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Troubleshooting Distillation Flooding: Tips and Tricks 

Distillation Flooding Demystified

By: Rais Shahid Khan Kaachhi, Chemical Engineer 

Shahid’s LinkedIn Profile

In this instructional video, Rais Shahid Khan Kaachhi, a Chemical Engineer at ADNOC GAS Abu Dhabi, breaks down how trays work and explains what flooding is, both key components to help you understand the basics of distillation, and the operation and troubleshooting of distillation trays. These videos are applicable in both sulfur recovery units and other separation columns.

Distillation towers are the heart of a process plant, and the working component of a distillation column is the tray. A tray consists of the following components:

• Overflow, or outlet weir 

• Downcomer 

• Tray deck 

There are two types of tray decks: perforated trays and bubble cap trays. In this video, I describe only perforated trays, examples of which are: 

• Valves or flutter caps 

• V grid, or extruded-valve caps 

• Sieve decks 

• Jet trays 

Possibly 90 percent of the trays seen in the plant are of these types. Perforated tray decks all have one feature in common; they depend on the flow of vapor through the tray deck perforations, to prevent liquid from leaking through the tray deck. As we will see later, if liquid bypasses the outlet weir and leaks through the tray deck onto the tray below, tray separation efficiency will suffer.

The second video in this series discusses dumping, which can be found along with all of Shahid’s other videos on his YouTube channel

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