Packed Column for Fractional Distillation

fractional distillation column with examples of column packing

Column Packing Options

Standard Distillation Column Packings

A range of packing types for fractional columns is available. The standard distillation column packing offered is Pro-Pak® random packing. Customer specified packings can be used including materials of stainless steel, metal alloys, ceramic and plastics.

Typical Column Packing Equipment Options

  • Pro-Pak®
  • Saddles
  • Rings
  • Structured Packing
  • Knitted Packing

Non-random packings available include:

  • Woven wire mesh, spiral rolled type cylindrical sections.
  • “Structured” corrugated sheet or gauze metal cylindrical sections.
  • Bubble-cap or sieve tray plates.

As a generality, smaller diameter columns favor small size random packings such as Pro-Pak® for higher efficiency, as opposed to large size random or non-random types due to column wall effects.

Properties, Performance and Specifications of 0.24″ Protruded Pro-Pak® Standard Packing

  • Material of construction, 316 stainless steel (monel, other alloys available).
  • 372 ft2 per 1 ft3 of packing, allowing high mass transfer rates.
  • 96% free space, allowing low pressure drop especially in vacuum distillation.
  • Shape: half-cylinder, corners bent.
  • Size: 0.24″ diameter x 0.24″ length, 0.003″ sheet thickness, 1,024 protrusion holes per in2.
  • Density: 290,000 pieces and 21 lb/ft3, (316 SS).
  • Packing factor: 420.
  • Flood rate predicated with the following equation:
    • G=270(ρ1)0.58(ρg)0.42where:
      G=Mass vapor velocity,lb / ft2 • hr
      ρ1=Density of liquid phase, lb/ft3
      ρg=Density of gas phase, lb/ft3
    • Efficiency of the packing increases with increasing vacuum.

Comparative Column Packing using PRO-PAK®

Column Diameter (inches)Operating PressureBoil Up Rate(L/hr)Vapor Velocity(ft/sec)HETP (Plate Height Inches)Pressure Drop (Inches H20/ft)
2(200 mm Hg) 1.050.310.790.23
2(200 mm Hg)
2(50 mm Hg)4.64.700.922.54

* Above data obtained at Total Reflux with 0.24″ PRO-PAK®