PARASTII.

IMICN PIO:ESS rn OPERATIONS
Frank canfield
ChenShare Coq:oration
Houston, Texas
The Parastillation process is a new rrethod for
ITU.11ti-stage, counter-current contact between
vapor and liquid that results in 33% rrore ideal
stages than distillation for a given tray spaci.n;J.
Patents have been granted in the U.S.A., U.K.,
Europe and other countries. Perfonnance of the
process has been confimm aver the past several
years by eat1puter siITU.llation, by laboratory tests
and in ccmnercial installations.
INrRODUCrION
'llle Parastillation
sm
process (1, 2, 3, 4) is a
new rrethod for multistage, counter-current contact
between vapor and liquid. Like distillation,
liquid is contacted stage-by-stage with risi.n;J
vapor as ShCMIl in Figure 1. Unlike distillation,
the vapor is split into two or rrore parts at the
botton of the column, and the liquid altel;natively
contacts one vapor then the neKt. In the case of
trays with 100% Murphree efficiency, this rrechan­
ical arran:;enent produces 33% rrore ideal· stages
than distillation for a given tray At
60% Murphree vapor efficiency, the rrechanical
enhancement is 18%. In addition, because liquid
always flCMs in the same direction with respect
to a given vapor, concentration gradients across
the trays develop rrore fully (5) and lead to higher
Murphree efficiencies. On average, the Parastil­
lation process will produce 25 to 30% rrore sepa­
ration than distillation in a given column height.
PARASTn.LATION VS. DISTn.LATION
l-bre separation for a given column height often
is the rrost significant advantage of the para­
stillation process. Not to be ignored, ha.vever,
is the possible advantage of liquid
Because for single pass trays only one-half of
the column is available for liquid flo... , the
Parastillation process helps solve the problen
of liquid mal-distribution at lCM liquid
Better liquid distribution can lead to higher
Murphree efficiencies. Colunns often have lCM
liquid in sare sections and high in others;
it is possible to use distillation in sections with
high liquid loading and the Parastillation process
in sections with lCM liquid
Inability to handle very high liquid e.g.,
purrp-around sections of a crude tCMer, . is tJ:e rrost
significant disadvantage of the Parastillatl.on
process. If liquid currently controls
flooding in a distillation column, a good rule-of­
thumb is that distillation with one-pass trays
Chien Jenkins
Distech Limited
Stoke-0n-Trent, G.B.
will require two-pass trays and two-pass will
require four-pass. Another disadvantage is that
tcMer internals for the Parastillation process are
rrore expensive to manufacture and install. 'llle
total installed cost for 2N Parastillation stages
is estimated to e::IUa1 1.4 times the installed
cost of N distillation stages for a given column
height.
v
Figure 1. Parastillation Prooess
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Proceedings from the Eighth Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference, Houston, TX, June 17-19, 1986
Parastillation Process for New Towers
For new construction, we assume a scenario of
performing a given separation at specified
conditions. Using the Parastillation process,
tower height can be reduced by 20-25%, but the
installed cost about 1.6 N Parastillation process
stages will be 12 to 14% rrore. on purely econanic
grourrls, one must carpare the savings due to a
20-25% reduction in tower height to the cost of
12-14% rrore for tower intervals.
On average, we expect the trade-off to be sane­
lNhat in favor of the Parastillation process. In
sane cases of very high incremental cost for
increased tower height, e.g., offshore, air­
transportable packaged units, or envirorrrental
constraints, then the Parastillation process will
be strongly favored. Also, it is strongly favored
in the case of low liquid loading where half-pass
trays would be required for distillation.
Parastillation Process Best for RevampS
Several reasons may exist for revamping a distil­
lation colUllU1:
(a) save energy
(b) Improve separation
(c) Increase capacity
In all cases, the parastillation process should
be evaluated as a candidate. Because rrore
theoretical stages can be obtained, it will improve
separation and/or reduce energy cOnstlll'ption. In
cases of low liquid loading, there is nearly always
significant increase in capacity.
Studying the nurrber of existing colUllU1S in various
services shows that a large number are candidates
for retrofitting to use the Parastillation
process. Table 1 shavs the results for a nurrber
of geograrhical areas arourrl the world in various
irrlustry segments. Alrrost 10,000 colUllU15 in
North America, Western Europe and Japan are
candidates for Parastillation process retrofit.
TABLE 1. Existing Retrofit candidate
Towers for the parastillation Process
North Western Industry
America Europe Japan Total
REFININ:; 2500 1200 450 4150
GAS PRCX:ESSIN:; 1000 1000
OLEFINS 230 260 100 590
PErRCCHEMICALS 1500 1600 750 3850
GOO 'TOTAL 5230 3060 1300 9590
Parastillation Process - Design and Use
Each pair of Parastillation stages can be viewed
as two half-tray sections separated by a dividing
plate; the downstream half is lowered a half tray
spacing below the upstream half. Because vapor
rising fran one tray traverses a full tray spacing
before reaching the tray above, there is
of capacity due to jet or entraimlent fl
approach when carpared to conventional tr
hydraulics. In tenus of pure liquid down
flood, there is a reduction of tray spaci
one-half of the conventional spacing.
In order to take full advantage of the po ential
improvement when using the Parastillation recess,
skill is required to insure the correct t of
tray is used. The optimum selection will elim­
inate downa:rner liquid flooding as a poss' ility.
Using one-, two- or four-pass arrangement , the
designer can utilize available weir 1 per
half tray, equivalent to a minimum of 0.3 times
column diameter to a maximum of 1.8 times colUllU1
diameter. As there is no loss of C01UllU1 ea, and
therefore no constraint in the selection f down­
a:rner size, the design can always ensure t
entrairrrent flood governs the capacity l' 't.
The use of one-, two- or four-pass Paras llation
stages allows this process to be substitu for
conventional distillation in nearly all ses
where single-pass trays were formerly , and in
rrost cases where two-pass conventional tr ys were
used, on a minimun 21-24 inch tray spac' There
is no loss of capacity, but a rrost signif cant gain
in fractionation in every case due to the increase
in theoretical stages. It is not suitabl for
certain applications, such as pumparourrl ections
of crude colUllU15, where liquid load is en . ely
the predaninant factor. It is of rrost va ue where
the rhase loadings are reasonably balan , or
when the vapor phase load governs the des gn.
The rrost significant design consideration for the
Parastillation process is that all of the time­
tested hydraulic calculation techniques 1 ng used
for distillation tray design are equally pplicable
to Parastillation tray design.
TESTS OF THE PARASTILIATION PRCCESS
Total reflux tests of Parastillation pr ss vs.
traditional distillation were conducted a the
University of Manchester Institute of Sci ce and
Technology (UMIST) and have been reported in
detail (1). Tests were conducted in a 2- t. dia­
rreter column with three traditional disti lation
sieve trays and six Parar;tillation ProceS siE·ve
trays of similar design. Spacing between trays
was 24 in. in each case. Average results fran the
tests are given in Table 2 where it can seen
that the Parastillation process produced ch rrore
separation than distillation.
Table 2. UMIST Total
rrol %

Location (3 Trays)
Reflux 70.8
Bottan Downa:rner 10.8
Reboiler 2.5
405
ESL-IE-86-06-63
Proceedings from the Eighth Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference, Houston, TX, June 17-19, 1986
t1=asured bottom. downcx::Iller and reboiler liquid
cx:rnpositions were used to calculate Ev of the
reboiler in each case. With these values set,
E'mv for distillation and Parastillation process
were calculated. Also an apparent Emv for
Parastillation process was calculated. This was
done using a traditional distillation simulation
for three stages above the reboiler and getting
Fmv corresponding to the Parastillation process
test results, Table 3. Reboiler efficiencies are
essentially the same in each case. Apparent Emv
for Parastillation process is 78% vs. an actual
E'mv of 62% for distillation. Parastillation
process gave a 26% increase of theoretical stages.
Table 3. Murphree vapor efficiencies
calculated fran UMIST tests.
Itan Distillation Parastillation
Ev (Reboi1er) 67.3% 67.9%
Fmv (Trays) 61.7% 68.9%
Apparent ~ 78.2%
*Apparent Fmv is that required of three distil­
lation trays to give the separation produced by
six Parastillation process trays.
Part of the enhancerrent o::mes fran a higher Fm.1,
69% for Parastillation process as canpared to 62%
for distillation. It is higher for tw:::J reasons.
First, since wier heights and loadings were about
the same on each test, the liquid depth in Para­
stillation process was greater than in distil­
lation. This is a design difference and is not
an inherent benefit of Parasti11ation process.
Secorrl, liquid always flONS in the same direction
on a given side of the co1tmU1. in Parastillation
process, i.e., Parasti11ation process approaches
Lewis Case II as previously mentioned.
l'obst of the enhancanent is due to the inherent
Parastillation process advantage which results
fran the mechanical arranganent for contacting
vapor and liquid. In sumnary, increased Murphree
vapor efficiency accounts for the rrove fran 61.7%
to 68.9% and the Parastillation process rraterial
balance effects account for the renain::ler to get
an over all efficiency of 78.2% for the Parasti1­
1ation process as canpared to 61.7% for distilla­
tion.
Parastillation Process in Crnmercial Operations
The first ccmrercial installation of the Parasti1­
1ation was done in Eng1arrl in a co1tmU1. where
conventional seive trays above the feed were
replaced with Parastillation trays, rot existing
Pall rings were left in the section !:;e1CM the feed.
The operation of this co1tmU1. (Co1tmU1. #1) met
design expectations for increased purities and
increased capacity and resulted in a satisfied
client.
Two rrore ccmnercia1 installations were started up
in England in late 1985; both are operating as
expected with CXIllp1ete client satisfaction. We
have obtained client pennission to publish scaled
test results fran one co1tmU1. and general mechanical
details about another.
One co1unn (Co1tmU1. #2) in which 28 Parastillation
trays were installed on 21 inch spacings was 3.5
feet in diameter and 32 feet high. This was a new
co1unn so no canparison with previous operations is
possible. The co1unn is perfonning as expected
,.
with cx:mp1ete client satisfaction.
"
Another co1unn (Co1unn #3) in which 32 Parasti1­
1ation trays (arrl one conventional seive tray at
the feed) were installed on 27 inch spacings was 3
feet in diameter and 50 feet high. Results fran
samples taken during normal operations are shown
in Table 4.
Table 4. Parastillation Results at
Operating Conditions (Co1unn #3)
Reflux ratio = 0.37
weight Fraction
CCI\JX?nent
A 0.75 0.99883 0.00294
B 0.25 0.00117 0.99706
A reflux ratio of 0.37 is nCM required to perform
essentially the same separation that was being
perfonned with conventional distillation at a
reflux ratio of 0.63. Ccrrp.1ter simulation results
shCM that, whereas conventional distillation
provided 7 to 8 theoretical stages of separation,
the Parastillation process gives 10 to 11 theo­
retical stages in the same column height.
Detailed operating results for this column are
available on a confidential basis to parties
approved by the client.
OONCLUSION
The Parastillation process has been thoroughly
tested in laboratory arrl ccmnercial operations,
and nCM is ready for general use in cases where
applicable.
References
(1) Canfield, F.B., Chemical Engineering Progress,
p. 58, v. 60, February 1984.
(2) Jenkins, A.E.O., U.S. Patent 4,496,430, U.K.
Patent 2,093,712 and numerous foreign patents.
(3) Jenkins, A.E.O., U.S. Patent 4,582,569.
(4) Anon., Chemical Week, p. 30, OctOOer 19, 1983.
(5) Lewis, Jr., W.K., IE:, p. 399, v. 38, 1936.
406
ESL-IE-86-06-63
Proceedings from the Eighth Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference, Houston, TX, June 17-19, 1986

000 colUllU15 in North America. OLEFINS PErRCCHEMICALS GOO 'TOTAL llation for ses . offshore. the ce and in t. In order to take full advantage of the po ential improvement when using the Parastillation recess. one must carpare the savings due to a 20-25% reduction in tower height to the cost of 12-14% rrore for tower intervals. Existing Retrofit candidate Towers for the parastillation Process North Western America Europe Japan REFININ:. on purely econanic grourrls. Because rrore theoretical stages can be obtained.8 10. Parastillation Process Best for RevampS Several reasons may exist for revamping a distil­ lation colUllU1: (a) (b) (c) save energy Improve separation Increase capacity before reaching the tray above.tillation ProceS trays of similar design. the parastillation process should be evaluated as a candidate. Average results tests are given in Table 2 where it can that the Parastillation process produced separation than distillation.8 2. dia­ lation siE·ve trays fran the seen ch rrore Industry Total 4150 1000 590 3850 9590 2500 1000 230 1500 5230 1200 260 1600 3060 450 100 750 1300 Total reflux tests of Parastillation pr traditional distillation were conducted a University of Manchester Institute of Sci Technology (UMIST) and have been reported detail (1). 1986 . As there is no loss of C01UllU1 ea. It is of rrost va the rhase loadings are reasonably balan when the vapor phase load governs the des The rrost significant design consideration Parastillation process is that all of the tested hydraulic calculation techniques 1 for distillation tray design are equally to Parastillation tray design. skill is required to insure the correct t of tray is used. In sane cases of very high incremental cost for increased tower height. GAS PRCX:ESSIN:. where liquid load is en the predaninant factor. Tests were conducted in a 2rreter column with three traditional disti sieve trays and six Parar. Because vapor rising fran one tray traverses a full tray spacing Reflux Bottan Downa:rner (3 Trays) 70. air­ transportable packaged units. It is not suitabl certain applications. there is of capacity due to jet or entraimlent fl approach when carpared to conventional tr hydraulics. but a rrost signif in fractionation in every case due to the in theoretical stages. we expect the trade-off to be sane­ lNhat in favor of the Parastillation process. two. TABLE 1. it will improve separation and/or reduce energy cOnstlll'ption. Table 2. In tenus of pure liquid down flood. the designer can utilize available weir 1 per half tray.or four-pass Paras stages allows this process to be substitu conventional distillation in nearly all where single-pass trays were formerly rrost cases where two-pass conventional tr used. Houston.or four-pass arrangement . Table 1 shavs the results for a nurrber of geograrhical areas arourrl the world in various irrlustry segments.5 Reboiler 405 Proceedings from the Eighth Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference. there is nearly always significant increase in capacity. June 17-19.ESL-IE-86-06-63 Parastillation Process for New Towers For new construction. but the installed cost about 1.g. Western Europe and Japan are candidates for Parastillation process retrofit.Design and Use Location Each pair of Parastillation stages can be viewed as two half-tray sections separated by a dividing plate. or envirorrrental constraints. Using one-.. for the time­ ng used pplicable OF THE PARASTILIATION PRCCESS ss vs. ely ue where . we assume a scenario of performing a given separation at specified conditions. on a minimun 21-24 inch tray spac' is no loss of capacity. tower height can be reduced by 20-25%. TX.8 times colUllU1 diameter. Spacing between was 24 in. equivalent to a minimum of 0. Also. two. and therefore no constraint in the selection f down­ a:rner size. On average. Alrrost 10.6 N Parastillation process stages will be 12 to 14% rrore. then the Parastillation process will be strongly favored. The use of one-. Studying the nurrber of existing colUllU1S in various services shows that a large number are candidates for retrofitting to use the Parastillation process. TESTS In all cases. it is strongly favored in the case of low liquid loading where half-pass trays would be required for distillation. UMIST Total rrol % D~st~llatl. there is a reduction of tray spaci one-half of the conventional spacing.on Parastillation Process . and in ys were There cant gain increase for ections . Using the Parastillation process. The optimum selection will elim­ inate downa:rner liquid flooding as a poss' ility. or gn. the downstream half is lowered a half tray spacing below the upstream half. e. such as pumparourrl of crude colUllU15. the design can always ensure t entrairrrent flood governs the capacity l' 't.3 times column diameter to a maximum of 1. In cases of low liquid loading. in each case.

(4) Anon. W. Parastillation Process in Crnmercial Operations CCI\JX?nent A B 0.1. e. Jr. 399. OctOOer 19.. Patent 2. 60.5 feet in diameter and 32 feet high. The operation of this co1tmU1. (3) Jenkins. Chemical Engineering Progress. and nCM is ready for general use in cases where applicable. p. #2) in which 28 Parastillation trays were installed on 21 inch spacings was 3. (Co1tmU1. Chemical Week. This was a new co1unn so no canparison with previous operations is possible. 1936.37 is nCM required to perform essentially the same separation that was being perfonned with conventional distillation at a reflux ratio of 0. The co1unn is perfonning as expected with cx:mp1ete client satisfaction. the Parastillation process gives 10 to 11 theo­ retical stages in the same column height. We have obtained client pennission to publish scaled test results fran one co1tmU1.9% 68..S.B.E. E'mv for distillation and Parastillation process were calculated. v.093.K. Houston. 30.7% Parastillation 67. Part of the enhancerrent o::mes fran a higher Fm.496.00294 0.75 0. First.99883 0.O.K.7% to 68. With these values set.9% and the Parastillation process rraterial balance effects account for the renain::ler to get an over all efficiency of 78. 58.2% Two rrore ccmnercia1 installations were started up in England in late 1985.7% for distilla­ tion. U.00117 0. (2) Jenkins. #1) met design expectations for increased purities and increased capacity and resulted in a satisfied client. " Fmv Ev (Reboi1er) (Trays) Apparent ~ *Apparent Fmv is that required of three distil­ lation trays to give the separation produced by six Parastillation process trays..569. TX. Ccrrp. Canfield. Results fran samples taken during normal operations are shown in Table 4.ESL-IE-86-06-63 t1=asured bottom.E.O.2% for the Parasti1­ 1ation process as canpared to 61. Table 3. 1986 .99706 A reflux ratio of 0. Table 3. Murphree vapor efficiencies calculated fran UMIST tests. v. in Parastillation process. Itan Distillation 67.e1CM the feed. whereas conventional distillation provided 7 to 8 theoretical stages of separation. OONCLUSION The Parastillation process has been thoroughly tested in laboratory arrl ccmnercial operations. References (1) The first ccmrercial installation of the Parasti1­ 1ation was done in Eng1arrl in a co1tmU1. both are operating as expected with CXIllp1ete client satisfaction.582. One co1unn (Co1tmU1. since wier heights and loadings were about the same on each test.25 0. 69% for Parastillation process as canpared to 62% for distillation. i. Apparent Emv for Parastillation process is 78% vs. Detailed operating results for this column are available on a confidential basis to parties approved by the client... Parastillation Results at Operating Conditions (Co1unn #3) Reflux ratio = 0.9% 78. Parasti11ation process approaches Lewis Case II as previously mentioned. U..S. Parastillation process gave a 26% increase of theoretical stages.63. 1983.430. and general mechanical details about another. This is a design difference and is not an inherent benefit of Parasti11ation process.37 weight Fraction . (5) Lewis. It is higher for tw:::J reasons. In sumnary.712 and numerous foreign patents. l'obst of the enhancanent is due to the inherent Parastillation process advantage which results fran the mechanical arranganent for contacting vapor and liquid. Patent 4.1ter simulation results shCM that. an actual E'mv of 62% for distillation. This was done using a traditional distillation simulation for three stages above the reboiler and getting Fmv corresponding to the Parastillation process test results. February 1984. Secorrl. Table 4. Patent 4.3% 61. Reboiler efficiencies are essentially the same in each case. F. downcx::Iller and reboiler liquid cx:rnpositions were used to calculate Ev of the reboiler in each case. the liquid depth in Para­ stillation process was greater than in distil­ lation. U. where conventional seive trays above the feed were replaced with Parastillation trays. June 17-19.. rot existing Pall rings were left in the section !:. 406 Proceedings from the Eighth Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference. IE:. p. Another co1unn (Co1unn #3) in which 32 Parasti1­ 1ation trays (arrl one conventional seive tray at the feed) were installed on 27 inch spacings was 3 feet in diameter and 50 feet high. increased Murphree vapor efficiency accounts for the rrove fran 61. Also an apparent Emv for Parastillation process was calculated. 38. A. p.. A. liquid always flONS in the same direction on a given side of the co1tmU1.

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