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Structured Packaging And Their Different Use In Chemical Engineering And Filtration

Structured Packaging and their Different Use in Chemical Engineering and Filtration
  • By: Sunil Naikwadi

The term structured packing refers to a range of specifically designed materials that are used in the absorption and distillation columns and also In numerous chemical reactors. Structured packings are typically composed of thin layered corrugated metal plates or gauzes which are arranged in such a way that force fluids to take different paths through the column. This facilitates the proper segregation and contact of different phases. This also creates a large surface area for the proper contact between different phases.

Why structured packaging is used?

Structured packing is generally formed from the corrugated sheets of perforated embossed metal, plastic materials of different pore sizes or wire gauze. This results in the formation of a honeycomb like structure for the proper separation and movement of the fluids and also gives a relatively large surface area but with very low resistance to gas flow. This particular method of filtration or packaging is chosen for the better spreading of the liquid. These characteristics of the structured packaging shows significant results under low pressure and low irrigation rate application cases as well.

Different types of Structured packaging: -

Structured packing is manufactured in a huge range of sizes by creating variation in the crimp altitude. The Packaging surface ranges from 50 m²/m³ which has the lowest efficiency and highest capacity to 750 m²/m³ having the highest efficiency and the lowest capacity. There are numerous structured packaging manufacturers in India, manufacturing different variants and types of structured packaging for use in different purposes.

Advantages of structured packaging: -

There are certain advantages of using structured packaging, which has made this tool popular in the field on chemical engineering;
Structured packaging offers lower drop in pressure.
It provides high efficiency for fluidic mobility.
It reduces the time of liquid hold-up.

Applications of structured packaging : -

Typical applications of structured packaging include vacuum and atmospheric crude oil fractionators, FCC main fractionators and TEG contactors. There are numerous TEG contractors in Pune who use different types of structured for assembling their setup. The separation of mono-, di- and triethanolamine, conducted under vacuum, also requires active use of structured packaging, due to its relatively low pressure drop. Tail oil fractionation is also another process in which structured packaging is used.

Structured packing also has numerous use in the fields and processes written below: -

  • Air separation
  • Separation of Cyclohexanone/Cyclohexanol 
  • Xylene splitters
  • Absorption of CO2
  • Absorption of H2S
  • Ethylene oxide absorbers
  • Absorption of Acrylonitrile 

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