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T- 401: Introduction:

The absorption column that will be design will be used in a carbon dioxide capture process using
DGA as the main amine.
Column Sizing:

Finding the flow rate of each streams:
The basis flow rate given to our group is 55000 kg/h. We will take that as the flow rate for stream 33.
Doing the water mass balance, solvent mass balance and hydrogen mass balance as shown in the
appendix will give the flow rate of each streams:
Mass flow
rate (kg/h)
34 68793.2844
36 9688.2461
16 14288.3140
17 73244.0092

Finding the number of stages required:
Using Figure 1, the number of stages required at different mG
will be determine:
0.8 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
2.2 2.8 3.2 4 6

We will chose the N
of 6 as this will give a higher flow rate, hence the column will not be under-

Calculating column diameter:
The physical properties of the gas as found in HYSYS:
Molar flow
rate (kmol/h)
Mass flow
rate (kg/s)
Gas flow 1308 3.97

12.71 1.610

Liquid flow 2915 19.11

1015.12 1.110

Pressure drop given is 25 kPa or 2549.29 mmH
O, the packed bed height is 6 m, so the pressure drop/
height will be 425 mmH
O. The highest pressure drop per height in the Figure 11.54 is around 125
O, so we will take that and the column will be over-designed, which is good for safety
precaution or to upscale the process in the future.
3 sizes of Pall rings packing will be considered, which are 25 mm, 32 mm and 51 mm. Pall rings
packing will be used as it is the most suitable packing for absorption of hydrocarbons.
size (mm)
) V
flooding (%)
Packing size to column
diameter ratio
25 160 3.63 2.6 91 104
32 92 4.79 2.3 88 72
51 66 5.65 2.1 90 41
The lowest percentage flooding is 88%. It is high, but still satisfactory. Furthermore, the column is
already deliberately over-designed to counter this type of problem. The diameter of the column will
be 2.3 meter.

Ceramic packing will be used as it is the first choice for corrosive liquid. The Cornells method and
the Ondas method will be used to estimate the H
. These two methods have been found to be
reliable for preliminary design work and with the absence of practical values can be used for the final
design with a suitable factor of safety.
The result are:
Method H
Cornells 0.18 1.23 1.46
Ondas 0.56 0.05 0.78

The shown that Cornells method will give a higher value of H
and this value will be taken to size
the height of the packed bed.
With the value of H
and N
that are found, the height of the packed bed will be 8.8 meters.

Stress Calculation:

Hemispherical Head
Skirt Support ,height
Corrosion allowance
Insulation, Mineral Wool
Material of construction, carbon steel
Operating pressure
Vessel to be fully radiographed

70mm thick
at design temperature 200 degrees

Justification of materials

Based on preliminary calculations, the thickness was calculated to be 45.35mm thick and rounded to
46mm. The inclusion of the allowance for corrosion gives an overall thickness of 48mm. It was found
in accordance to the Clause 1.6 and 1.7 of the AS-1210 that the vessel design could be considered as a
class 1 pressure vessel due to the presence of highly volatile and flammable compounds within the
vessel and that it is a major component for the process plant.
The material selected for the design of the vessel should meet all the criteria in accordance to the 2010
version of the Australian Standards AS-1210 and the ASME. The metal was chosen based on its
strength, ductility, corrosion resistance and maintenance frequency. As the working fluid within the
vessel is not corrosive, carbon steel was chosen as the material for construction instead of stainless
steel. Although stainless steel has a slightly higher allowable stress of 135N/mm
, it is less
economical to use stainless steel as it is much more expensive as compared to carbon steel. Carbon
steel has a high allowable stress of 88.9N/mm
and is able to withstand the calculated stresses, it is
also more economical.
A corrosion allowance of 2mm was allowed to ensure that the functionality of the vessel does not
degrade over time. Although the working fluid is not corrosive, it is typically safer to allow a few
millimetres to ensure safe and long term operation.
The type of head chosen was the hemispherical head as it is the strongest shape, capable resisting
about twice the pressure of a torispherical head of the same thickness. It is used when operating
pressures are high. The thickness required for the head and closure were made in accordance to the
ASME BPV Code Sec. VIII D.1.
The skirt support is chosen as the column is vertical and they do not impose concentrated loads on the
vessel shell with conformity to the clause 3.24 in the AS-1210. As the vessel if 8.8m high, it is subject
to wind loading and skirt supports are more suitable as compared to saddle supports.
Operating temperatures range from 45degres Celsius to 75 degrees Celsius, insulation is required. A
thickness of 70mm was chosen as the operating temperatures are relatively low. Mineral wool is
chosen as it provides good insulation by trapping air within the small pores present in the wool. It has
the capability of withstanding up to 800 degrees Celsius and has a low thermal conductivity of
0.08W/mK at 298K. It also acts as a flame retardant in the event of a breakout of fire.
A double welded butt joint is required for a class 1 pressure vessel with a maximum efficiency of 1.0
as stated by the clause 3.5 of the AS1210. 2 platforms with an outer radius of 1m and a ladder is
included in the calculations for dead weights.
The dead weights before and after hydro testing are tabulated in table 1.1
Dead Weights Value
Vessel and Head 302.73kN
Ladder 0.42kN
Platforms 17.62kN
Insulation 9.57kN
Hydro Testing (water
filled in column
Total (Before Test) 330.34kN
Total (After Test) 689.01kN
Table 1.1: Dead weights
Wind loading was calculated using a wind speed of 160km/h and a drag coefficient of 0.07 to account
for attachments such as ladders or platforms.
Wind Loading 5627N/m
Bending Moment 219818.1654Nm
Table 1.2: Wind Loading & Bending Moment
The pressure stresses, dead weight stress and bending stresses before hydrostatic testing were then
calculated and tabulated in table 1.3
Longitudinal Stress


Hoop Stress


Dead Weight Stress


Bending Stress


Resultant Longitudinal Stress

( upwind) 45.541

Resultant Longitudinal Stress

(downwind) 48.282

Elasticity Stability


Maximum compression Stress


Table 1.3: Stresses on vessel before hydrostatic testing
The greatest difference is the difference between Hoop Stress and Resultant downwind longitudinal
stress. The difference gives a value of 46.59

which is much lower than the maximum

allowable stress of 88.9

which means that copper steel at this thickness is able to withstand

external and internal stresses before hydrostatic testing is carried out. The maximum compression
stress is also much lower than the elasticity stability, signifying the strength and stability of the vessel.




85.56 MPa 94.875

Up-wind Down-wind
Resultant longitudinal stresses

Hydrostatic testing is carried out to test the integrity of the vessel under high stresses and pressures to
ensure the safe operation of the vessel even under extreme conditions.The stresses were then
recalculated after pressure testing and tabulated into table 1.4
Longitudinal Stress


Hoop Stress


Dead Weight Stress


Bending Stress


Resultant Longitudinal Stress

( upwind) 66.633

Resultant Longitudinal Stress

(downwind) 63.374

Elasticity Stability


Maximum compression Stress


Table 1.4 Stresses after hydrostatic testing
Even after hydro testing was carried out, the vessel was much able to withstand the stresses with no
problem. The greatest difference between Hoop Stress and Resultant downwind longitudinal stress
gives a value of 62.569

, which is much lower than the allowable stress of 88.9

. The
vessel is fit and strong to be used even under extreme conditions as there is a large margin between
the allowable stress and the greatest difference between stresses. The maximum compressive stress is
only a mere 2.16188

, which is much lower than the elastic stability of 384.6154





85.56 MPa 128.94

Up-wind Down-wind

A straight cylindrical skirt of plain carbon steel with maximum allowable stress of 89

and a
youngs modulus of 200,000

was used. Through careful iteration, the optimal thickness of the

skirt was selected to be 20mm. The skirt height of 1.38m was carefully chosen based on the diameter
of the vessel.
Skirt Height 1.38m
Skirt Thickness 20mm
Bending moment at base of skirt 291.56kNm
Dead weight on skirt 671.4kN
Bending Stress


Dead Weight Stress


Dead Weight Stress




Maximum tensile stress (


Maximum compressive stress (


Table 1.5 Stresses on skirt support and parameters
Under the worst combination of wind and dead-weight loading, the calculated values are able to
withstand such stresses as the maximum tensile stress and maximum compressive stress is
significantly lower than


) respectively. As a straight skirt is chosen,

the angle use is 90degrees.


The vessel thickness of 46mm proved to be incredibly stable and strong. Through thorough inspection
and iteration, a thickness of 38mm was shown to provide adequate support and strength. However, the
vessel thickness was left at 46mm for ease of fabrication as the outer diameter of the vessel would be
2.376m as compared to 2.396m which would have been rounded up to 2.4m anyway.

2.0 T-402 Solvent Regeneration Tower

2.1 Simulation of the process in HYSYS
HYSYS was utilized to design and simulate the distillation column while Amine Package was
used as the fluid package at the specified operating conditions. The primary purpose of the
distillation column is to remove the CO2 via the distillate (Stream 29) and at the same time
regenerate the solvent to be returned into the system via the bottom stream (Stream 25)

Firstly, to obtain the relevant mass flows for the streams involved in the distillation column,
simple mass balances were conducted and the mass flow rates of the streams were obtained as

Table 2.1.1: Mass flow rates of the streams involved
Stream Mass flow rate (kg/hr)
25 (given) 55000
21 (inlet) 73168.91
29 18168.91

Next, the distillation column was then simulated in HYSYS whereby the condenser was set to
operate at full reflux to achieve the desirable process. The operating conditions and stream
properties were only defined for the feed stream (Stream 21). Various parameters were then
adjusted to achieve the desirable component fractions and conditions of the outlet streams as
listed in the PFD drawing provided. However, in this simulation, the primary goal is to attain the
composition that is as close as possible to those specified in the PDF given; specifically for the
CO2 fraction in Stream 29 and the solvent fraction in Stream 25.

The number of trays and its inlet stage can be varied to achieve the desirable goals. Besides, the
operating pressures of the condenser and reboiler can also be varied but within a considerable
range. The simulation can be carried out using a trial-and-error basis to iterate towards the
optimum parameters that provides for the desirable outcomes. The table below shows the
process data obtained for the overhead and bottom product from the designed distillation
column in HYSYS.

Table 2.1.2: Stream properties of the overhead and bottom product
Properties Overhead (Stream 29) Bottom (Stream 25)
Temperature () 104.8 123.8
Pressure (kPa) 136 208
Mass fraction:
CO2 0.2403 0.001895
Water 0.7597 0.6421
Solvent 0 0.356

2.2 Maximum operating levels
To determine the maximum operating level for the distillation column, several data were
extracted from the HYSYS file simulated. Firstly, the feed inlet stream to the vessel was
identified as the stream having the highest volumetric flowrate as follows:

The design hold up time for the distillation was assumed to be 5 minutes. Hence, the hold up
volume can be calculated as follows:

The design vessel diameter was determined to be . Hence, the cross sectional area of the
vessel can be obtained as follows:

( )

Finally, the maximum operating level of the distillation column can be determined as follows:

2.3 Mechanical Design

2.3.1 Height of the Distillation Column
In essence, there is a total number of 22 trays in the distillation column; each having a tray
thickness of 0.005m and a tray spacing of 0.75m. In the calculation of the height of column,
space for disengagement is also taken into consideration whereby a height of 1.5m was
assumed for both vapour disengagement at the top of the column and liquid accumulation at the
bottom of the column.

Besides, the torispherical head selected for the distillation column is also taken into account.
The internal height of the head is obtained via a series of calculations. (Slawinski, 2014) The
thickness of the vessel material, the insulation applied, being mineral wool and the aluminium
insulation cover are also taken into account for the calculation of the height of column.
However, the supports of the column are not taken into account.

As aforementioned, a number of elements contribute to the total height of the distillation
column, which is shown as below:

Table Height elements and total height of the column
Height Elements Height (m)
Total tray thickness 0.11
Total tray spacing 15.75
Total space for disengagement 3
Total height of torispherical heads 0.939
Total torispherical head wall thickness 0.018
Total insulation and insulation cover thickness 0.2
Total Height 20.017

Hence, the height of the distillation column is determined to be 20.02m.

2.3.2 Diameter and tray of the distillation column
The feed inlet is positioned at the 10
tray, which is located between the 9
and 11
tray from
a Top-down stage numbering. Hence, the 9
tray is taken as the top tray while the 11
tray is
taken as the bottom tray. Several stream properties were required for the determination of the
diameter and were extracted from HYSYS as shown below:

Table Stream properties for stages 9, 10 and 11

The column diameters for the bottom and top were obtained as 2.222m and 2.0626m
respectively, whereby the larger diameter is then chosen and rounded up to the nearest
standard column diameter size, which was found to be 2.286m (90 inches). This column
diameter will be used above and below the feed.

In this case, the flooding percentage was assumed to be 85% at maximum flow rate. The
flooding percentage calculated was found to be 80.3%, hence showing that the magnitude of the
diameter selected is feasible.

Liquid component Vapour component
Surface Tension
( 10
Mass flow
(kg/m3) Mass flow (kg/hr) Density (kg/m3)
9 19905.66 952.3 38056.34 1.016 55.89
10 94687.62 990.6 38069.34 0.9979 50.19
11 94774.02 977.4 39682.4 1.003 50.02
As mentioned earlier, trays with thickness of 5mm and tray spacing of 0.75m are adopted. The
weir height is also designed as 50mm and the hole diameter is designed to be 5mm each, each
having an area of 1.9635E-05

. The tray spacing chosen can be said to be appropriate as the

back-up in downcomer,

was found to be 396.96mm, being less than 0.5 (plate spacing + weir
height). Moreover, the residence time of the designed distillation column is also larger than 3
seconds. Hence, proving that sufficient residence time is allowed for the vapour disengagement
from the liquid stream.

The design of the bottom and top trays are similar in dimension and only differ in the number of
holes, to account for the difference in the column diameter required; whereby the bottom tray
has 12710 holes and the top tray has 13839 holes.

2.3.3 Thickness of vessel

The ASME BPV Code Sec. VIII D.1 specifies minimum wall thicknesses for various vessel
diameters, regardless of its dimensions and material of construction. In accordance to this, for a
vessel diameter of 2 to 2.5m, the minimum thickness required is 9mm, which also already
includes a corrosive allowance factor of 2mm.

The thickness of the torispherical head and the vessel were calculated but failed to meet the
minimum thickness specified for the range of diameter. Hence, the thickness of the vessel is
taken to be 9mm, and the thickness of the torispherical head is assumed to be the same as that
of the vessel.

Insulation for the column is also introduced, mainly to reduce heat loss from the distillation
column to the surroundings. For our distillation column design, mineral wool with a density of
is chosen, owing to its economical cost and simplicity of application. However, it
may potentially cause skin irritation
Hence, for safety purposes, an insulation cover is applied,
being an aluminium cover with density of 2700kg/m
.The thickness of both the insulation and
the insulation cover were taken to be 0.05m each. Therefore, the total thickness of the vessel
wall, inclusive of the insulating elements is found to be 0.109m.

2.3.4 Design Temperature, Pressure and Material Choice
The design temperature and pressure were calculated from HYSYS whereby the design
conditions are taken to be 10% higher than the maximum operating conditions. This is to
provide optimal design parameters and to ensure that safety is not compromised under any
condition. From HYSYS, the maximum operating temperature was and the maximum operating
pressure was obtined at the reboiler. The design operating conditions are as follows:

Table Design operating conditions
Maximum operating temperature () 123.8
Design operating temperature () 136.2
Maximum operating pressure (kPa) 208
Design operating pressure (kPa) 228.8

The vessel material was chosen based on the design conditions calculated. Based on the design
temperature, Carbon Steel A285 Grade A was chosen under the ASME BPV Code Sec. VIII D.1.
The maximum tensile strength that the material can withstand was obtained to be 88.94MPa.

2.3.5 Dead Weight Loadings
The total dead weight of the column encompasses all the dead weights involved in every part of
the column and the table below presents the summation of these weights.

Table Dead weight components and the total dead load

2.3.6 Combination of loads on the column for Hydrotesting
A key assumption was made in the conduct of hydrotesting to ensure that the vessel can sustain
greater loading. It was assumed that the density of the liquid in the vessel is that of water, which
is 1000kg/m
. The combination of dead weight on the distillation column during hydrotesting
operating conditions can be determined by summing up the total dead weight of the vessel as
calculated earlier and the total weight of the liquid filled furing hydrotesting operating
conditions. In short, the weight of the liquid was calculated to be 805.95kN and the combined
loads on the column for hydrotesting is calculated to be 1851.95kN.

2.3.7 Wind Loading
The wind speed was assumed to be 160km/h and the wind pressure due to the column
attachments and increase in drag can be calculated. The effective column diameter was also
calculated to take the platform, caged ladder and insulation into consideration. The calculations
and results can be summarized as follows:

Table Results for wind loading
Component Value
Wind Pressure (N/m2) 1792
Effective column diameter (m) 4.904
Loading per unit length column (kN/m) 8.79
Bending moment, Mx (kNm) 1760.58

2.3.8 Analysis of stress
Several stresses were evaluated and calculated for the purpose of analysing the feasibility and
suitability of material chosen (Carbon Steel A285 Grade A). The summary of the stresses
calculated are shown as below:

Table Summary of the components of stress
Dead Weight Component Weight (kN)
Volumetric vessel 125.58
Vessel heads 207.87
Internal fittings:
Trays 425.29
External fittings:
Steel caged ladder 7.21
Steel platform (x3) 56.14
Insulation 18.88
Insulation cover 204.37
Total dead load 1046
Components of Stress Symbol Stress (Mpa)
Maximum tensile strength f 88.95
Longitudinal stress

Circumferential stress

Dead weight stress

Bending stress


As mentioned earlier, the maximum tensile strength that can be withstand by the material
chosen is 88.94MPa. Several stress analysis were carried out as follows:

1. Check if the equivalent tensile stresses are lower than that of the maximum tensile
strength of the chosen material.

2. Check if the upwind and downwind resultant longitudinal stresses are lower than that
of the maximum tensile strength of the chosen material.

The results from the tensile strength tests evidently show that the material chosen, Carbon Steel
A285 Grade A satisfies all the respective stress requirements of different aspects. Hence, it can
be said that the material chosen is suitable for the design.

2.3.9 Buckling Test
For this test, the maximum compressive stress,

in the vessel wall must not exceed the

critical buckling stress,

and the maximum tensile strength of the chosen material.

The critical buckling stress,

was calculated to be 78.13MPa; the maximum compressive


From the calculations shown above, it can be deduced that the design of the vessel is safe and

2.3.10 Hydrostatic Testing
For this test, the design pressure,

must not exceed the hydrostatic pressure,

. In this case, it
is assumed that the design strength at the test temperature and design temperature are the
same, which is 88.94MPa. The hydrostatic pressure is calculated to be 0.343MPa.

Besides, the thickness of the design vessel is evaluated to check if it is able to withstand the
maximum hydrostatic pressure,

The minimum wall thickness required to resist the hydrostatic pressure was calculated as
2.19mm. Since the thickness of the vessel is 9mm,

Resultant longitudinal stress (upwind)

Resultant longitudinal stress (downwind)

Equivalent membrane stress (upwind)

Equivalent membrane stress (downwind)

Next, the stress due to hydrostatic pressure,

must not exceed the maximum tensile


In accordance to the results obtained from hydrostatic testing, the design appears to be
satisfied in various aspects.

2.3.11 Support Type: Skirt
The criteria for skirt design is evaluated for

when the distillation

column is at hydrotesting condition as the dead weight stresses are at its maximum, hence
giving a safer design.
The maximum compressive stress and maximum tensile stress are calculated and are used to
determine if the skirt design is satisfactory.
(tensile) sin
= 34.23MPa < 88.94MPa
(compressive ) 0.125

) sin
= 91.31MPa < 103.35MPa

Since both criteria are satisfied, the skirt design is said to be satisfactory. With an additional
2mm for corrosion allowance, the total skirt thickness is determined to be 11mm.

2.4 Design Decision Criteria
2.4.1 Selection of material
Carbon steel (A285 Grade A) is chosen as the design material for the entire distillation
column. The main reason for this selection is because it is cheaper compared to other
materials such as stainless steel. Furthermore, it has a high resistance to corrosion, hence
making the vessel wall more long lasting. Carbon steel is also favoured among other
materials as it does not interact with the amine group present in the DGA solvent, unlike the
other materials. Another reason for the selection of this material is because carbon steel is a
strong material and has a relatively high maximum tensile strength; it can also withstand high
temperatures and pressures. Since the conditions they can sustain are much higher than the
design temperature and pressure of the distillation column, which are 136.18
C and 228.8
kPa respectively, this allows for some overheating and over-pressure protection from
uncontrolled process parameters, which increases the safety of the vessel. Hence, carbon steel
is suitable material as it fulfils all the required parameters and also is a safe and economical

2.4.2 Type of end
There are four different types of heads for process vessels, which are flat heads,
hemispherical heads, ellipsoidal heads and torispherical heads. Flat heads are mainly used for
low-pressure and small-diameter vessels, and are also the cheapest type of heads.
Torispherical heads, also known as dished ends, are commonly used for columns operating at
pressures below 15 bar. On the other hand, ellipsoidal heads are more economical for vessels
operating at pressures above 15 bar. Lastly, hemispherical heads are the strongest type of
heads as they can withstand high pressures. However, hemispherical heads are also the most
expensive compared to the other type of heads. Torispherical heads are used for the
distillation column because the design pressure of the vessel, which is 2.08 bar, is much
lower than 15 bar. Since there is allowance for over-pressure, this type of head is sufficient.
Furthermore, it is more economical to use this type of head as it is cheaper compared to the
ellipsoidal and hemispherical heads.

2.4.3 Insulation
Heat losses from a distillation column affects the amount of heat added to and
removed from the reboiler and condenser respectively. The main purpose of thermal
insulation in the chemical industry is to reduce heat losses from a vessel. This is necessary as
it protects the operators from injury in the case of accidental contact with the high
temperature vessel, making the column safer to operate. Furthermore, heat loss from the
vessel should be minimized as it may affect the required process temperature, which would
affect the product quality and process efficiency. Additionally, reduced heat loss lowers the
energy input required for the process, which results in a lower operating cost of the vessel,
hence making the column more efficient and economic. Mineral wool, which is a mineral
fibre insulation, is chosen to insulate the distillation column because of its low thermal
conductivity and excellent water-repellent properties. It also has a good corrosion resistance,
is less costly, light-weight and easy to install. The thickness of insulation used in the design
was 0.05mm. However, mineral wool can potentially cause skin irritation. A layer of
aluminium of thickness 0.05mm is added to reduce this risk.

2.4.4 Plate thickness for the cylindrical and end sections
A minimum wall thickness is required so that the vessel can withstand its own weight and
any incidental loads. The minimum thickness of the plate for the distillation column is
determined to be 9mm. Corrosion allowance is also accounted for to allow any loss of
material by corrosion, erosion or scaling. A small corrosion allowance of 2mm is used for
the carbon steel plates because this material will not corrode severely due to its high
corrosion resistance. Furthermore, sieve plates are used for this distillation column mainly
because of their lower costs compared to bubble-cap plates. Sieve plates with a good design
also give a satisfactory operating range. Hence the use of this type of plates is more
economical. All the plates in the column have the same size and thickness. However, the top
plates have more holes as compared to the bottom plates.

2.4.5 Support type
The type of support used for a vessel depends on many factors such as the shape, size and
weight of the vessel. Cylindrical skirt supports are used for the distillation column as they are
commonly used for tall, vertical columns. This type of support consists of a cylindrical or
conical shell welded to the base of a vessel. The load is transmitted to the foundations using a
flange at the bottom of the skirt. An advantage of using this type of support is that it does not
exert concentrated loads on the shell of the vessel. It distributes the load uniformly over the
entire shell. Therefore, skirt supports are suitable when the vessel is subjected to wind
loading. The skirt needs to have sufficient thickness to be able to withstand the dead-weight
loads and bending moments exerted on it by the column. The skirt thickness in this design
was calculated 11mm. Bracket supports are not used mainly because they cannot resist
significant bending moments. Fire-resistant supports may also be used to increase protection
against fires.

2.4.6 Requirements for welding and stress relief
Fusion welding is commonly used for the construction of process vessels. There are many
different forms of welded joint. A good welded joint is one that provides good accessibility
for welding and inspection, and requires a minimum amount of weld metal to minimize cost.
A good welded joint should also give good penetration of the weld metal from both sides and
incorporate sufficient flexibility to avoid cracking due to thermal expansion. The strength of
a welded joint depends on the type of joint and the welding quality; the number of welded
joints in the vessel should be kept to a minimum. Stress corrosion cracking may occur if a
vessel is subjected to stress and corrosion, which may lead to premature failure of the vessel
wall. Stress relief is therefore necessary for materials that are susceptible to stress corrosion
cracking. Pressure-relief devices are also installed in the distillation column to prevent over-
pressure, which may result in failure of the vessel. This device is set to the design pressure,
and when the vessel pressure exceeds this set value, the relief valves are opened and the
excess pressure is released.

2.4.7 Painting
Protective paints for metals are commonly used for providing protection to vessels. Many
types of protective paints are available which protect metals from many different factors, for
instance, epoxy- based paints. These paints are used to protect the metal from atmospheric
corrosion and rust. Fire-proof paints may also be used to provide protection to the vessel in
the case of a fire. Another purpose of coating vessels with this type of paint is to protect
metals from extreme weather conditions and chemical attacks. This type of paint also
provides protection from high temperatures. These paints usually consist of chemically inert
materials and give a smooth and non-sticky surface after use. The main purpose of these
paints is to protect the vessel wall from any damage, which will reduce the future
maintenance cost, hence making the column more durable and economical.

2.4.8 Insulation and cladding
Mineral wool is selected for insulating the distillation column because it is a good insulator,
has a low conductivity and good corrosion resistance. Insulation is necessary to reduce heat
losses from the column as well as to cool the surface of the column to prevent any injury to
the operators. Cladding is a process where a metal or composite is bonded onto another
metal. The purpose of cladding is mainly to protect metals from corrosion as well as to
enhance its toughness and durability. Cladding is very economical as it involves adding a thin
plate of an expensive cladding material to a thicker inexpensive metal solid, which is much
cheaper compared to constructing the vessel entirely out of the cladding material. Stainless
steel plates are selected for cladding mainly because of the high mechanical strength of the
material. Hence, it can withstand high temperatures and pressures. Stainless steel also has a
fairly high resistance to corrosion, stains and rust, as well as to environmental factors and
stress corrosion cracking. Furthermore, stainless steel is very durable and recyclable, making
it an economical and sustainable material.

2.4.9 Fireproofing
In the event of an external fire, the vessel may overheat which would lead to a rise in
pressure. This can weaken the carbon steel wall, which may even result in failure of the
structure. Therefore, fireproofing is obligatory to reduce damage and prevent loss of
expensive, valuable equipment in an industry. Fireproofing is a passive fire protection
measure used to protect equipment by making a structure more resistant to fire. Fireproofing
delays the damaging effects caused by the high temperature during a fire for a specific period
of time, which depends on the thickness of the material. The fireproof material should be
durable and provide a good corrosion resistance. A layer of concrete can be used to fireproof
the distillation column as it is an excellent fire protection material due to its high mass and
low thermal conductivity. Stainless steel jacket and bands may also be used to protect the
vessel as it can retain its strength at high temperatures due to its high melting point. Hence, it
can provide fire-resistance for a long period of time. Besides, pressure relief valves can also
be installed to minimize the pressure rise in the vessel. Moreover, water sprinkler systems
can also be established to put out any small fires.

3.0 S-401 CO2 Separator
3.1 Introduction
Separators are usually part of an instrument in industrial process. The type of separators used
are usually Vapour-liquid separators. It is an industrial unit used to separate gases and liquid to
produce a number of products in vapour and liquid form respectively for different purposes.
The vapour in the vapour stream will travel through the outlet of the separator at a velocity
which will reduce the entrainment of any liquid droplets in the vapour as it leaves the vessel. Usually
it is liquis that is partially flashed into vapour and liquid that is fed into the separator. Vapour-liquid
separators can also be called as knock-out drum, knock-out pot, compressor suction drum or
compression inlet drum. Vapour-liquid separators has a very high usages at industries as stated below.
- Oil refineries
- Natural gas processing plants
- Petrochemical and chemical plants
- Geothermal Power Plants
- Combined cycle power plants
- Paper mills and so on

3.2 Horizontal Separation Design Calculation
1.) Calculation of Vapour flow rate and Fluid flow rate

( )

( )
Vapour fraction 0.0006 at inlet, stream 18

2.) Calculate Vertical terminal vapour velocity,
Given that no mist eliminator pad is used
Separator K value can be calculated using formulae (1) in appendix, K= 0.13


for conservative design.

Note that for secondary separation, allowable velocity must be calculated so that the disengagement
area can be determined. Besides, the design U
must be always greater than U
for the droplet to settle
out. Hence

as shown above.
3.) Calculate Holdup Volume, V
and Surge Volume, V

Since our outlet of S-401 separator is connected to T-402 column vessel, following table 2 apenddix
holdup time(NLL-HLL) and surge(NLL-LLL) time should be 5 minutes(T
) and 3 minutes(T


) (


) (

Holdup time is based on the reserve required to maintain a stable control and safer operation of down
stream facilities. Where else surge time is normally based on accumulation of liquid as a result of
upset variation flow in downstream or upstream. In the absence of specific requirement, surge time
can be assume to be one half of holding time.
4.) Diameter and Area of the Separator



Where (L/D) can be estimated using the operating pressure of separator. Refer to table 5 ratio guide
Assume negligible change in operating pressure, Average pressure of (

( )
For vessel operating pressure of (L/D)= 3


When sizing separator for horizontal setup, usually the diameter is assume , then LLL is determined.
5.) Low Liquid height H
and A

Figure 1.0 horizontal 2 phase separator
Since vessel diameter is under 2.43m(8ft) use 0.274m (11in.) value in table 3 appendix hence,

To find A
use relation of (

) (

) where,







6.) Calculating minimum length to accommodate liquid holdup/surge




If there is no mist climinator pad, the minimum height of the vapour disengagement area,

is larger
of 0.2D or 0.305m(1ft). If there is mist eliminator pad, minimum height of the vapour disengagement
area is the larger of 0.2 D or 0.610m(2ft). Hence, since no mist eliminator pad, H
= 0.2(2.36m) =
Using the same relation in part (5.),






The length of vessel is calculated to accommodate the holdup ,surge and as well as to facililate vapour
liquid separation. Since L/D is more than 1.5 and below 6 , no iteration calculation required.
7.) Minimum Length required for vapour liquid disengagement, L


is actual vapour velocity and is liquid drop out time:



The calculation shows

, which indicate that the design is acceptable for vapor/ liquid

separation. Besides that , the

shows that liquid holdup is controlling , L can only be

decreased and

increased if H
is decreased. H
may be decreased if it is greater than the
minimum specified in step (6.). Since L/D is less than 6, the range is acceptable.
8.) Design parameters and Wall thickness
The material chosen to build the separator is select as carbon steel of grade A285 Gr A.
Material data can be found in (Sinnot page 1001, table 13.2) .
Operating temperature for the process is constant at 67.91 Celsius.
At this temperature, the Maximum allowable stress is at 88.94 N/mm2
Internal diameter,

is calculated as
Joint efficient = 1
Total Internal length of horizontal separator = 5.76m
Operating pressure =
Assume Corrosion allowance = 2mm (rule of thumb)
Design pressure
The separator must be design to withstand the maximum pressure which it is likely to handle in
operation, therefore to avoid spurious operation of the relief valve during minor process upset, an
extra 30% margin of working pressure is selected. Hence,

Minimum thickness of separator
During operation for a pressurized vessel, there must a minimum amount of thickness of vessel wall
to contain the pressure without deforming , Hence
For Minimum wall thickness of shell,

( )



Therefore the minimum thickness of separator shell wall is 9.25mm
Selection of type head
From table 9 appendix, for the selection of head type, dished heads with knuckle radius =0.6D are
selected as it is typically used when D is lesser than 15ft ( 2.36m in this case) and design pressure is
lower than 100psig (64.54psig<100psig)

)( )


Therefore the minimum thickness of dished head wall is 8.4mm
Surface area of shell and Dished head
From table 9apenddix,


Weight of separator,

From table 9,



Therefore the weight of separator is estimated to be 3720kg.(without component in separator)
9.) Calculate normal and high liquid levels

Using table 6 relationship,


10.) Dead weight loadings:
To simplify the calculations and also due to safety factor, the thickness of the column is made
uniform. Hence, a minimum required wall thickness of 12mm was used for calculations (Sinnot page
1004, Table 13.4.8).
Outer diameter required,

( )
Total Outer diameter = =2.384m
From the diameter value, it can be said that the separator is large enough for easy maintenance as
workers can enter the separator and clean it within.
a.) Weight of vessel(with all the component in it):

= Approximate weight of vessel shell excluding fittings,N

= Factor to account for weight of nozzles, manways, internal supports (1.08 for separator)

= Height of cylindrical column, m

t= wall thickness, mm

()()( )() ()

11.) Stress analysis
Pressure vessel are subjected to other loads in addition to pressure. The maximum allowable stress in
compression is different from the maximum allowable
a.) Pressure stress

( )

( )

b.) dead weight stress

( )

( )

c.) The result longitudinal is:



The greatest different between the principal stress is on the downwind side

12.) Saddle support
For the support of separator, 2 saddles are the most commonly used and it is used to support for
horizontal separator for this case. If more than 2 saddles is used, the distribution of weight is
unknown. For a uniform distribution, it can be done by placing the supports at 21% of the span from
each ends. However, the supports will usually be nearer to the end in real case to utilize the stiffening
effect of the ends. There are stresses applied to the vessel supported by the saddles which includes
longitudinal stress and to circumferential bending stress. Few assumption made while selecting the
saddles dimension and maximum weight support.
Only longitudinal and circumferential stress in consider .
assume the position od both saddles is at 21% of each sides.
the material chosen for saddle is standard steel saddles
the contact angle should not be less than 120 degrees.
Maximum allowable stress for carbon steel at ambient temperature of 69C,

Total dead weight =
From table 13.23 standard steel saddles(Sinnot page 1034, Table 13.23), the supporters can be choose
based on the vessel diameter and maximum weight it can hold. In our design, since our diameter of
vessel is 2.384m with the wall thickness, dimension for saddles is chosen at 2.4 meter with t1 and t2
equal to 12 and 16 mm respectively and bolt diameter and bolt holes are 27mm and 33mm

3.3 Discussion
3.3.1 Two phase separator type
The two phase separator can be oriented either by vertically or horizontally. Vertical separator are
preferred when separating vapour from liquid with high ratio of vapour/liquid while horizontal is
preffered when the ratio vapour to liquid. In our design, horizontal two phase separator is chosen to
process the stream is because the vapour flow to liquid flow is so small that the construction for
vertical separator is not feasible (calculation can be found in the appendix) . Besides that, separator
mat be designed with or without mist eliminator pads, and in our design we started without mist

3.3.2 Separator multi stage design
In the design, our separation are divided into 3 stages which consist of primary stages, gravity stage,
and mist elimination stage. Primary stage involve the use of diverter to change the direction of
momentum of fluid entrained in vapour that enter the separator, which then cause the droplet impinge
on the diverter and drop by gravitation force. At the second stage, gravitation force plays a big role
here as gravity separates smaller droplets while the vapour flows through the disengagement area.
Final stage is mist elimination where the smallest droplet cannot be separate by gravitational force are
coalesced to form a bigger droplet to be separate by gravity.
3.3.3 Stress analysis
For horizontal stress analysis we only consider a certain stress applied to the vessel as stress involve
in horizontal is different from vertical vessel. First of all, unlike vertical vessel, horizontal vessel in
this design we do not have to consider wind load as it will not affect significantly as the height of the
separator is relatively low. Therefore , we do not need to include torque calculation and bending stress
by wind load. Besides that, earthquake loading is exempted as well, due to the fact that earthquake
phenomenon is assumed non exist in the plant area. Only dead weight stress and pressure stress is
consider in the design.

3.4 Specification Sheet

Sheet No. 1
CHE3166 Process Design Group 14
Equipment No. S-401
Separating Liquid Water from Process Fluid

Design Orientation Horizontal Operating Temperature (

Minimum Column Diameter (m) 0.517 Maximum allowable stress
Column Diameter (m) 2.36 Operating Pressure (kPa)

Column Height (m) 1.450 Design Pressure (kPa)

Domed Head Type

Dished Corrosion allowance (mm) 2
Domed Head Height (m) 0.0084
Construction Material
Carbon steel of grade A285 Gr A
Mass Flow Rate (kg/s)


Mass Flow Rate (kg/s) 1.262
Density (kg/m

967.1 Density (kg/m
) 0.6367
Volumetric Flow Rate (m

0.0158 Volumetric Flow Rate (m
/s) 0.0108

Yian Tee Phang

Date 12
October 2013

October 2013

A Vertical vessel cross sectional area, ft

Cross section for LLL (horizontal vessel), ft

Total cross sectional area (horizontal vessel), ft

Vapor disengagement area required, ft

Drag coefficient
D Vessel diameter, ft or in
Droplet diameter, ft
Nozzle diameter, in (inlet or outlet vapor/liquid
as specified)
Vapor disengagement diameter, ft
E Welded joint efficiency
Drag force, lb

Gravity force, lb

g Gravitational constant, 32.17 ft/s

32.17 (lbm/ft)(lbs
Disengagement height, ft
Holdup height, ft
to inlet nozzle centerline height, ft
HLL High Liquid Level
Low liquid level height, ft
Mist eliminator to top tank height, ft
Surge height, ft
Total vertical separator height, ft
Vapor disengagement area height, ft
K Terminal velocity constant, ft/s
L Vessel length, ft
LLL Low Liquid Level
Vapor/Liquid separation minimum length, ft
Droplet mass, lb

NLL Normal Liquid Level
P Pressure, psig or psia
Liquid volumetric flow, ft
Mixture volumetric flow, ft
f/min, ft
Vapor volumetric flow, ft
/s, ft
S Vessel material stress value, psi
Holdup time, min
Head thickness, in
Shell thickness, in
Allowable horizontal velocity, ft/s
Terminal velocity, ft/s
Mixture velocity, ft/s
Holdup volume, ft
LLL volume, ft
Surge volume, ft
Total volume (horizontal vessel), ft
W Vessel weight, lb

Greek Letters Table
Mixture liquid fraction

Vapor viscosity, cP

Liquid density, lb/ft


Mixture density, lb/ft


Vapor density, lb/ft

Liquid dropout time, s

T-401 and T-402 have similar calculations methods
Number of stages
selection, 25-mm (1 in) Pall rings (Pall rings is the typical packing for absorption of hydrocarbons)
From Table 11.2, F
= 160 m


Figure 11.54 will give K
= 0.85, and at flooding, K
= 1

From equation


Round off to 2.6 m


Estimation of H

Using Ondas method:
R = 0.08314 bar m
/ kmol.K
Surface tension of liquid (from HYSYS),
= 6.010
g = 9.81 m/s

Size of packing, d
= 0.032 m
From Table 11.3, for 32-mm Pall rings:
= 128 m

for ceramics = 0.061 N/m
= 1.510
/s (estimated using Wilke-Chang equation)
= 1.310
/s (estimated using Fuller equation)
Using equation:



Using equation:

( )

Using equation:


* on actual column diameter = 3.97/4.16 = 0.95 kg/m

( )

= total concentration = 43.01 kmol/m
(from HYSYS)


Using Cornells method:


From Figure 11.51, at 88% flooding, K
= 0.4
From Figure 11.53, at 88% flooding,
= 70
From Figure 11.53, at L
* = 4.59,
= 0.05
Initial Z would be the N
as H
expected to be around 1
= 1.034, f
= 0.98, f
= 1.17

( )

( )

Design Pressure
Design Pressure given allowance of 1.1

Minimum thickness

Dead Weight of Vessel Wv


Weight of insulation

( )
Weight of Ladder

Weight of platform

Total Weight

Wind Loading

Bending Moment

Analysis of Stresses

At bottom tangent line
Pressure stresses :

Dead weight Stress:

Bending Stresses:


Resultant longitudinal Stress:

Elastic Stability

( )

( )
] [

( )

At bottom tangent line
Pressure stresses:

Dead weight Stress:

Bending Stresses:


Resultant longitudinal Stress:

Elastic Stability

( )


guess is equal to the thickness of the vessel. Iterations are carried out to obtain a suitable



The skirt thickness is accepted if





Tables of Data

Table 1: Values of K for Separators

Table 2: Liquid Holdup and Surge times

Table 3: Low liquid level height table

Table 4: Tables of inlet nozzle sizing

Table 5: Table of guidelines for L/D ratio

Table 6: Table of cylindrical height and area conversions.

Table 7: Table of wall thickness, surface area and approximate height of vessels

Table 8: Tables of conditions for horizontal separator

Table 9: Tables of selection of head types

4.0 References
Carpentier, P.I.,Important Parameters for Cost Effective Separator Design., Shell Oil Company-
Head Office Facilities Engineering, Facilities/Chemical Engineering Conference (1988).
Geruda, Arthur, How To Size Liquid Vapor Separators, Chem Eng., p. 81-84 (1981)
ASME Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division I, Table UCS-23, p. 270-21771 (1986)
Sinnott, R. & Towler, G. (2009) Chemical Engineering Design. Fifth Edition. Oxford: Butterworth-

Kennedy, P., Ryan 2007, A Study on the effects of insulation on the glass distillation column of
Goddard Hall Lab

Williams, John, Evans, Owen 2010, The Influence of Insulation Materials on corrosion under
insulation, Northern Area Western Conference, February 15-18, Calgary, Alberta

Industrial column insulation, viewed 11 October 2014, http://guide.rockwool-
Hart, L., Fred, Jaber, David 2002, Best Practices in Steam System Management
Iris NV Expands Use of TSA Coatings and Metal Spraying for Refinery Vessel, viewed 11 October
2013, The Advantages of Choosing Stainless Steel Cladding, viewed 11 October 2014, http://ath-
Kondo, J., Nagae, M., Tsuji, M., Izawa, T., Urne, K., Hirano, O 1992, 316L Type Stainless Steel Clad
Pipe Manufactured By Uoe Process, The Second International Offshore and Polar Engineering
Conference, 14-19 June, San Francisco, California, USA
Whittaker, Gary 2005, The Fundamentals of Fire-Protective Insulation
Slken, Werner 2014, Explore the world of piping, viewed 11 October 2014,
Slawinski & Co. GmbH, Torispherical head according to DIN 28011, viewed 11 October 2014,
2005, Mechanical Insulation Best Practices Guide
Sinnot, R. & Towler, G., (2009), Chemical Engineering Design, 5
ed., USA: Elsevier Inc.