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Distillation Column Internals

Distillation Column Internals

2 days
This course is not scheduled.
Who should attend?


    • 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.


  • Advanced
  • 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.
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.
Course Content


1 day

  • 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.


0.75 day

  • 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.


0.25 day

  • 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.
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Ways & Means
  • Active participation of trainees using an equipment sizing software.