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Distillation separates chemicals by the difference in how easily they vaporize. The two major types of classical distillation include continuous distillation and batch distillation. Continuous distillation, as the name says, continuously takes a feed and separates it into two or more products. Batch distillation takes on lot (or batch) at a time of feed and splits it into products by selectively removing the more volatile fractions over time.
Other ways to categorize distillation are by the equipment type (trays, packing), process configuration (distillation, absorption, stripping, azeotropic, extractive, complex), or process type (refining, petrochemical, chemical, gas treating).
In all cases, what must be kept in mind is that distillation involves both equipment and theory. Sound analysis with basic principles underlies any successful distillation process. However, putting basics into practice requires real equipment. Process design tells us what equipment needs to accomplish to meet our plant goals. Equipment limits set what a specific unit can achieve. Putting successful distillation units in place requires combining both the theoretical knowledge of the distillation fundamentals along with equipment understanding. The Distillation Group puts both of these areas together to work in your process. We approach troubleshooting, equipment design, process analysis, and revamps by combining knowledge of fundamentals and of how equipment really works. This gives reliable results and effective (and profitable) plant operation.
The following information gives a short background to the rest of the distillation information in this site.
Distillation has been around for a long time. Earliest references are to Maria the Jewess who invented many types of stills and reflux condensers. (continued)
Heat flow energy transfer is required to make separations work. Heat flow refers to the arrangement of the distillation column to its heat source and heat sink. The major categories are fractionation (distillation),
absorption, stripping, and contacting.
This terminology may be a little confusing because we also use the terms stripping and fractionation when we discuss processing sequence options in distillation. This confusion results from historical use of the terms and you just need to keep the context in mind when reading or discussing the material. With a little practice you will find that the reason for using the same terms is that many of the systems called stripping or fractionation systems have the same characteristics regardless of using a processing sequence or heat flow analysis of the unit.
Fractionation refers to units that have both a reboiler and a condenser. Something is attached to the bottom of the tower to put heat into the tower and something attached to the top of the tower to take heat out of the tower.This is what is normally called distillation
Absorption is a unit that has no method at the top of the tower to take heat out. An external stream is supplied from outside the system to absorb material from the vapor.
Stripping is a unit that has no method at the bottom of the tower to put heat in. An external stream is supplied from outside the system to strip material from the liquid.
Contacting is a unit that has neither a method at the top of the tower to remove heat nor a method at the bottom of the tower to put heat in. Two streams run countercurrent to each other. Both streams are generated outside the mass-transfer system.
What can make things unclear is that these terms have both other meanings and can be used imprecisely. Also, towers can have intermediate heat input and heat removal equipment in the middle. This confuses the picture. But we will use the strict definitions above. An absorber is a tower without a condenser. A stripper is a tower without a reboiler. A contactor has neither and a fractionator has both.
ReactionReactive distillation uses a reaction in the distillation equipment to help the separation. The reaction may or may not use a catalyst. DMT manufacture uses reactive distillation without a catalyst. One process to make methy-tert-butyl-ether uses a catalyst inside. (continued)
Watch out for explosive fracking pipes on the side of the highway, at rest areas or other places where scrap fracking waste isn’t supposed to be.
That’s the message the Colorado Department of Transportation sent out to its employees, followed by warnings issued by the city of Loveland, Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue and other local governments.
“It has come to our attention that recycling businesses and landfills in Colorado are turning away customers who are trying to recycle and dispose of fracking pipe,” said a memo sent by the Loveland Fire Department to city employees.
“Fracking pipe is commonly used in Colorado oil/gas wells and contains explosive charges to perforate the tubing in the wells,” the memo said. “Sometimes these explosive charges do not detonate and are still ‘live’ within the pipe; therefore fracking pipe is considered to be extremely dangerous and should not be handled by any city employees.”
Loveland safety coordinator Jacob Payne said no fracking pipes have turned up in the city yet.
CDOT recently issued a safety and risk analysis to its workers to ensure they know what the pipes look like and that they could have unexploded charges in them, should the pipes turn up along a highway right-of-way, CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said.
CDOT employees have not yet encountered such a pipe on any state right-of-way, she said.
Dan Garvin, owner of Colorado Iron and Metal in Fort Collins, said he received notice from the steel mills he works with to reject all fracking waste. He receives scrap steel from many oil and gas producing states, and he’s concerned about the possibility that a fracking pipe could explode on his property.
“What’s going to trigger an explosion?” he said. “Is it going to be compression? Or is it a spark?”
He said he received a memo from Nucor Steel, which owns several large metal scrap yards across the country, outlining the dangers of fracking pipes and announcing that Nucor will not accept fracking pipes into (continued)
Some of the facts on Keystone XL and the Ogallala Aquifer
When pipelines are your business, you pride yourself on ensuring the safest delivery through the communities you operate in.
TransCanada happens to be in that business, and we are using the latest in pipeline technology to make sure we live up to that expectation.
One of the realities of transporting energy across the continent is that our pipelines will have to cross bodies of water. A considerable amount of the media attention regarding the path of Keystone XL concerns the Ogallala Aquifer.
The Ogallala Aquifer provides drinking water to millions of people, plants and animals in the region. Some estimates say that the total amount of water in the aquifer could cover the continental United States in water two feet deep. The Ogallala is incredibly important to the people of the Midwest. We know this because our friends and families live and work up and down Keystone route too. We take special care building our pipelines; that’s why we’ve voluntarily agreed to add 59 additional safety and maintenance conditions. Keystone XL will be the safest and most technologically advanced pipeline built in the United States.
Our opponents would have you believe that the Keystone XL pipeline would risk this entire resource. This is not true, nor is it supported scientifically.
Jim Goecke, a research hydrologist and professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has studied the Ogallala Aquifer for four decades.
According to Goecke, his 40 years of research and study of this unique structure have demonstrated repeatedly that the water in the Ogallala Aquifer follows gravity, and thus flows west-to-east. Take a look at the pipeline route below.
Keystone XL lies east of 80% of the Ogallala Aqufer credit Wikimedia Commons
Keystone XL’s path is east of more than 80 per cent of the Ogallala Aquifer. Impact modelling conducted by the State Department and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has shown that in the very unlikely event of an incident, impacts would be localized to as little as tens of feet. That’s because the Ogallala Aquifer is a very large rock formation with layers and layers of sands, soils and rock layers. These thick layers offer a natural protection for the water below. For context, water travels through the Aquifer’s densely packed layers at a rate of two to three feet a day.
In the New York Times Professor Goecke, gives a number of explanations as to why Keystone presents minimal risk; highlighting that the depth of the water along much of the alignment of the pipeline is between 50 and 300 feet deep. Keystone would be buried four feet deep.
Any claim that the drinking water for the entire region would be affected is a gross exaggeration of the risks... (continued)