Final Report, Distillation Column Flooding Predictor

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The Flooding Predictor is an advanced process control strategy comprising a patented pattern-recognition methodology that identifies pre-flood patterns discovered to precede flooding events in distillation columns. The grantee holds a U.S. patent on the modeling system. The technology was validated at the Separations Research Program, The University of Texas at Austin under a grant from the U. S. Department of Energy, Inventions & Innovation Program. Distillation tower flooding occurs at abnormally high vapor and/or liquid rates. The loss in tray efficiencies is attributed to unusual behavior of liquid inventories inside the column leading to conditions of flooding of the space ... continued below

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Dzyacky, George E. May 31, 2003.

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Description

The Flooding Predictor is an advanced process control strategy comprising a patented pattern-recognition methodology that identifies pre-flood patterns discovered to precede flooding events in distillation columns. The grantee holds a U.S. patent on the modeling system. The technology was validated at the Separations Research Program, The University of Texas at Austin under a grant from the U. S. Department of Energy, Inventions & Innovation Program. Distillation tower flooding occurs at abnormally high vapor and/or liquid rates. The loss in tray efficiencies is attributed to unusual behavior of liquid inventories inside the column leading to conditions of flooding of the space in between trays with liquid. Depending on the severity of the flood condition, consequences range from off spec products to equipment damage and tower shutdown. This non-intrusive pattern recognition methodology, processes signal data obtained from existing column instrumentation. Once the pattern is identified empirically, it is modeled and coded into the plant's distributed control system. The control system is programmed to briefly "unload" the tower each time the pattern appears. The unloading takes the form of a momentary reduction in column severity, e.g., decrease bottom temperature, reflux or tower throughput. Unloading the tower briefly at the pre-flood state causes long-term column operation to become significantly more stable - allowing an increase in throughput and/or product purity. The technology provides a wide range of value between optimization and flooding. When a distillation column is not running at capacity, it should be run in such a way ("pushed") that optimal product purity is achieved. Additional benefits include low implementation and maintenance costs, and a high level of console operator acceptance. The previous commercial applications experienced 98% uptime over a four-year period. Further, the technology is unique in its ability to distinguish between different flooding mechanisms within the same tower, e.g., liquid and jet flooding.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO10521
  • Grant Number: FG36-00GO10521
  • DOI: 10.2172/862191 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 862191
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc791513

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • May 31, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 6:57 p.m.

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Dzyacky, George E. Final Report, Distillation Column Flooding Predictor, report, May 31, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc791513/: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.