MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What is a fractionating tower? How does it work?

Date: Fri Jan 3 07:19:42 2003
Posted By: Leslie Allen, Staff, Laboratory Chemist, Valero Refining Company
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1039631339.Ch

A Fractionating tower separates a gaseous phase into fractions. The tower operates by condensing the vapour into liquid. Towers are generally filled with packings. At specified intervals, the towers contain trays to collect the liquids. Fractions are pumped at a rate to maintain a continuous process.

As you may know, there are many sizes and shapes of towers. The towers are engineered for use in specific areas. Many of the larger towers separate Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG). One of the largest towers I have seen separates Propane from Propene. The tower was over 300 feet in length. However, the tower was physically divided into two sections. Petroleum refinerys use many different towers for many specific tasks. Please take a tour of the API website for much more information about refining petroleum.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Chemistry | Chemistry archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Chemistry.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2002. All rights reserved.