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Process Vessels

(See Walas)

Drums or Tanks
Storage Vessel
Pressure Vessel

Requirements for Process Vessels

Vessel function
Process material and services
Operating /Design temperature & pressure
Material of construction
Vessel dimension and orientation
Types of vessel heads to be used
Openings and connections required
Specifications for heating/cooling jackets or coils
Type of agitator
Specification of internal fittings
Safety Consideration (Leaks, pressure change)

Types of Process Vessels

Drums or Tanks
Storage Vessels
Pressure Vessels:
closed vessel
> 150 mm diameter
pressure difference of more than one bar

Drums, Tanks and Storage Vessels

Cylindrical in shape with flat or curved ends
Orientation is either horizontal or vertical
Tanks are larger vessels than drums, of several hours
Storage Tanks are regarded as outside the process tanks
connected to transportation equipment (raw material,
intermediate or finished product)

Drums and Tanks
Intermediate storage
Vessels for process Surge
Provide a phase separation by settling

Drums or Tanks
Drums or Tanks (Vessel w/o Internals)

Shells or outer cylinder of Vessel w/ Internals, ex.

Heat exchangers



Volume usually expressed in minutes of
flow on a halffull basis
Holdup time is a few minutes
Located between major equipment
Use to supply feed to equipment or
accumulate product
Surge drums between equipment provide
a measure of stability so that fluctuations
are not transmitted downstream

Examples: Drum
Level Control


Reflux drums provide surge between a

condenser and its tower and
downstream equipment

Drum ahead of a fired boiler will

protect the tubes from running dry

Rule of Thumb for Drums

Liquid drums are usually horizontal
Gas/Liquid separators are usually vertical
Reflux drums with gas as an overhead product are
commonly horizontal
Optimum Length/Diameter ratio is usually 3 but
ranges from 2.5 to 5 for
Small diameters at higher pressures
LiquidLiquid Settling

Hold-Up Time is 5 to 30 minutes

Rule of Thumb for Drums

Holdup time
5 minutes for half full reflux drums and gas/liquid
510 minutes for drums feeding another column
1030 minutes for firedheater feed surge drum
at halffull basis
30 minutes for drums feeding a furnace
For knockout drum in front of compressors,
holdup time should be
10 times the liquid volume passing per minute
Large enough to hold 1020 minutes of liquid flow with
a minimum of 10 min worth of gas flow rate

Rule of Thumb for Drums

Storage Tanks
Holdup time is usually several hours
Usually used for storage of
Raw Material
Intermediate Product/s
Finished Product/s

Shells of Equipment
Housing can be designed and constructed
largely independently of whatever internals
are necessary
Major dimensions are established by
process requirements

Partially Filled Vertical Tanks

Process Vessel Fabrication

1. It is desired to design a horizontal cylinder
with hemispherical heads to handle a liquid
with a volume of 10 m3. Find its dimensions
if it will be half full and its L/D ratio is 3.
2. Using the same tank in (1) with liquid depth
of 0.75m. Find the volume of the liquid inside
the tank.
3. Same as (2) for an ellipsoidal tank with major
axis equal to 3 time the minor axis.