Project Synopsis

Perform process evaluations to improve HCl byproduct quality and increase throughput.  Evaluate operation of co-current, falling film, graphite HCl absorbers and mist eliminators. Characterize heat exchanger capacity.

Project Summary


The client owns and operates a batch/continuous chemical production facility that produces several chlorinated compound products.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to execute selected process evaluations for one of the facility’s processes for the purpose of improving HCl byproduct quality and increasing process throughput.  More specifically, PROCESS was asked to: (1) evaluate the operation of three co-current, falling film, graphite HCl absorbers and three Brink Mist Eliminators and to propose process improvements and (2) evaluate the capacity of a U-tube heat exchanger, operating as a solvent condenser on a distillation column, for maximum throughput and pressure drop characteristics.

PROCESS completed the following tasks supporting the absorbers / mist eliminators scope of work:

  • Characterized the process issues affecting the operation of the absorbers and mist eliminators based on discussions with plant personnel and information gathered during a plant visit
  • Developed solutions for improving the operation of the absorbers and mist eliminators based on PROCESS’ experience with similar applications
  • Prepared two reports presenting PROCESS’ final work product including recommendations for improving absorber and mist eliminator operations

PROCESS completed the following tasks in support of the heat exchanger scope of work:

  • Performed process simulations of the U-tube condenser using licensed commercial process simulation software to determine: (1) maximum solvent throughput, (2) shell-side pressure drop versus solvent flow, and (3) tube-side pressure drop versus cooling water flow
  • Confirmed the simulation results by evaluating the exchanger using the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) exchanger vibration analysis software
  • Prepared a report presenting PROCESS’ final work product including maximum allowable solvent capacity and shell-side and tube-side pressure drops versus solvent and cooling water flow rates for the U-tube condenser

Industry Type

  • Batch and Continuous Chemical

Utilized Skills

  • Computer process simulation
  • U-tube heat exchanger evaluation
  • De-bottlenecking
  • Product quality improvement