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Distillation Columns & System Design

Industrial Distillation Systems

Our process design, engineering, and fabrication experts work with you to understand your separation needs, develop a detailed 3D model, and fabricate a custom industrial distillation system to meet your goals and your budget. Designing economical distillation systems to achieve your desired separation requires an engineer experienced in process equipment integration and proven scale-up methods to ensure correct:

  • Increased scale mechanical design
  • Sizing of each column
  • Selection of the proper equipment
  • Project management of process skid fabrication (to specification and tolerance)
  • Commissioning at production rates

We have decades of experience and 420+ successful system startups with multi-scale industrial systems and columns. We have worked extensively with both batch and continuous distillation operations. Our systems can be stand-alone distillation columns or larger systems that encorperate multiple columns and other unit operations.

Check out our examples of proven industrial distillation columns, or contact us 314-845-0077 to get started.

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  • Vacuum distillation – This form of distillation relies on the basic principle that boiling occurs when vapor pressure exceeds ambient pressure for a liquid. The pressure above the liquid being distilled is reduced via vacuum to below its vapor pressure, causing it to boil
  • Fractional distillation – Distillation process where chemical components are separated into “fractions” based on their properties. The most common method is to heat the liquid to a specific temperature that causes several components to evaporate.
  • Steam distillation – Used for temperature sensitive materials or materials that begin eroding at sustained high temperatures. By adding water or steam to the distillation process, the boiling temperatures of the other substances are brought down, allowing lower temperatures to be used.
  • Solvent Recovery Systems – While distillation is not the only process used for solvent recovery, it is one of the most common ones. Solvent reclamation can be achieved with absorption, evaporation, distillation, liquid extraction, precipitation, crystallization, and other separation unit operations. EPIC’s process engineers are well-versed in solvent recovery systems and can help you design a custom application to recycle solvent or recover it for further use. Contact an engineer today to discuss your needs.
  • Azeotropic distillation – Distillation systems where an “entrainer” is added in order to break an azeotrope. The entrainer additive causes the other substances present to separate into immiscible liquids.
  • Extractive distillation – Type of distillation where a solvent is introduced to the mixture which changes the relative volatilities of the other substances, allowing them to be separated through normal distillation methods. This is used when two substances have a very similar boiling point.

Case Studies of Proven Industrial Distillation Columns


Pilot Scale System with Industrial Distillation Equipment Achieves 90% CO2 Sequestration

A modular distillation skid design allowed safe and timely off-site construction of a pilot-scale distillation skid. The pilot plant is testing an experimental new technology for CO2 removal from power plant flue (or exhaust) gas. CO2 was removed from flue gas in a two-step distillation process with solvent reclamation. Read the full CO2 Sequestration from Coal Fired Flue Gas case study…

Key Features: Modular skid weighing 39,000 lbs and standing 51 feet tall, dual packed distillation units, DeltaV DCS, Class 1, Div 1

Read Full Case Study

A Dual Skid Continuous Distillation System Provides Compact Solution

A two-part design was developed for an ethanol extraction system that needed to fit into a small space as part of EPIC’s turnkey responsibility process.  Overall project timeline shortened due to on-site upgrades and skid fabrication progressing in tandem. The finished “plug and play” skid was delivered as two separate framed pieces to the client site and successfully navigated to the installation spot. Continue to the Innovative Distillation Skid Design case study…

Key Features: Two distillation units, reflux loops, hot oil system, heat exchanger, hydrotesting, FEA analysis, vacuum pump system to lower required energy inputs.

Read Full Case Study

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Featured Blog/Article

 

Five Critical Factors to Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium During Distillation

 

Understand the factors that affect vapor-liquid equilibrium.

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Featured Blog/Article

 

8 Key Challenges to Scale-up

 

Read about scale up challenges and how to overcome them…

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Featured Blog/Article

 

Distillation Column Design Check

 

 

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EPIC Modular Process Systems
4134 Meramec Bottom Rd
St. Louis, MO 63129, US
(314) 845-0077