Column Internals


Who should attend?

  • This course provides a thorough and practical understanding of the working principles and use of trays and packing installed in many columns for distillation, absorption, stripping, washing, etc.
Audience :
  • Engineers and supervisory staff in the refining, petrochemical and chemical industry, involved in the design, selection or operation of the internals in distillation columns or their equivalent.

Level : Advanced

Course Content


      • Basics of mass transfer between liquid and vapor: importance of the interface area, viscosity and relative volatility.
      • Definition of some working parameters: efficiency, capacity, flexibility, pressure drop, etc.
      • Different types of trays: with or without downcomers.
      • Different types of contacting systems for the active area: bubble caps, fixed or mobile valves.
      • Hydraulic working and pressure drops.
      • Troubles such as flooding, weeping, fouling, etc.
      • Main parameters to take into account in the design of internals.
      • Specific features for multi-pass trays.
      • Equipment for transition zones as flash zone, changing of pass number, etc.
      • Aim of high performance trays and working principles. Advantages and fields of use.
      • New technology trays and implementation in the near future.
      • Example:
      • Simulation of tray design; representation of trays in operation (video).
      • Implementation of HP trays and feedback information.

      • Random packing, structured packing, grids.
      • Technology of a packed bed in operation.
      • Operating range and pressure drop.
      • Recent evolution of packing.
      • Liquid or vapor distributors, collectors and redistributors.
      • Impact on the working and performance of packed beds.
      • Example:
      • Representation of packing in operation (video); implementation of packing and evaluation of performances.
      • Presentation of tests in the manufacturer's workshop.

      • Advantages and drawbacks of trays and packed beds, costs.
      • Respective technical performances: capacity, pressure drops, flexibility, implementation.
      • Detection of disturbances in the field and data analysis.
      • Potential solutions and efficiency.
      • Gammametry: method and examples of diagrams.
      • Example:
      • Revamping an existing column.
      • Case study of disturbed equipment, diagnosis and remedy.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:
  • know the different types of internals, their advantages and drawbacks,
  • investigate the main criteria for choice according to their respective operating field,
  • identify the basic features for design,
  • master the operating range and troubleshooting of equipment.

Ways & Means

  • Active participation of trainees with exercises using an equipment sizing software.