Tower Packing Buyer Guide

Tower Packing>> Buyer Guide


Stripping is a physical separation process where one or more components are removed from a liquid stream by a vapor stream. In industrial applications the liquid and vapor streams can have co-current or countercurrent flows. Stripping is usually carried out in either a packed or trayed column.

Strippers can be trayed or packed. Packed columns, and particularly when random packing is used, are usually favored for smaller columns with a diameter less than 2 feet and a packed height of not more than 20 feet. Packed columns can also be advantageous for corrosive fluids, high foaming fluids, when fluid velocity is high, and when particularly low pressure drop is desired. Trayed strippers are advantageous because of ease of design and scale up. Structured packing can be used similar to trays despite possibly being the same material as dumped (random) packing. Using structured packing is a common method to increase the capacity for separation or to replace damaged trays.

Trayed strippers can have sieve, valve, or bubble cap trays while packed strippers can have either structured packing or random packing.Trays and packing are used to increase the contact area over which mass transfer can occur as mass transfer theory dictates. Packing can have varying material, surface area, flow area, and associated pressure drop. Older generation packing include ceramic Raschig rings and Berl saddles. More common packing materials are metal and plastic Pall rings, and ceramic Intalox saddles. Each packing material of this newer generation improves the surface area, the flow area, and/or the associated pressure drop across the packing. Also important, is the ability of the packing material to not stack on top of itself. If such stacking occurs, it drastically reduces the surface area of the material. Lattice design work has been increasing of late that will further improve these characteristics.

During operation, monitoring the pressure drop across the column can help to determine the performance of the stripper. A changed pressure drop over a significant range of time can be an indication that the packing may need to be replaced or cleaned.