ring helping to reduce the levels of solvent vented to the
atmosphere. A solvent condenser is used prior to the vacuum pump to allow
recovery of uncontaminated solvent and has the advantage of reducing the load
to the vacuum pump.

The vacuum package was supplied by Nash.

Still Vacuum Pump

The duty and system used is very similar to that used for the Crystalliser and the
type of pump selected is the same.

The Still Vacuum Pump has an additional condenser between the still and the
vacuum pump to permit recovery of more solvent. The vapours from the still
also contain methyl mercaptan which has a extremely strong odour. The use of a
liquid ring pump has the advantage that the ring will help to dissolve some of the
methyl mercaptan.








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4.6 Vacuum Systems in Oil Refining

The type of vacuum system normally used in refinery applications is a steam
ejector. To use a vacuum pump instead of a steam ejector for the duties normally
used in refinery operations a cost comparison between the generation of steam
and power costs would have to be assessed. The ejector system is configured in
a number of different ways to handle various crudes and differing refinery
operations. The main consideration is determining the duty specification, capacity
and suction pressure which gives the optimum operation of the unit.

In the design of vacuum units, the correct operation of steam ejectors and
condensers is important in maximising vacuum tower yields.

The performance of the ejector system is affected by many parameters such as:

- Motive steam pressure
- Cooling water temperature
- Non-condensible loading either air leakage or cracked light end hydrocarbons
- Condensible hydrocarbons
- System vent back pressure

For further information, reference Hydrocarbon Processing, October 1994
"Understand vacuum-system fundamentals" and FW Vacuum Unit Design Manual.