Distillation column efficiency

Revamping existing column (Ø 800 mm, 50 trays) to a more efficient cyclic distillation column (Ø 650 mm, 15 trays)

The ethanol plant "Kosary" is production ethanol food. The plant capacity is 45 000 liters per day. The distillation department consists from 5 columns: beer column, hydro-selection column, rectification column, distillation column of final purification and distillation column of impurity concentration.

Existing bubble-cap column of impurity concentration
In the distillation department worked distillation column of impurity concentration with diameter 850 mm and 50 bubble-cap distillation trays. The column is operation as additional column for hydro-selection for cleaning contaminated fractions (esters and aldehydes) with plant capacity of 5...8 %. Exit of concentrate (waste) was 3...4%, in case decrease of selection concentrate the quality of ethanol was worsened. The organoleptic of ethanol did not satisfy and column operation was below the profitability.

Task of revamping
After analyzing of the distillation department, was concluded that we can increase output of ethanol by more efficiency the concentration of impurities (esters and aldehydes). In this regard, Maleta cyclic distillation LLC propose to the plant management replace existing distillation column (Ø 850 mm) with 50 bubble-cap distillation trays to cyclic distillation column with diameter Ø 650 mm and only 15 distillation trays.

The end result of revamping is an increase in output ethanol for 3 ... 4% plant capacity by reducing the selection concentrate (waste) from 3...4% to 0.6…0.7%., Reduction of steam consumption per one litter ethanol and improving organoleptic quality indicators of ethanol.

Comparative table of existing and revamping column

Technological parameters and characteristics
Bubble-cap column
Cyclic distillation column
1. Capacity of column of the total plant capacity by ethanol, %
to 10
to 15
2. Exit concentrate (waste) on the capacity of the plant, %
3. Exit concentrate (waste) on the capacity of the plant, %
4. Ethanol concentration in column bottom % vol.
5. Column diameter, mm
6. Number of trays, psc.
7. Distance between trays, mm
8. Column high, mm
9. Column materials
10. Water for hydro-selection, m3/гhr



Feed (esters and aldehydes fraction from hydro-selection columns)


Concentration of impurities (waste)



Bottom product (re-cycle to hydro-selection column)




Results of revamping

Cyclic distillation column Ø 650 mm and 15 Maleta distillation trays prevailing basic version - distillation column (Ø 850 mm) with 50 bubble-cap distillation trays on following factors: load on the column by ethanol increased in 3 times, square of distillation trays decreased 2 times, the number of distillation trays decreased by 3.3 times and the water for hydro-selection - 2.5 times.

Improving the organoleptic characteristics of ethanol food grade was achieved by supplying cyclic distillation columns the feed from CO2 condenser, feed from second condenser of beer column, fusel alcohol, and esters and aldehydes fraction at 7...10%.

Economic efficiency of cyclic distillation column is achieved by increasing the yield of ethanol by 3% of plant capacity and reduces steam consumption at 0.2 kg per liter of ethanol.

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