Distillation Trays

Rhine Ruhr’s Distillation Column Trays are engineered to specifications and custom designed to provide optimised solutions to match specific process requirements.

In an increasingly challenging technical environment, Rhine Ruhr has developed a unique approach to providing added value and benefit to its customers by focusing on quality engineering rather than on high volume manufacturing.

Consequently, well engineered equipment is not only the key to long term profitability, but intelligently engineered vessel internals result in lower overall capital costs.

Hydraulic Design

Hydraulic Design Rhine Ruhr specially designs Individual Tray Layout to accommodate the expected process conditions in the Distillation Column.

Tray hydraulic design takes into account vapour and liquid flow rates, physical properties, operating limitations including tray to tray variations in order to ensure effective and efficient column performance.

Specially developed software is used by Rhine Ruhr process engineers to efficiently optimise all tray layout parameters. These include:

  • Tray diameter and spacing
  • Number of flow paths
  • Downcomer style and size
  • Weir Heights and Downcomer Clearannces
  • Number, type and size of Bubble Device

Feed Inlet Devices

Rhine Ruhr designs and manufactures a full line of distillation trays to suit virtually any commercial process requirement. Tray mechanical design is compatible with the engineering standards of most major users.

  • Heavy duty design is an option in unstable services such as above and below flash feeds.
  • Special mechanical design is also available for matching new trays to existing vessel attachments.

Where a column diameter is greater than 900mm, Rhine Ruhr Distillation Trays follow the conventional chordal downcomer design, either single, 2-pass or 4-pass. The trays are sectioned for installation through typical vessel access manways and are assembled inside the column by fixing to a series of welded-in tray rings and downcomers bars.

All adjacent tray panel joints (except for tray manways) are fully through-bolted. This ensures mechanical integrity, particularly if the trays are installed in a vessel prior to shipment to site.

Alternatively, fully assembled trays in Cartridges are usually the most practical option for columns smaller than 900mm diameter.

Typically, Cartridge Bundles comprise up to 6 trays with boxed downcomers that are installed through a vessel flange.

Standard design uses a compressed ring for tray deck seal. Gasket type seal designs are an option where required.

Mechanical Design

Vessels designed for the Separation of immiscible fluids may be categorized as follows:

  • Knock Out Drums – normally vertical vessels designed to separate entrained liquid droplets from a vapour stream. Typical internals are either Vertical Flow Knitted Wire Mesh Mist Eliminators or Vane Type Mist Eliminators configured for horizontal flow.
  • 2-phase Vapour/Liquid Separators – either vertical or horizontal vessels, designed to perform bulk separation from a 2-phase feed. Typically, as well as requiring Mist Eliminators for liquid droplet separation (as for KO Drums described above), an inlet device may be installed at the feed inlet to enhance vapour/liquid disengagement.
  • 3-phase Separators – generally horizontal vessels are preferred in order to provide optimum conditions for gravity settling of the immiscible liquid phases. The major difference from a 2-phase Separator is the addition of an outlet or overflow baffle to decant off the light liquid phase into a separate collection compartment. A liquid/liquid coalescer such as a Plate Pack can also be included to enhance separation.
  • 2-phase Liquid/Liquid Separators – differ from 3-phase Separators in that they have no provision or vapour flow or vapour/liquid disengagement. Since they are frequently designed to separate a dispersed liquid from a single continuous phase, a collection boot is more space efficient than an overflow weir.

Tray Valves

Valve Trays are a good choice between the high operating flexibility of Bubble Cap Trays and the low cost and simplicity of Sieve Trays. Rhine Ruhr engineers are able to select from a range of valve styles to suit each individual application.

Fixed Valves are the lowest cost option but offer limited turndown. However, they provide a wider operating range than Sieve Trays for little or no cost premium. With no moving parts, they are also very robust and have proven fouling resisting properties.

Dyna-Valves are Rhine Ruhr’s standard proprietary valve style and have been fitted to most valve trays manufactured by Rhine Ruhr since 1994. They incorporate unique features which result in improved performance over traditional 3 legged valves such as:

  • Robust design to reduce valve loss
  • Built-in anti-rotation mechanism
  • Easy in-situ replacement
  • Fixed orientationfor maximum turndown

Cage Valves are a good choice to avoid valve losses in unstable service or where low operating rates may cause increased valve wear.

Replacement Trays Hardware

Rhine Ruhr support commercial operators of Distillation Columns with replacement tray and hardware services including:

  • Replacement Trays manufactured for both planned and emergency shutdowns. (This service is not restricted to replacement for Rhine Ruhr trays and tray parts but includes like for like replacements of trays supplied by most other manufacturers.)
  • Replacement Hardware to match trays supplied by Rhine Ruhr as well as other major manufacturers, either to order or on an SMS consignment basis.

Rhine Ruhr maintains a large inventory of standard tray hardware such as Valves, Clamps and Fasteners in common materials such as Carbon Steel and 410, 304 and 316 grades of Stainless Steel for emergency supply.