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Development of Software Packages for Computer Aided Design and Performance Analysis of Industrial Fractional Distillation Equipment

CM Narayanan, A Pandey


This paper deals with improved CAD software packages that have been developed with the objective of improvising the existing conservative design of fractional distillation equipment. Since fractional distillation is extensively employed in petroleum refineries, distilleries and in a large number of chemical process industries, accurate design and optimised performance of these equipments are detrimental to the overall economy of these industries. Further, the efficient performance of the fractionators are dependent on a number of inter-connected parameters, the mutual interaction among them being very complex, and therefore, an extensive number of trials are often required for the optimum selection of design parameters. Accordingly, we have attempted to develop multiparameter software packages, which on execution (sometimes more than once) give the most optimum combination of these operating parameters. The packages also provide multiple pathways (multiple solutions), so that the most suitable one for any specific industrial application could be selected (based on the maxi-min or min-max principle). These Software packages also provide a time efficient method of selection between the sieve plate and bubble cap fractionators for any specific industrial application.Another improvement over the conventional design methods has been the development of many new, accurate and reliable numerical databases. A lot of design data are available in the form of graphical plots which are very difficult to store in the computer memory and more often than not lead to erroneous retrieval of data by the computer. The Software packages developed have been tested against real-life industrial data and veritable recommendations could be made to the industries.


Computer Aided Design, Software packages, Sieve plate fractionator, Bubble cap fractionator, Database development, Plate stability

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