Staged modifications improve BTX extractive distillation unit capacity

A well-planned and executed test run of existing equipment followed by a distillation fundamentals review can yield cost-effective production increases. On an existing extractive distillation benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX) column, the aromatic production capacity increased more than 18% while aromatics recovery improved.Improved distributor design allows increases in the efficiency and capacity of structured packing. Enhanced mixing of vapor and liquid phases results in improved mass transfer.An Asian petrochemical producer commissioned a new grassroots BTX extractive distillation unit in February 2000.The operator performed a test run in July 2000, at which time the plant's design crit...

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