How To Boost Column Performance With The Right Random Packings
Chemical Engineering World|July 2018

NeXRing high-performance random packings are already in use in many applications. The main advantages of the seven-membered family of packings are high separation efficiency, low-pressure drop and small tendency to fouling. Due to their special shape, NeXRing packings have a relatively large, freely accessible surface with high mechanical stability at the same time. Mr. Vinit Kale, Manager Sales at Sulzer Chemtech Bahrain, looks at how NeXRing can improve column performance and boost plant productivity.

Mr Vinit Kale

Random packings are column internals used for distillation, absorption and stripping in chemical, fertilizer, refining, petrochemical, and gas processing plants. The main advantage of random packings is that they can be easily replaced when the separation efficiency of a column has to be improved due to fouling or other reasons.

The performance of Sulzer NeXRing packings is provided by a relatively large and accessible ring surface on which the separation process can take place, the special shape of the rings, which allows for a higher packing density and thus a larger available surface and the open design of the rings, which reduces the pressure drop compared to conventional rings by up to 50%.

NeXRing packings distribute themselves evenly within the column packing section, while the structure of the rings provides for uniform liquid and gas flow through the column. The shape of the packing appears fragile, but the ring structure can be hardly deformed. The end flanges and the reinforced ribs give the NeXRing a high mechanical strength. The packing family includes seven sizes.

Comparison of different ring types

Before a product enters the market, Sulzer's research and development (R&D) engineers conduct in-house testing to reliably determine the range of application. The tests are verified by an independent institute in the USA. shows the relative efficiencies and relative capacities for different versions of the established P-Ring (equivalent to Pall Ring), I-Ring (equivalent to IMTP Ring) and NeXRing packings. The P-Ring #2 packing is a standard in the industry, so it is used as a reference value (100% efficiency and 100% capacity). The data presented clearly indicates that NeXRing packings provide higher capacity and efficiency compared to P-Ring and I-Ring.

The ring size affects the flow and therefore the capacity. The larger the rings, the lower the flow resistance. A more open ring structure (I-Ring and NeXRing) increases the flow, while a smaller ring size increases the efficiency of the separation process, as a larger surface is available for the separation process. Good contact with liquid and gas increases the process efficiency and thus the quality of the process. As a result, the NeXRing has a much better efficiency than the P-Ring and the I-Ring.

Packing for CO2 absorbers

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