Mechanical Design of Column

The mechanical design of the column was completed to AS1210 (Australian pressure vessel code) requirements. The wall thickness of a standard 150 mm schedule 40 stainless steel (grade 316) pipe was sufficient for the operating pressures required. The shell was constructed in five pieces to allow the packings and the catalyst to be installed and removed as required. Flat ends were specified to simplify construction. The individual shell sections and ends were all flanged together and sealed with o-rings. Table 11.4 indicates critical dimensions and thicknesses.

Table 11.4 - Mechanical Column Design

Minimum Required

Actual Specified

Wall thickness (mm)



End thickness (mm)



Flange thickness (mm)



Bolts (mm)



The nozzles, connections and internals are depicted in Figure 11.1. Both feed nozzles are removable, as are all the thermocouples. A pressure relief valve (PRV) discharges from the top of the column back to the main feed tank. The feed tank vents outside the laboratoi7 to the atmosphere. The top end plate also contains a lifting ring in its centre to support the column during installation and operation. The end plates contain the necessary discharge nozzles for the distillate and bottoms products.

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