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'':H~tO(Y.J ~S ,7042 J.(iR3IG ~(j ()789
lions, Inc,
Successfully Specify ThreePhase Separators
Here is a stepwise procedure for designing liquid/liquid/vapor separators.
Wayne D. Monnery and William Y. Svrcek,
University of Calgary
r
PETROX S. A. !,It'
&lrnmtfA, DB PBTROLIO
1 9 ENE. 1995 ;~
il
,
IIILlOTECA '.E_CNICA
It is often n.ccessary to se. parute two immiscible liquids, the light and heavy phases, and a vapor. A typical example in petroleum refining is the separation of water, and a hydrocarbon liquid and vapor. Little has been published on threephase (liquid/liquid/vapor) separation, with most information available only in corporate design fi les. Thi s artie le attempts to alleviate this situation by covering the basics of threephase separator design. The authors provide a StepbyStep procedure and worked' out examples. Further, the examples offer guidance on making assumptions for the calculations.
Selecting threephase separators
As with twophase designs. threephase units can be either vertical or horizontal. although they typically are horizontal (see Figures I and 2). The vertical orientation, Figure I, is only used if there is a large amount of vapor to be separated from a small amount of the light and heavy liquid (< IO20ifc by weight). Unfortunately. there are no simple rules for separator selection. Sometimes, both configurations should be evaluated to decide which is more economical. Further, the available plot space (foorprinr) may be a factor,
The de~ign of threephase separators is similar to their twophase counterparts. except that the liquid section differs, For the vertical type, a baffle commonly keeps the liquid separation
section calm to promote the separation,
There are different variations of horizontal threephase vaporl iquid separators. The liquid separation vect inn i\ usually a variarion of a device to provide interface level control, whicb may include a hoot or a weir. A boot typically is specified when the volume of heavy liquid is not substantial « I S2WIr of total liquid by weight), while a weir is used when the volume is substantial. These horizontal separators are illustrated in Figure 2, The bucketandweir type design is used when interface level control may be difficult, such as with heavy oils or when large amounts of an emulsion or a paraffin are present (I !.
Stokes' law applies
Separating a vapor from a I ight liquid (twophase separation) has been covered in a previous article (2) and will nOI he discussed here, However. all necessary information for performing this part of the calculation is provided here. The following discussion covers the separation of light and heavy liquids.
The flow of rising light droplets in the heavy liquid phase or settling heavy droplets in the light liquid phase is considered laminar and is governed by Stokes' law:
(I)
where 1,..1.88 converts viscosity of the
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 1994 • 29
MULTIPHASE FLOW
Baffle to provi de calming zone is recommended
Section AA
Vapor nozzle T
Feed nozzle
Maximum liquid level I,,++_..j
Light liquid
h '!~
Interlace heavy liquid
_L Heavy liquid nozzle
• Figure 1. Vertical threephase separators are used wisb high vapor loadings.
continuous phase from lb!(ft)(s) to cPo Simplifying Eq. I and converting the units of the terminal settling velocity to inJmin from ft/s results in:
(2)
where D1, is in microns (l micron = 3.28084 x 10.0 feet) and Up in.lmin.
E4. :2 may be rewritten as:
where
Values of ks are given for some systerns in Table I.
From Eq, 13, it can be' seen that the settling velocity of a droplet is inversely proportional to the viscosi 1: or the continuous phase. HCJ1ce. it
is more difficult (requires more time) to settle the droplets out of the continuous phase with the greater viscosity, since Ur is lower. Practically speaking, U; is typically limited in calculations to 10 in./min maximum.
For vertical separators, the diamerer required for vapor disengagement is calculated as in our previous article (2) In sizing a separator. the heights of the light and heavy liquids are assumed. and the settling velocities and settling times are then calculated.
The residence times of the light and heavy liquids are determined next. For the liquids to separate, the residence time of the light liquid must be greater than the time required for the heavy droplets to settle out of the I ightliquid phase; and the residence time of the heavy liquid must be greater than the time required for the light liquid droplets to rise out of the heavy liquid phase. T f these conditions are not sarisfied, then liquid separation is controlling and the vessel diameter must be increased, Holdup time for liquids must be added to residence time The height of the vertical threephase separalor is calculated in the same manner a:, for the twopha.c case.
(:.)
30 • SEPTEMBER 1994. CHEMIC~L ENGINEERING PROGRESS
For horizontal separators with a given diameter. the heights of the lighl and heavy liquids are assumed so that the crosssectional area can be calculated. With the vapor disengagement area set by guidelines. the lengths required by holdup requirements and vapor/liquid separation are calculated" Then. with the a,sumed heights of the light and heavy liquids and calculated values of settling velocities, the settling times are calculated.
The actual residence times for the light and heavy liquids are subsequently calculated and compared with the required settling times, as in the vertical case. If the residence times are not greater than the required settling limes. then either the diameter should be increased or, for a given diameter, the length should be increased (liquid separation is controlling). In the subsequent design procedures, the lauer approach is used. along with [he procedures discussed in our previous paper for vaporfliquid separation (2 J.
The following design procedures and heuristics are a result of a review of literature sources and accepted industrial design guidelines. Horizontal design procedures are presented for the four separator types shown in Figure 2. The horizontal design procedures incorporate optimizing the diameter and length by minimizing the approximate weight of the shell and heads. To add a degree of consavatism to the design, the volume available in the heads is ignored.
Table 1. Typical values of ks for liquidliquid separations.
liaht PliIlSi H811VY Phil .. MiniQlLlRl k,
drop:let dill~ ~m
Hydrocarbons
SG at GOOF < 0.85 Water or CBUStiC 127 0.333
SG at 6O"F < 0.85 Water or ea ustic 89 0.163
Water Furfural 89 0.163
M~thylett,yl ketcns Water 89 0.163
secButyl alcohol Water 89 o.isa
Methyl isobutyl ketone Wa1er 89 0.163
Nonvl alcohol Water 89 0.163 1 a
',';hl
hat
·:u
ent
ths
LIld
ed.
the
led
.et
the
se
ith
the
nes
set
.ter
ven
be
on
.ign
is
dis
for
.ircs
lew
rtcd f
nes. I
pre
;pes I
.ntal
ipti t
!
by !
ight f
2ree
vol ~
red,
I
•
I I
"
fs
333
163
163
163
163
163
163 Interface control
Feed
3, Interface control with weir Feed
1+ 0
Heavy liquid outlet
(5)
Light liquid outlet
Heavy liquid outlet
~IN'~
1+L"1
• Figure 2. Basic designs of horizontal threephase separators,
If there is a mist eliminator. add 36 in. to DF!) to accommodate a support ring and round up to the next oin. increment to obtain D; if there is no mist eliminator, D zz: Dver
4. Calculate the setting velocity of the heavy liquid out of the 1 ight liquid using Stokes' law (the maximum is 10 in/min):
r r _ k s( P H _ P d
vHL ilL
where ks i.s obtained from Table I or is calculated (see Eq. 3).
2. Interface control with boot Feed
Light Interface fliq_u_idtl Heavy liquid
Vertical design procedure Refer to Figure I for dimensions: 1. Calculate the vertical terminal V3p<lf velocity:
U ::::: K(PL _ PI,/t2 (4)
T 'Pv
Calculate the K value, using one of the methods in Table 2 and set U; = O.75Ur for a conservative design.
2. Calculate the vapor volumetric flow rate:
Heavy liquid outlet
I N
Q _ W"
v  3,600pv
3. Calculate the vessel internal
diameter, Dvo:
4. Bucket and weir Feed
Vapor outlet
Heavy liquid outlet
Light liquid outlet
Ll Note: N~ 112 dN+ 6 in.
d,., ~ Nozzle dia.
(6)
S. Similarly. calculate the rising velocity or the light liquid out of the heavy liquid phase using Stokes' law:
U _ kS(PH _ PL)
LH  ~{(
6. Calculate the light and heavy liquid volumetric flow rates, QLL arid Qi1L
(8)
(9)
(7)
"'~L Q/IL = 60PH
7. Assume HL = I ft (minimum) and calculate the settling lime for the
(10)
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 1994 • 31
MULTIPHASE FLOW
.................. r~~i~
where Dp is in ft.
CD" ex:p(¥l
y ~ &.4' 1  2143.1' + 0.273x"  1.865 x lO2iJ + 5.201 x 10"X'
where D; is in h.
Nole.l micron = 3.28084 x 10.6 h
heavy liquid droplets to settle through this distance (12 is a conversion factor for ft to in.):
12HL tHL=U HL
8. Assume HH = 1 ft (minimum) and calculate the settling time for the light liquid droplets to nse through this distance:
(II)
( 12)
12HH tUf=U UI
9. If there is a baffle plate, calculate the area:
a. Calcu late (p L  PI)'
b. Assume H/( (use 9 in. as a minimum) and calculate HL + HR'
C, Usc Fi~ure 3 to obtain C.
d. Calcui:J[C An:
See Eq, (U) in the box.
e. Assume HI) = I in.
f. Cakul,\lc WfJ In.
A" ~ C 4~,gal ~ 60 ~nin i (Qu_ ~ Q.,l 1
• Equation 13
v  0 313 /53.95  0.6973 = 2.74 fils
r= > V 0.6973
• Equation El
Q = 415,000 lblh :::; 165.32 fe/s
v 3,600 s/h X 0.6973 lhlft)
• Equation E2
DvD=
• Equation E3
4 X 165.32 fp/s =:: 10.13 ft 1[ 2.05 ftIs
Q =:: 16,5000 lblh = 5.10 fe/min
LL 60 min/h x 53.95 lb/ft"
• Equation E4
g. Use Table 3 to determine Ai) /A.
h. Calculate A= (rrJ4)D". j. Calculate An.
j. Select the larger value of A/J'
k. Calculate the area of [he baffle plate = settling area for the light liquid: AL = A  A[J.
10. Calculate the residence time of each phase based on the volumes occupied by the light and heavy phases
Q = 1,300 lblh = 0.35 fe/min
ilL 60 minfh x 62.11 Ib/ft3
• Equation E5
e _ HLAL U Qu
e  HHAH HL Q
HL
If eU. < tIlL or eU! < tlW increase [he diameter and repeat the procedure from Step 7 (liquid separation is controlling). Note that All:::: A.
11. Calculate the height or the light liquid above the outlet t holdup
( 14a)
(14b)
height) based on the required holdup time:
H  QUTH R  AL
Check this value with that assumed in Step 9b to ensure that the assumed value is reasonable. If surge is not specified, calculate the surge height based on surge time:
The minimum is 6 in.
12. Calculate the vessel height using the guidelines'
HI = 6 in. minimum.
HBX = 1/: d ; + greater of (2 tt or H, + D.S fLJ.
HD = 0.5D or a rninimum ot:
36 in. + V,ds (without mist eliminator). or
24 in. + I·:d, (v. itb mi.,l eliminator):
( 15)
( 16)
32 • SEPTEMBER 1994. CHEMICAL ENGlNEERING PROGRESS
l
\
,1
\
~\
idup
(15)
med uned 110t ~ighl
(16)
leight
mi s t
nator):
a <= 4.i55930c~ID~ . b = 3.924091 . (:",,0.174875
. d" 6.358805 e '" 5.668973 f= 4018448
g = 4.916411 II", 1.801 705 i = D. 1 45348
Al4rloHm· y=HID x=NAT
{1 = D.lIO 153756 I> = 26.787101
c = 3.299~01
d = 12.92393~ e = 24.353518 J = 14.8448~" ~ = 36.99<1376 Ir = ]0529sn i = 9.892851
* = Or equivalent t"~rn'~,ions. such u, H.JD (1AJAI·
Hr'" HII + HI + HI! + H~ + H/JV +
Hn (17)
If a mist eliminator pad j~ used. additional height is added as shown in Figure I.
Example 1
Size a vertical separator with a baffle plate and wiremesh mist eliminator to separate the mixture given in Table 4. The operating pressure is J6S psia. and it is necessary to have a hydrocarbon liquid holdup time of 25 min and a surge time of only 5 min.
1. Calculate the vertical terminal velocity. L'sing Table 2. calculate K using the York Dernister equations. see Eq. EI in the box.
and U\. = 0.75 x 2. 74 = 2.05 fils.
~
27 in .•
~ 10,000
CL Ol
~.
o 0=
~
o v (j)
:0
"
~
Iii
d
High liquid level above interface
18in.
9,000
8,000
7,CKXJ
24 in.
21 in.
25
6,000 ~~~~~~~~
15
20
30
35
40
45
50
• Figure 3. Gis [ound from the downconter allowable flow.
the ti me for the light liquid to rise out of the heavy liquid phase:
liH'" 112) (10) 11.74=6.9min 9. Calculate
the baffle plate area:
PI  P,. = 53.95  06<:J73 = 5J.2S It/IV
• Asxurne HR = 12 in .. HL + HR = 24 in. Using Figure J. C; = 9.8iX) gph/ft".
An = 17A8 gallft'I(60 rnin/h t (S.IO + O.35l(ft')/9.XOO gphft't; = 0.25 ftc
• Assume W{J = 4 in.:
Wr!D = 4/( 12 x 10.5) = 0.0317
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 19!14 • 33
2. Calculate the vapor volumetric flow rate. see EI..J. E2 in the box.
3. Calculate the vessel inner diameter. ~ee Eq. E3 in the box.
Use D = 10.5 n
4. Calculate the settling velocity of the heavy liquid out of the light liquid phase. Using Table 1. k; = 0.163. Then:
UH1.;;; 0103(62.11  'i3(5)/O.630 ;;; 2.11 in.irnin
5. Calculate the settling velocity of the light liquid (lui ofthe heavy liquid phase:
VI./! = 0.163(62.11  53.951/0.764 = 1.74 in.zmin
6. Calculate the light and heavy liquid volumetric flow rates. sec Eq. E4 and ES in the box.
7. Assume HL ;;; j ft and calculate the time for the heavy liquid to settle out of the light liquid phase:
fill;;; (12) (I ,()) /2.1 J ;;; 5.7 min
8. Assume HH = I ft and calculate
MULTIPHASE FLOW
c. _~~CtacctJmurafuf:::;" •. , l =~~uct ", ..... , ... ....3+.
IBasedon 1. (3 niinjplusapPfOJlrl8tl!t1ol:dUp tillJQ (Jfovel'head
product las per 6 1 at· .' . .
O. Column bottoms
1, Feed to another column 5
2'. Feed ttl' other drum or tankage
al With pump or through exchanger 5
h) Without pump • 2
3. Feed to fired reboiler rHl
(Based on reboiler vapor expressed as liquid (3 min) plus appropriate holdup time for the bottom product(as per 0 1,21
2
2
1 24
E. Compressor suction!interstage scrubber
3 min between HLl (high liquid alarm) and high level shutdown 10 min from bottom tangent line to high liquid alarm
F. Fuel gas knockout drum
20 ft slug in the incoming fuel gas line between NLL and high level shutdown
G. Flare Knockout drum 20 to 30 min to HLL
Multiply by the following factors (optional:
Personnel
Factor
Factor
Instrumentation
Experienced
Well Instrumented
1.0
1.0
Trained
1.2
12
Standard Instrumented
lnexpurienc ed
1.5
1.5
Poorly Instrumented
PI:::; ~ ~:~~ X 53,95 + //~66 X 62,11 :::; 54.55 lb/ft:'
i • Equation £6
d\'~(' 4x165.41 )112=1.73ft . 60 n JO.730 ,
• Equation E7
34 • SEPTEMBER 1994· CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS
• Using Table 3. A[/4. = 0.0095:
A ::= (n/4)( 105 ft)2 ::= 86.59 {[2
An = (0.0095) (86,59 ft2) == 0.82 ftl • Use An ::= 0.82 ft.
AL = 86.59  0.82::= 85.77 tV
10. Calculate the residence time of each phase:
8u c; (La fL) (85.77 ft2)/5.10 ftl/min::= 16.8 min
811L = (1.0 ft) (86.59 ft~)/0.35 ft3/min ::: 247.4 min
II. Calculate the height of the light liquid above the outlet, based on holdup:
H}/ = (5.10 ftVrnin) (25 iTIin)/85.77 ft2 ::= 1.5 ft
n; z; (5.10 + 0.35)(t't3/min) (5 min)/86.59 ft" ::= 0.31 ft
Use Hs = 0.5 ft.
12. Calculate ds according to Table 5:
1.= QL/(QL + Q\.) ::= (5,10 + 0.35)1(5.10 + 0.35 + 165.32 x 60) =: 0'()()06
Use Eq E6 (see box) to calculate
PI'
PM c PLt.+ p\O  A) = (54.55) (0.0006) + ((),6973) (I  00(06) = 0.730
Q\j::= 16532 + (5.10 + 035)160 = 165.41 tV Is
Use Eq. E7 (,.;ee box) to calculate d,\. d; 2: :21 in.: use dv ::= 24 In.
Calcul,lte u.;
H/) = 0.5 (10.5) = 5.25 It or
H[) ::= 24 + 24/2 = 36 in. ::= 3.0 ft (minimum)
Use H[)::= S.S ft. From Figure I, H; :::: 1 ft and s ::= 0.5 tt. Calculate H fj,V'
H BN ::= Yi (2.0 ft) + :2 ft = 3 ft
Set HA ::= 0.5 n. Final dimensions:
D::= IO.S ft. HH::= La ft. HL ::= 1.0 tt, H}/ ::= 1.5 ft. H,1 := 0.5 ft. H/3\ ::= 3.0 fl. and H [) ::= :'i.S ft. Add 1.5 ft for the mist eliminator.
Hr::=140rl
H,ID = 14.0/10.5", I.J
Add ~ fl 10 HT (HR '" ~,O fl. n; ::::: 7.0 I'll so that H,ID = 1.52 (l1ID should he ill the range 0[' 1,5 to 6.0),
Horizontal design procedure: no boot or weir
I. Calculate the vapor volurnetric Iluw rare. Q\, \I~illg Eq. _\
I
f
,
ie
I". In.
1ft
ns:
ft. i tt. nist

D
liD 0)
re:
etric
2. Calculate the light and hC~I\Y I iqu id \"01 umet ric 11\)\\; rates. (J II and (JII/' using E<.Is. 9 and 10.
3. Calculutc tile vertical terminal velocity. U). using Eq. 4. l\elecl a K value from Table 2) and SCI l.', ::::
O.75Ur
.t. Select holdup and ~urge times from Table 6 and calculate the holdup and surge volumes. Vii and V" (unless surge is othcrw ise speci lied. such as a slug volume):
([ g)
~ ... _. __ . __ ._.
Table 7. LID ratio guidelines. .~i;f.',::.~~.< ~':~.{ ~ .. J;,~~ ""';'~1' i1e' f'~'~;" ~~;,_,~:
250 <: P<5IXI 500 < P
" .. ' ' .. fl;s:.:.l6. 3.04.0 4.Qti.D
(241
(281
( 19)
velocity:
12. Calculate the minimum length required for vapor/liquid separation:
13. If L < L\f/Y' then set L ::: L\//\ (here. vapor/liquid separation L11l1 trols). This simply results in some extra holdup and residence lime, [I' L « L\f/v' the» increase HI and recalculate A~. and repeat, starling from Step 9. H L > L\!t.\. the design is acceptable for vapor/liquid separation. H L » L"us (liquid holdup controls). L can only be reduced and L\fI,\ increased if H\ is reduced HI' may only be reduced if it is greater than the minimum specified in Step 6. (With reduced H«; recalculate A I' and rep~at the procedure from Step 9.) Note: for this and other calculations. "much greater than" (») and "much less than" «<) mean a variance of greater than 20'k.
14. Calculate the settling velocities of the heavy liquid out of the light liquid phase and the I igh: I iquid OUl of the heavy liquid phase. U[{{ and UUI' using Eqs 7 and 8 (find AS from Table 11.
15. Calculate the ~elTlil1g times of the heavy liquid out of the light phase and the light liquid (Jut of the heavy phase:
16. Calculate the residence times of the light and heavy liquids:
(A/  A\  A/{/)L (2'))
8" = Q
11
17.11'8111. < tUi or 81.1. < tHI then increase the vessel length (liquid separ.uion controls):
.·~I
1301
18. Calculate UIJ. If ut: « 1.5. decrease D runless it is already at its minimum). and if ULJ » fl.O then increase D: repeat from Stt'P 5.
19. Calculate the thickness of the shel! and heads aCClll'ding to Table g. 20, Calculate surface; area of the shell and heads according to Table X. 21. Calculate the approximate vex scl weight according to Table 8.
22. Increase or decrease the vexsel diameter hy 6in. increments and repeat the calculations unti I the U[) ratio ranges from 1.56,0.
23. Using the optimum vessel size (minimum weighll, calculate the normal and high liquid levels:
Obtain Hv[ / using Table .3 with the value 01 A,\L/AT'
Horizontal design procedure: heavy liquid boot
I. Calculate the vapor volumetric Illl\\ rare. QI' using Eq 5.
2. Calculate the light and heavy liquid volumetric rlow rates. Qu and o.; per Eqs 9 and 1(1
3. Calculate the vertical terminal velocity, Ur. using Eq. 4 (the K value comes from Table 2) and set U\ '" 0.75 u;
4. Select holdup and surge limes from Table fl and calculate the holdup and surge volumes, Vf! and V\, from Eqs. 18 and 19 (unless surge is other
CHEMICAL ENGINEERtNG PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 1994 • 35
'~ .
5. Obtain an un from Table 7 and initially calculate the diameter according to:
"; I/J
4{ Vj! + \1,)
O.Srr( [/D) ,
(20)
D=
Calculate the total crosssectionnl area:
A _ rrD2 r 4
(21)
6. Set the vapor space height. HI' to the larger of (L2D or 2 It: I ft if there j, no mist eliminator. Using H/D in Table J. obtain A/'ir and calculate A,.
7. Set the heights or the heavy and light liquids. H Hi and HI!'
8. find (A/IL + ALL)IAr. using (Hili. + Hu )ID in Table 3. and calculate AHI + Au
9. Calculate the minimum length to accommodate the liquid holdup/surge:
L= VH+V\
AT  A v  (A!IL + A II)
10. Calculate the liquid dropout time:
OJ)
11. Calculate [he actual vapor
MULTIPHASE FLOW
wise specified. such as slug volume).
S. Obtain LID from Table 7 and initially set the diameter according to:
_ II 4( ~ + \,~) ';IIJ
D .~_:_
, o.6rr(Lvl i
(33)
Then calculate the total crosssectional area. AT. usi ng Eq. ~ 1.
6. Set the vapor space height. H". to the larger of 0.20 or ~ ft (I ft if there is no mist eliminator). Using H/D in Table 3. obtain AJ4.J and calculate AI"
7. Set the light liquid heights in the vessel and boot. HLL1, and HU_B
8. Calculate the crosssectional area of the light liquid above the bottom of the vessel. Aw. using HwlD in Table '.,
9. Calculate the minimum length to accommodate the liquid holdup/surge:
L::: VH +Vs
ATA.IAU!
10. Calculate the liquid dropout time. <jl. using Eq. n.
11. Calculate the actual vnpor velocity. L\ '. \. using Eq ~L
12. Calculate the minimum length required for liquid/vapor separation. L~lIs. using Eq. 25.
13. If L < L\I/Y' then set I. = L\(I\ (vapor/liquid sepurut ion controls lThis simply results in some extra holdup and residence time. If L «LII/,,' then increase HI ami recalculate Ai' then repeal from Step Y. If L > LHiV' the design is acceptable for vapor/liquid separation. If L » L\I/s' liquid holdup controls. L cun only he reduced and L\lI,~' increased if HI is reduced. HI may only be reduced if il is greater than the minimum specified in Step 6.
With reduced Hi' recalculate AI and repeal from Step 9.
14. Calculate the settling velocity of the heavy liquid Olll of the light liquid phase. UIII. usin_L: Ell. 7 (obtain k\ Irorn T~I h lc I I. .
15. Calcul.ue lhl' ,Cltllng time 111
(341
Approxlm~teV~Ssitf Weight
W = ( 4~ 1121 /2 X Asv" + 2Ae~)
Notes: The design pressure, P, is typically either the operating pressure with 15 to 30 psi added to it or the operating pressure + 10%, whichever is greater. For the allowable stress, S, see Reference (3). The joint efficiency, E. ranges from 0.6 to 1; use 0.85 for spotexamined joints, and 1
for 100% Xrayed joints, The corrosion allowance, tc. typically ranges from 1/1, to '/o in. The vessel thic kness, t, is the larg er of ts and t. up to the n ea rest '/< in,
the heavy liquid out of the I ight liquid phase:
16. Calculate the residence time of the light liquid:
Note: This volume of light liquid ignores the I ight liquid volume in [he boot.
17. If 8u < 'Hl. then increase the vessel length (liquid ~eparati(ln controls):
18. Calculate UD. If un « I.'i then decrease D runless it is ulrcudy al a minimum) and if l./n » h.O then mrrea:«, 0: repeal from SIl']1 'i.
36 • SEPTEMBER t994. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS
19. Calculate the thickness of the shell and head, according to Table 8. 20. Calculate the surface area of the shell and heads according to Table 8.
21. Calculate the approxirnnte weight of the shell and heads according to Table 8.
22. J ncrease or decrease the vessel diameter by oin incrernerus and repeat the calculations until LID ranges from 1.56.0
23_ With the optimum vessel size (minimum weight). calculut« the normal and high liquid levels:
(3XI
(39)
Determine H\"1J lI';ing Table :\ from A\//A,
24. Deign (he henvy liquid bout:
Set the height llj" the heavy liquid, filii.: calculate the rising velocity of the light liquid out of Ihl' heel\) liquid phase. [/11/' ll';ing Eq t\ (rind A\ from
.. t ._I~
, s
(49)
Table I ): ~et U; =0 07.') Uw: calculate the hc:!\)' liquid hoot diameter:
D = ,/4 x 12QHl (40)
Ii V rrUr
Then calculate the settling lime of the I ight liquid out of the heavy liquid phase:
the light liquid compartment USIng Eq.44 or read it from Table 9.
HILi. = 0.50 + 7
(44)
] 4. Calculate minimum LI to Iacilitute liquidliquid separation as the larger of:
Round to the nearest I,h ft. 15. Find L:
(51 )
(411
where D IS in feet and H LU in inches (round up to nearest in.). If D::; 4.0 ft. then IfUL = 9 in. Using HiLllD in Table 3. Calculate Au!..
8. Calculate the weir height:
(45)
16. Calculate the liquid dropout time, <11, using Eq. n.
17. Calculate the actual vapor velocity. U'"1' using Eq. 24.
18. Calculate the minimum length required for vapor/zliquid separation. LH/s, using Eq. 25.
19. If L < L,'JY' then set L = L~I!\ (vapor/Iiquid separation controls). This simply results in some extra holdup and residence time. If L « L'/IY then increase H" recalculate A, and repeat the calculations from Step O. [1' L > L\I/.\"' the design is acceptable for vapor/liquid separation, If L » L\j/Ii (liquid separution and holdup control), L can only be reduced and LIII,I increased if If, is reduced, H\. may only be reduced if it is greater than the minimum specified in Step 9. With reduced HI" recalculate Al and repeat from Step 9.
20. Calculate UD. If" UD « 15, then decrease D (unless it is already at a minimum) and repeat from Step 6. If VD » 6.0, then increase D and repeat from Step 5.
21. Calculate the thickness of the shell and heads according to Table 8. 22. Calculate the surface area of the shell and heads according to Table 8.
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 199( • 37
._._ .. _ .. 
Calculate the residence time or the heavy liquid:
(42)
If 811[ < I LH' then mcrease the boot diameter.
Horizontal design procedure: weir
1. Calculate the vapor volumetric flow rate. Q". using Eq. 5.
2. Calculate the light and heavy liquid volumetric flow rates, Qu. and QliL J~ per Eqs. 9 and 10.
3. Calculate the vertical terminal vapor velocity. UT' using Eq. 4 (find K from Table 2) and set U, = O.75UT.
1. Select holdup and surge times from Table 6. and calculate the holdup and surge volumes. VH and VI" from Eqs. 18 and 19 (unless surge is otherwise specified. such as a slug volume).
5. Obtain UD from Table 7 and initially calculate the diameter according to:
D = (. 16( ~+ \s))' In (43)
O.6rrIL DJ
Then calculate the total crosssectional area, AT' using Eq, 21.
6, Set the vapor space height. HI" to the larger of O.2D or 2 ft (1 ft if there is no mist eliminator). Using H,ID in Table 3. obtainA/4Tand calculate A"
7. Calculate the low 1 iquid level in
If Hli < 2 [1. incrca . se D, and repeat the calculations from Step 6.
9. Calculate the minimum length of the light liquid compartment to accommodate holdup/surge. L, in Figure 2 :
(46)
L, = VH + Vs
 ArA\,Au.J
Round to the nearest V: ft. The minimum for L, :::: d; + 12 in.
10. Set the interface at the height HH12. obtaining the heights of the heavy and light liquids, H HI. and HIJ·
11. For the liquid settling compartment. calculate the crosssectional area of the heavy liquid, using HH/ID in Table 3 and calculate the crosssectional area of the light liquid from:
(47)
12. Calculate the settling velocity of the heavy liquid out of the light liquid phase, Lim. and the light liquid out of the heavy liquid phase, UL/1' using Eqs 7 and 8 (find 1.:..1 from Table I).
13. Calculate the settling times of the heavy liquid out of the light liquid phase and the light liquid out of the heavy liquid phase:
fliL = l2HuiUliL {4S)
MULTIPHASE FLOW
23. Calculate the approximate vessel weight according to Table 8.
24. Increase or decrease the diameter by 6in. increments and repeat the calculation ... until UD ranges from 1.56.0.
25. With the optimum vessel size (minimum weight), calculate normal and high liquid level ... :
Obtain H\U using Tnble 3 with A\uiAr
Horizontal design procedure: bucket and weir
1. Calculate the vapor \01 urnetric flow rate. QI' u~ing Eq. 5.
2. Calculate the light and heavy liquid volumetric Aow rates, Qu and Qlle per Eqs. 9 and 10.
3. Calculate the vertical terminal vapor velocity, CT, using Eq. 4 (find K from TClhie ~) and ser U~. = 0.75 UT. 4. Select residence limes for light and heavy liquids. 8u. and 8H1. For sour water stripper feed drums. 8!1i.
60 min for refinery service. or 1015 min for chemicalplant service. For amine regenerator feed drums. SIlL = JO15 min
5. Obtain i/o from Table 7 and initially set the diameter according to:
Then calculate the total crosssectional CIrca. A r. using Eq. 21.
6. SCI the vapor space height. HI' to the larger of O.2D or 2 It (I fl if
there is no mist eliminatorj. Using H/D in Tahle 3, obtain A/Ar,md calculate A I'
7. Calcul,lle LI
15S)
8. Calculate the liquid dropout time. O. lIslng Eq 23
9. Calculate the actual vapor velocit)', L\J.' lI~ing Eq. ~4.
10. Calculate the minimum length required for vapor/liquid separation. Lw.\' u: .. ing Eq 25,
II. If LI < LII/\' (hen SCI LI 0:: Lw\ I vapor/Iiqui d separation corurols t. This simply results In some extra holdup and residence time. If LI « L\.f/\' then increu.e iii' recalculate AI and repeal the calculations from Step 7. If t.. > L~!is' the design is acceptable for vapor/liquid separation.
12. Calculate the light liquid layer thickness based Oil (he heavy liquid settling out:
Qr = 235,000 IbIh = 343.57 ft°/s
3.600 s/h X 0.190 H)/fe
• Equation £8
Ur=0.175j 40·~'tg·19 =2.55 ft/s
• Equation £1 J
Q 45,000 lblh ] 8 c2 f JI .
u. =. 1 = .oJ t mIn
60 mmlh x 40.5 Iblfr
• Equation E9
( 4 x 277.80 )111
D = 0 6 I 7 1/ = 11.15 It, use 11.0 ft
.1tX. X,4
• Equntion E12
Q = 7,500 IbIh = 2.02 ftJ/min
tn. 60 min/h X 62.0 Ib/tr'
• Equation 1:'10
277.80
L~ = 95.03 _ 71.08 _ 4.85 = 14.54 ft
• Eouation E J3
tfHl = 2.0 min x 2.0~ft 3/min = 0.45 ft
HL 8.93 Jr
• Equation E 14
tHLQu = 2.0 min x 18.5~ ftl/min = 2.47 ft
AIL 15.02ft
• Equation 1:"15
U; = Q~. = 343.57 fr\/s = 4.83 ft/s
IA ~. 71.08 fe
• H(lliatilm J~ Iii
38 • SEPTEMBER 1994. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS
.. .. ~~ 
,.~ ... j
where Dr is in microns.
13. C alcu I ale the difference in height between the light and heavy liquid weirs:
(57)
14. Design the light liquid bucket:
Set the top of light liquid weir = D  Hv; assume the botlom is at O.125D; assume a holdup/surge (typically. 515 min.): assume HLL is 6 in. below the weir height and LLL is 6 in. ab0VC the bottom of the bucket. Using Table 3 with H//LdD and HLUlD. calculate AHLL and A/.u.' Calculate L:
(TH + Ts)Qu.
L = (58)
 (Alii.!.  ALU)
15. Assume L, is the larger of D/12 or 12 in.
16. Design the heavy liquid compartment: Set the top of the heavy liquid weir::: D  H;  !1H: assume a holdup/surge (typically. 515 min); assume HLL is about 6 in. below the weir height and LLL is about 6 in. above the bottom of the vessel. Using Table 3 with HHUID and HiLIID, calculate AHiI and ALLL·
Calculate L4:
;0 .~~.~ cros:1>se,tkirlal. m:N.;.lI.T~(;ri3lt,;;J~~tijA~:fllIi
'",dOwricOiw CfI)IiS·sectimIaI '"'"" .,.""," , . ~~.d.ri&~Iiquld ~ ,vess~tlM:Jlid
.• tOm;~;
. ',', ',"', " . ,,'" .
,Qbrff'_".''''' ~'Uq~ .
. , '. ". hltJiJiqWdkYet : "
l:'t . ft • ·':~.f;i·~;:.·'·~;,~~kv~:
. ~IN '" vap<.n11:icJlli!t~ lllinl~ ". M . .' 'lO{: nri~ ,.. .:
: . '1cllgtf\t~ ::: .. ..• ' ~ . ) ~' lttJt·· ~:.~' ~ tt@ld.tevei
f'~i·(:·!f!tJ1t::::.!:_\:tJf.'''~':1:'::~;;;{::~"i;,J;~~f;·~~''Y/
'·~I,"''.·~:~i~ r;/:~<:~:;~;.;;~; ~'c_";:.;:::: ;~;:!':,~; "'~ ,!:;.~!:: .~,: ,;i:;~',i:;."~:1~r :J.:.,_~:;:.c;~:L:<L~::./~ i£)~;;::::;'{":"':::~;i~ <,~~),':,
( Til + TS)QHL
L4 = _:__~~_;__~
(A nu.  A LLL)
17. CalculateL::: LI + [., + L3 + L~.
18. Calculate UD. If UD « 1.5,
then decrease D and repeat from Step 5. If UD » 6,0. then increase D and repeal from Step 5.
19. Caleul ale the thic kness of the shell and heads according to Table 8. 20. Calculate the surface area of
(59)
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS • SEPTEMBER 1994 • 39
MULTIPHASE FLOW
shell and heads according to Table R 21. Calculate the approximate vessel weight according 10 Table 8.
22. Increase or decrease the diameter by 6in. increments and repeat the calculations until UD ranges from 1.56.0.
Example 2
Design a threephase horizontal sepurator with a weir to separate the mixture in Table 10. The operating pressure and temperature are 25 psig and 100, respectively. and it is necessary to have a liquid holdup and surge time of 15 min,
I. See Eq. E8. box. p. 38
2. See Eqs E9 and E 1 D. box. p. 38
3. K :::: 0.175 (the G<lS Processors Suppliers' Association value in Table 2 was divided by 2 since there is no mist elirninator)
See Eq. Ell. box. p. 38
['I .z: 0.75 x 2.55 = 1.91 tt/s
4. Holdup + surge as specified =' 15 111m.
~'II + VI:::: 1.15 min) (1852 t't'/min) == 277.80 ftl
AsslIme 10 min holdup. 5 min
surge.
S. Assume UD = 1,7. See Eq E 12. box, p 38
AT == 11/4 ( 11.0 ft)2 = 9503 ftC
6. Since the mass rate of vapor is
Ill" 0.24 !lH = 0.682
Dished with knuckle radius = 0.06 D . 2:1 Elliptical
D> t5 ft, regardless of pressure Hemispherical
where: P = design pressure and D = drum dia.
about 829, of the loading. set H,. to be much greater than the minimum. Assume H; = O.70D :::: (0.70)( 11.0 ft) == 7.70 fl. Using Table 3. A/AI :::: 0.748. A, = 71.08 ftc
7. Hw. = (0.5)( 11.0) + 7 == 12.5 in.,
use U in.
HwlD == 131( 11.0 x 12) == 0'()98 Using Table 3. A,u/'4r = 0.051 Au.1 == (0.051 )(95.03 ftC) = 485 ft= 8.H" = IIJl7.70=3JOft
9. See Eq. E 13. box. p. 3:1 U~eL= IS.Oft.
10. HHL = Hu = 3.30/2 == 1.65 ft
11. HIfIID zz: 1.65/11.0 == 0.1 SO From Tahle 3. AHe'Ar = 0.094
AH/, = (0.094)( 95.03 It') = 1(93 ftc A,l:::: 95.03  71.08  8.93 == 15.02 1't2 12. From Table I. ks == 0.333
[fill. == (0,333)(62.0  40.5)/024 == 2983 in.lrnin
Use 10 in.rrnin (maximum)
UUI = (0 333)(li2.0  40.5)fO.6iQ == 10.50 in.lmin
lhe 10 in.zmin (maximum)
13. 'HI. = (12 in.lf\){1.65 fOliO in.lmin = 1.9::\ min. use 2.0 rnins 'UI:::: 'HI = 2,() min
14. See Eqs. E 14 and E 15. box.
p. 38
Usc L[ :::: 3.0 ft.
15. L = 3.0 + 15.0 = 18.0 ft
16. 4J = 7.70 ft!I.91 ltis:::: 4,()3 ~
17. See E4. E16. box. p. 3tl.
t  55 X 132 +1 .  0 3C)7 in
s  2 X 17.500 X 0.85  1.2 X 55 I" .. I.
• Equation E17
t 0.885 X 55 X 1,2 +1  0 49') ,
1/:::::' 2x 17.500xO.8S0.1 x55 1('; .• In.
• Equation E J Ii
w = 49?11b X ~.;qo ;r(673.87 ftc + 2 X 101.88 ftc') = 17.920 lb
1t  tn. t , ,
• Fquation F 19
40 • SEPTEMBER 199~. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROGRESS
18. LII/.\ = (4.83 ft/s)(403 s ) == 19.5 ft
19. Since L < L,II.\" set L = 19.5 ft (scI L: = 16.0 fl. L: :::: 3.5 ftJ
20. UD = 19.5/11.0 = 1.78
21. Assume dished heads per Table 11.
Assume E = 0.85
ll~e SA516 70 carbon steel.
design temperature = 6500
S;= 17.500 psi; [rom Ref. (3). Corrosion allowance = I/IA in. P == 25 + 30 = 55 psig
See Eq E17. box on this page. Usc t~=~~][1.
See Eq. E18. box on this page. Use TH == '/: in.: use 1 = ,/, in. 22. As = m l l.O fLJ r l 9.5 ft)
67:..87 ftc
AH '" W.8421 (11.0 ftl2 = 101,88 ft=
23. See Eq E19, box on this page.
24. ln this example. calculations were performed for only one diameter However. nearly the minimum UD corresponded to a diameter of 11.0 tt: therefore. the next diameter should be smaller. resulting in a larger UD. Also, calculations should be performed using a diameter of I 1.5 ft.
25. For the light liquid compartment:
HIIU :::: HI1 == 3.3 1't  3 fL 4 in,
A \U = 4.85 + 185.20/HiO = 16.43 ft2 A\U/A'T == 16..+3/95JJ3 = 0.1 n Using Table 3. H\[./D :::: 0.229 H\LL = ((l.2lY) (11 .o: == :::.52 fl  2
ft. 6 in.
HUI == 13 in.
Comment: Due to the small amount of heavy liquid and large amount of vapor, a better design would have used a boot. A vertical \,;:,,1'1 should be compared. as well. ml
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