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What Are The Functions Of The Tower Internals In Liquid Distribution

What are the Functions of the Tower Internals in Liquid Distribution?
  • By: Sunil Naikwadi

Tower internals are critical components for the increase in the mass transfer performance and these helps to obtain the maximum components out of your distillation column. The tower internals are generally made from a variety of materials which include carbon steel and high alloy steel along with duplex steel, titanium, zirconium, different types of polymers and ceramics. The tower internals are optimized for easy installation and are designed to obtain maximum performance, these make the whole distillation column apparatus and mechanism complete.

Tower internals are composed of the following components;

  • Liquid distributors
  • Liquid collectors and draw-off trays
  • Feed devices
  • Supporting plates
  • Bed limiters
  • Liquid-liquid extraction internals
  • Reactor internals
  • Any other custom design apparatus or component according to your choice and need for your distillation system.

The main component of tower internals is the liquid distributor. The liquid distributors have certain characteristics which are highly essential for the tower internals;

  • It ensures homogenous liquid distribution over the entire operating range
  • It has unique cross mixing capability
  • Adequate turndown capability
  • Minimum pressure drop potential with proper vapor distribution
  • Easy installation
  • It also comes with fouling and plugging resistance.

Important features if an efficient tower internal system: -

There are numerous tower internals manufacturers in Pune who are expert distillation equipments manufacturers and they ensure the uniformity of distribution of holes in the apparatus for the proper liquid flow. Paying attention to both the holes pattern and the liquid flow is the major goal here to obtain efficient distillation. The distributor floor should have holes or they should present in the sides of the trough. Here, the size of the pitch provides the number of points where dripping occurs. If the specific surface of the packaging increases, the number of dripping points should be more. A good tower internals system should also have same distribution of the dripping pores in every portion, be that the periphery or the center.

The second thing that should be noted is, the flow through each and every hole is same or not. Uniformity of the flow can be obtained only by ensuring the planarity of the surface or the distributor. Holes on the surfaces should be made only by punching and never by drilling.

How can you prevent fouling in the internals?

The fouling is mainly resulted by polymers and scales. You should avoid the use of polymers and scales in the whole system. Any fractionation bed of your choice can be used to prevent the fouling and to obtain a perfect and efficient distribution system.

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