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Sulzer Chemtech

Separation Technology
for the Hydrocarbon Processing Industry
Technology Leadership

Sulzer Chemtech produces a wide array of tower

internals. With this broad spectrum of custom-designed
fractionation trays, random and structured packing we
can meet any process requirement in any size tower
throughout the chemical, refining, petrochemical, and
gas processing industries. For over 50 years, Sulzer
Chemtech has been serving these industries with
our innovations, which set a new standard in many

Sulzer Chemtech Achievements:

1956 Nutter Float Valve trays in an olefin plant,
among others for a 120 i.d. C2 Splitter
1964 BX gauze packing for Distillation of heat
sensitive fragrances Industrial Applications from A to Z
1975 BX plastic gauze packing for HCl Absorption
Ammonia and fertilizer production 11
1977 Nutter V-Grid trays for C3 Splitters DMF / DMAc recovery 13

1985 Nutter Ring for Demethanizer Ethylene / Propylene 4/5

1985 Mellapak for Water Quench towers Ethanolamine 6/7
1988 Design of Heat Pump systems Ethylene glycol 6/7
1988 Mellapak for Ethylene Oxide towers Ethylene oxide 6/7
1995 Mellagrid for Water Quench towers Heat pump / heat integration 13
1997 Katapak for Reactive Distillation of Methylal
High pressure gas saturation 8/9
2000 MellapakPlus for various applications
Methanol 12
Selective H2S absorption 8-10
For classical column operations such as distillation,
absorption, stripping and extraction, and for alternatives Synthesis gas applications 8/9
such as crystallization, membrane permeation and
Tail gas treating 10
reactive distillation, we are continuously developing
new product ideas to meet the economical and Treatment of corrosive products 14
technical objectives of our customers. For numerous
applications Sulzer Chemtech provides superior plant
performance, improved product quality, increased
capacity, and reduced energy consumption.

Sulzer Chemtech offers the full range of column

internals with trays, random and structured packings
optimized through column simulation, process design,
basic engineering and field services.

Sulzer Chemtech is a worldwide leading supplier

for separation technology; thanks to our customers
and the confidence they instill into our products and
capabilities. Color index of the diagrams
From the very first to the very last of our more than
Structured packing
30,000 columns in operation we have never stopped
listening to our customers about their needs. At Sulzer Trays
Chemtech, we are eager to develop a successful appli-
Random packing
cation for your needs.

Application Know-How and Service are our Driving Force

Sulzer Chemtech has 50 years of

accumulated application know-
how and experience in developing,
designing, supplying and servicing
mass transfer equipment in the
Chemical, Petrochemical, Refining,
Gas Processing and Speciality
industries. Only the very best
technical solutions can secure the
competitive advantages which our
0602 2512 0694 2507
customers need in todays highly
Trays Grids
demanding conditions. Leadership
in technology and application
know-how is fundamental to our

0600 2569-3 0699 2524

Shell trays Random packings

0679 2001

Structured packings Replacement Service

Reliable and fast supply through
a world-wide manufacturing
Technical and Process Support network of:
any hardware
Column simulations and most valves
most tray decks
Process simulations and plant
optimization complete trays
Feasibility studies for capacity
and/or purity improvements
CFD modelling
Pilot plant testing

Field Services
Installation consulting,
inspection or supervision
Full installation services
Trouble shooting assistance
Start-up assistance

0601 2505-4 0695 2510-13

Ethylene / Propylene Plants
Whatever your plans are, we have the right solution for every service

Water quench tower with Mellapak/Mellagrid

Before revamp After revamp
+70% higher capacity The revamp of the water quench tower
trays and random packing to structured
37 oC oC
35 packing Mellapak led to improvements
920 m3/h T = 8 oC 1250 m3/h T = 2 oC in capacity and in efficiency. In addition,
29 oC 33 oC energy costs were reduced considerably
Random due to the following reasons:
p 100 mbar
1230 m 3/h
p = 10 mbar
1050 m 3/h, 59 oC Less cooling energy requirements
57 oC Mellapak + and no steam consumption for the
Mellagrid reboiler of the C3 Splitter, due to better
230 t/h efficiency of structured packing.
400 t/h
99 oC 70 oC 94 oC 80 oC Less energy requirements for the
compression stage due to low pressure
drop in the packed bed.

Hot section
Cracker/ Oil quench/Primary Water 3-stage gas Caustic 4th-stage gas
Furnace fractionator quench compression wash tower compression

Feedstock (e.g. Naphtha,

Gas oil, Ethane) Olefins


Dehydration unit
Activated alumina
TEG system
Fuel oil
Refrigeration unit

Caustic wash tower with Mellapak

Benefits of structured packing:
Smaller column diameter, due to higher
Water capacity
Water Reduced packing height, due to higher
Random Mellapak separation efficiency
Lower pressure drop
9m Reduced foaming tendency, due to less
7.5 m turbulences
Less entrainment
9m 7.5 m Higher fouling resistance

5500 4900

C2 Splitter and/or C3 Splitter with Shell HiFi trays
Objectives: +20 % feed rate, same product specification Benefits:
Initial design 1st Option: 1 for 1 retray 2nd Option: 4 for 3 retray For higher capacity:
Replacement of existing trays enables
24.4 Gcal/hr 28.2 Gcal/hr 25.3 Gcal/hr handling of increased column loads at
higher exchanger duties.
For higher capacity and / or higher
I.D. 4000 169 trays efficiency:
130 trays 130 trays 307 mm Replacement of existing trays by a
430 mm spacing spacing higher number of new high capacity
C3 feed C3 feed trays enables a reduction in reflux
C3 feed +20 % +20 % and load requirements, but puts
more emphasis on tray capacity and
4.6 I.D. 4000 4.6 4.6 150 trays efficiency at low tray spacing.
Gcal/hr 117 trays 117 trays
Gcal/hr Gcal/hr 350 mm spacing For new columns:
457 mm spacing Technology can be used to minimize
20.9 Gcal/hr 24.2 Gcal/hr 21.4 Gcal/hr dimensions of new columns, such as
Propane the diameter and height.

Cold section
De-methanizer De-ethanizer C2 Splitter De-propanizer C3 Splitter De-butanizer

C2H2 Acetylene

Acetylene recovery to EO-plant Propylene
C2 H4


C2 H x C3Hx

C2 H 6 C3H8
Ethane Propane

C2+ C3+ C4+ C5+

New C3 Splitter with Reuse of existing C3 Splitter

conventional trays with VGPlus trays High performance VGPlus trays allow
the reuse of the existing tower without
replacing it by a new one.

The advantages of VGPlus:

Higher capacity at same efficiency
ID 3600 mm ID 3200 mm Tray spacing can be kept
120 trays 120 trays No welding to column shell, as existing
400 mm spacing 400 mm spacing attachments can be reused

Feed Feed Minimized plant shut down time

61 trays 61 trays Lower revamp costs
450 mm spacing 450 mm spacing

Ethylene Oxide and Derivates

- Antifreeze agent
- PET production
67% Ethylene Glycols - Polyester production
- Heat transfer liquid
- Plastizicer / softener
- Solvent Revamp of a CO2 absorption column
from high capacity trays to Mellapak
- Textile finishing
7% Ethanolamines - Cosmetics / Soaps Bevore revamp
- Detergents
- Gas purification Gas quantity (t/h) 110
EO CO2 at entry (vol. %) 4.7
- Brake fluid CO2 at exit (vol. %) 1.4
5% Glycol Ethers - Solvent for paint
- Detergents CO2 absorption (t/h) 7.1
- Gas purification

EO production
- Detergents
21% other Ethoxylates - Surfactants
- Emulsifiers

Know-how colunm CO 2 absorption / s
Distillation of Ethylene
Oxide (EO)
Technologies and key
components for:
- Ethylene Glycols
- Ethanolamines For various reaction technologies
- Glycol Ethers cooperating with experienced
- Alkylethanolamines partners
Upgrade with Mellapak and MellapakPlus
Gasload 100 % 100 % 137 %
EO production 100 % 100 % 185 %
EO in outlet gas 250 ppm 22 ppm 100 ppm
Pressure drop 170 mbar 52 mbar 73 mbar

35 MD trays 2x7m 2x7m

Mellapak MellapakPlus
M 250. Y M 252. Y
EO absorption /

2.0 vol % EO 2.0 vol % EO 2.7 vol % EO

Process Features
Continuous process
Low by-product formation
Flexible product ratio
High yields on raw materials
High recovery rates
After revamp Low energy consumption
168 Extremely low pressure drops
5.1 in the distillation section
High product purity
Joint developments

Ethanolamine production



Water Ethanolamine
separation separation

EO distillation Glycol production




Water separation Glycol separation

Synthesis Gas Application

COS - Conversion unit

30 oC 72 oC Reactor
1 to H2S removal unit COS converter
15 wt ppm COS H2S Hydrolysis
28 oC
COS + H2O = > H2S + CO2
87 oC


2 ppmv H2S
147 oC 24 oC 32 bara

1400 wt
ppm COS

H2S -

90% CO2 - Slippage

200 ppmv H2S

Selective H2S Selective H2S

Absorber No 1 Absorber No 2

Synthesis gas 1

23 oC 30 oC
5 mol % CO2 4.5 mol % CO2
9600 ppmv H2S 600 ppmv H2S
32.5 bara
rich amine

Compact Column Size Selective absorption of H2S with MDEA Tray column
Sulzer packings permit high gas and 60 % CO2 slippage
liquid throughputs resulting in small Mellapak 2 Vol ppm H2S
column diameters (important factor 90 % CO2 slippage
for pressurized columns or when 2 Vol ppm H2S
upgrading existing columns). High Lean MDEA
separation efficiency also allows Lean MDEA
Diameter 700 mm Diameter 1100 mm
the use of short-height columns. Height ca 11 m Height ca 15 m
New columns incorporating these
L/G ca 0.15 Pressure: 56 bar L/G ca 0.15
features result in large savings, Gas temperature: 30-35 oC
both in weight, volume and in
investment costs. Natural gas
with H2S + CO2
The increased selectivity leads to a ca 1 Vol %
higher CO2-slippage in the treated
gas and to a lower CO2 content in Rich MDEA Natural gas
with H2S + CO2
the acid gas which leads to a higher ca 1 Vol %
capacity of the existing Claus plant
or to lower CAPEX in case of a new
plant. Rich MDEA

Benefits for Conversion Units CO - Conversion unit
Reduced steam requirements, 188 oC
less energy consumption Steam
200 oC
Lower OPEX
Pay back time approx. 1 year
Saturator Saturator
Less fouling problems No 1 No 2

from H2S removal

p = 29.9 bara
82% wt CO 28 oC
CO + H2O = > CO2+ H2

70 oC Reactor
Converted gas CO converter
to CO2 amine unit: 65 oC

6 %wt CO
Removal unit 82 % wt CO2

Acid gas 110 oC

to Claus plant
(see also tail Cooler
gas treating
on next page)

212 oC 390 oC


lean amine

Solvent heat exchanger

Saturator No. 2 Diameter: 2.94 m

181 oC 188 oC

T 22 oC
T 12 oC

203 oC 200 oC

Pall ring 3" Mellapak

T 40 mbar
T 10 mbar

140 oC 134 oC

152 oC 146 oC
0698 2530-2

Tail Gas Treating

Acid gas

42 oC

H 2S Claus- SO2 Hydro- H 2S

plant genation

Quench column
200 oC

Selective H 2S Regenerator
p = 1 bar

Sourwater stripper

Low Pressure drop with High Selectivity

The higher selectivity of structu-
Means smaller blowers or compres- red packing over other compo-
sors power compared with trays nents results in the following ad-
and random packing, as well as vantages:
advantages for the upstream Claus Reduction of CO2 concentration
process stages. in acid gas which leads to
Reduction of pressure drop of
the Claus plant which leads to
Increase of capacity of the
Claus plant
Quench for tail gas treating unit
Column diameter 6.1 m
Pressure Atmospheric
Gas flow rate 260,000 kg/h
Trays Random packing Mellapak
Pressure drop 70 25 9
Energy savings - 2.8 3.9
(milions kWh/year)
Cost reduction - 180,000 260,000

Applications in Ammonia and Fertilizer Production

Condensate stripper
Exhaust gas

p = 2.5 bara
110 oC

128 oC

Feed 81 oC Pure condensate

NH3 1000 ppm NH3 < 1 ppm
Methanol 1400 ppm Methanol < 5 ppm
Revamping of process
Original column Revamp condensate strippers (improving
Type of packing Pall ring 2" Mellapak of efficiency)
Flow (t/h) 65 - 75 65 - 75 High pressure ammonia
NH3 outlet (ppm) 10 - 30 <1
Waste water strippers
Methanol outlet (ppm) 50 - 100 <5
Ammonia strippers in
Reuse of condensate no yes
ammonium nitrate production

Formaldehyde Production
Mellapak in the pump-around sections for Formaldehyde
the removal of the considerable amount of absorber Exhaust gas
absorption heat
Trays or plastic gauze packing for top part
(final absorption with low water flow) Water

Further Process Technologies:

Katapak for Methanol separation from bottom
formaldehyde product
Katapak for production of acetals

Gas from reactor

HCHO ~ 7 %
0603 2501-4
HCHO 37-55 %
Katapak-SP structured packing containing catalyst


Methanol splitters with fixed
valve trays
Methanol absorption columns
with structured packing
Gas saturators with random or
structured packing
0605 2506

Methanol distillation unit

Topping Light ends Pressure Refining

column column column

Fusel oil

Crude Pure Process

methanol methanol water

Design Conventional tray High performance tray

Column diameter 8300 mm 7300 mm
Number of trays 85 85
Methanol Tray spacing 650/700 mm 600/650 mm
Pressure drop 760 mbar 565 mbar
Valves movable MVG
Downcomer standard ModArc
Redirecting devices Push valves

Benefits with Sulzer high performance VGPlus trays in methanol splitters:
Reduced column diameter due to greater capacity, compared to sieve
or valve tray
Great fouling resistance
Minimize vapor cross-flow channeling by improved liquid flow and
Water vapor/liquid contacting through lateral vapor release

DMF / DMAc Recovery and Heat Pump / Heat Integration

Multi-effect distillation systems:

Reduced energy consumption
due to high efficiency structured
Increase of capacity with
Low consumption of cooling

0690 4504 0697 2501-1

Butene-1 plant with heat pump system DMAc recovery plant

Heat pump technology allows:

90% energy saving
No steam consumption
Higher cooling water
Light end

We deliver:
Key-components such as
column internals, compressors
and heat exchangers
Studies and basic engineering
for revamping existing units
Basic engineering for new units
Commissioning and start-up
Heavy end Product services

Treatment of Corrosive Products e.g. Cl2 and HCl

Production of chlorine gas Features of Corrosion

Inerts Resistant Packings
NaOH 20 %
High efficiency even at low
Brine Electrolytic cells liquid loads
High capacity
Hypochlorite Over 200 columns in operation
wet chlorine gas

Hypochlorite tower
dry chlorine gas

Make up

0682 2020

Drying towers Plastic gauze packing BX enabling low

specific liquid loads due to good wetting
Condensate dilute H2SO4 properties

Use of Packing and Internals in a highly corrosive milieu, HCI - recovery from phosgenation
e.g. in chlorine and HCl-columns.
Sulzer Packings and Internals are available in the fol- Pressure: approx. 1 bara
lowing corrosion resistant materials: Inerts
Plastics: PP, PVDF, PVC-C, PFA, Halar, PEEK Reflux
Mellacarbon: Graphite
Make up water
Mellapak: High-alloy steels, Hastelloy, Nickel, 80 90 100 110 120
Temp. oC
Tantal, Zirconium, Titanium etc. Typical packing
height: 6 - 7 m

Typical diameter
21 %
0.3 - 1.5 m

HCI - gas from 32 %

0697 2522-1 phosgenation
The Mellacarbon 90 - 100 % wt % HCI
packing is a key
component in the HCl 30 - 32 % HCI
distillation column

Pressure: 2 - 6 bara HCI gas Pressure: 100 mbar


Waste acid

0698 2511

The pressure swing distillation system for

hydrochloric acid produces pure HCl gas
without any contamination through by-

Column Design and Process Simulation

Sulzer Chemtech is your ideal

partner for the design of your
separation columns. We are able
to assist you in the calculation of a
new column, or determine potential
advantages of a revamp for higher
capacity, higher purity or new
process conditions. The study is
carried out with modern simulation
tools based on data from our
laboratory, literature, databank and
field data.

The calculated number of theoreti-

cal stages will then be converted
into a packing height or number of
trays. In addition to Sulzers high
capacity trays, further capacity is
achievable through our alliance
with Shell Global Solutions. The
result of a study is of course not
only the number of trays but also
a design of column internals or
special recommendations for the
running of the plant.

Our main applications for which we Direct Heat Exchange Do not hesitate to ask for design
offer our advantages of a theore- Columns for DMF and DMAc possibilities or for our Engineering
tical study, based on special know- Recovery Services brochure. If there are no
ledge from field experiences and data available for the design of the
Waste Water Treatment
pilot tests, are as follows: column, we are also able to offer
Absorption of Formaldehyde experimental tests in our laboratory
Columns for Olefin Plants
Formaldehyde, Methanol, or in cooperation with external con-
Recovery of Ethylene Oxide Methylal Purification sultants and universities.
Columns for Ethylene Glycols, Recovery of HCl
Ethanolamines and Glycolethers
Removal of CO2 and H2S

Headquarters North and South America Asia, Pacific
P.O. Box 65 Sulzer Chemtech USA, Inc. Sulzer Chemtech Pte. Ltd.
8404 Winterthur, Switzerland 1 Sulzer Way 10 Benoi Sector
Phone +41 52 262 50 28 Tulsa, OK 74107, USA 629845 Singapore
Fax +41 52 262 01 82 Phone +1 918 446 6672 Phone +65 6515 5500 Fax +1 918 446 5321 Fax +65 6862 7563

Sulzer Chemtech Ltd, a member of the Sulzer Corporation, with headquar- The activity program comprises:
ters in Winterthur, Switzerland, is active in the field of process engineering Process components such as fractionation trays, structured and ran-
and employs some 3500 persons worldwide. dom packings, liquid and gas distributors, gas-liquid separators, and
Sulzer Chemtech is represented in all important industrial countries and internals for separation columns
sets standards in the field of mass transfer and static mixing with its ad- Engineering services for separation and reaction technology such as
vanced and economical solutions. conceptual process design, feasibilities studies, plant optimizations in-
cluding process validation in the test center
Recovery of virtually any solvents used by the pharmaceutical and
chemical industry, or difficult separations requiring the combination of
special technologies, such as thin film/short-path evaporation, distilla-
tion under high vacuum, liquid-liquid extraction, membrane technology
or crystallization.
Complete separation process plants, in particular modular plants
Advanced polymerization technology for the production of PLA and
Tower field services performing tray and packing installation, tower
maintenance, welding, and plant turnaround projects
Mixing and reaction technology with static mixers
Cartridge-based metering, mixing and dispensing systems, and dis-
posable mixers for reactive multi-component material

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Legal Notice: The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and reliable, but is not to be construed as implying any - IX.12 - 5 - Printed in Switzerland warranty or guarantee of performance. Sulzer Chemtech waives any liability and indemnity for effects resulting from its application.