Structured packing refers to a range of specially designed materials for use in absorption and distillation columns and chemical reactors. Structured packings typically consist of thin corrugated metal plates or gauzes arranged in a way that they force fluids to take complicated paths through the column, thereby creating a large surface area for contact between different phases.
Structured packing is formed from corrugated sheets of perforated embossed metal or wire gauze. The result is a very open honeycomb structure with inclined flow channels giving a relatively high surface area but with very low resistance to gas flow. The surface enhancements have been chosen to maximize liquid spreading. These characteristics tend to show significant performance benefits in low pressure and low irrigation rate applications. Typical applications include vacuum and atmospheric crude oil fractionators, FCC main fractionators and TEG contactors. Structured packing is manufactured in a wide range of sizes by varying the crimp altitude.
Pressure drop per theoretical stage 0.3-1.0mbar
Pressure drop at 70-80% flooding about 2 mbar/m
Minimum liquid load approx. 0.2m3/m2h
Maximum liquid load up to more than 200m3/m2h (typically in desorption columns)
Vacuum to moderate pressure
High pressure in selected applications
Increasing capacity of existing tray and packed columns
Chemical industry: Ethyl benzene/styrene, tall oil, air separation
Petrochemical industry: Quench columns, C3- and C4- splitters, xylene splitters
Refineries: Vacuum and atmospheric columns
Absorption: Natural gas drying, CO2- and H2S-absorbers and strippers, ethylene oxide absorbers and strippers, acrylonitrile absorbers