Distillation Column Operation, Control & Troubleshooting

Distillation Column Operation, Control & Troubleshooting

Date/Time: Date(s) - 06/12/2022 - 08/12/2022( 8:00 am - 5:00 pm )
Location: Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur


  • Operate, control and troubleshoot distillation column in a professional manner
  • Apply and gain an in-depth knowledge on distillation technology
  • Identify the different distillation methods and implement distillation process involving the normal operation of bubble plate, vapor velocity and velocity distribution
  • Determine the factors influencing plate efficiency and explain the scope of distillation column including flash stages, process design basic and reflux ratio
  • Demonstrate how tray works and explain the types & function of reboilers
  • Discuss the features & use of condensers in the operation of distillation columns and apply instrumentation & control
  • Enumerate the importance of steam stripper and emphasize its efficiency
  • Discuss the purpose of pumparound and become familiar with pumparound heat removal, vapor flow and fractionation
  • Demonstrate the operation of the vacuum system and explain the functional and structural efficiency of packed towers
  • Employ distillation column packing as well as tray columns and recognize the guidelines & methods on how to determine the column diameter
  • Troubleshoot various distillation column problems

Who should Attend?

This course is intended for all engineering, operations, and maintenance staff and management. Engineers, foremen, technicians, and operators will also benefit from this important course that deals with their day-to-day problems and activities.


General Introduction

General Column Design

  • The components of a distillation system, more than just a tower – it is a system of different components
  • History of distillation
  • Different types of distillation columns
  • Differences among batch, flash, and multistage distillation process
  • Relative advantages of tray and packed columns
  • Steps in the process design

Thermodynamics and Equilibrium

Vapor Liquid Equilibrium

  • Select the correct vapor-liquid equilibrium equation for your system
  • Review vapor pressure and equilibrium diagrams
  • Interpret mole fraction equilibrium curves, commonly called y-x diagrams
  • Azeotropes and the challenges they create for distillation

Stages & Transfer Units Efficiencies

  • Calculate the number of equilibrium stages using short cut methods
  • Calculate minimum reflux and stages using graphical & analytical methods
  • Determine the number of theoretical stages needed in a distillation column

Stage Efficiency

  • Methods for determining the efficiency
  • Calculate an overall column efficiency for tray columns
  • Calculate point and tray efficiencies, and their difference
  • Calculate the number and height of transfer units for packi
  • Effects on distillation column by changing amount of reflux and reflux temperature
  • How flooding and foaming effects efficiencies and capacities

Column Design

Tray Column Design

  • The major design differences between tray types
  • The operational limits for trays – operating window
  • Size a distillation column for a given vapor and liquid rate

Packed Column Design

  • The different types of packing and their characteristics
  • The best type of packing for a given system
  • Size a packed column diameter for a given vapor and liquid rate

Designing columns for fouling service

Designing columns for vacuum service

Designing Columns for improved operation and maintenance

Process Control

Distillation Column Control

  • Functions of Process Control
  • Characteristics of a Continuous Process
  • Select appropriate composition and column pressure control schemes
  • Process settings during column operation

Typical controlled and manipulated process variables

  • Level – Pressure – Composition – Temperature – Flow

Controller Performance Criteria

  • Final Control Elements
  • Control Algorithms
  • Open and closed loop tuning strategies

Feed Forward Control of an Ideal Process

  • Feedback and Feed forward Control Loops



  • Evaluate operation of a packed column
  • Evaluate operation of a tray column
  • Use tools to diagnose problems


  • Common column installation mistakes
  • List tasks to ensure a proper installation

Training Methodology

  • Case Studies.
  • Individual and group discussions and exercises.
  • Intensive training by using templates, diagrams, and charts.
  • Planning activities and presentations.
  • Self-assessments.
  • Action plan.

Request Booking

Bookings are closed for this course.

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