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Use of Racetrack (Annular) Trays for Shipboard ASU Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021021D
Publication Date: 2003-Dec-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 21K

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The Prior Art Database

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Use of Racetrack (Annular) Trays for Shipboard ASU




The use of racetrack (annular flow) distillation trays for shipboard cryogenic air separation units. The particular features of this type of tray would tend to oppose the inevitable maldistribution caused by ship movements.


There has been much discussion concerning the installation of large cryogenic ASUs (Air Separation Units) onboard ships or floating platforms. The oxygen product from such ASUs could be used, for example, to convert hydrocarbon gases to hydrocarbon liquids, by well known processes.

A major operating issue for a shipboard distillation column, is that it would be subject to movements due to the effect of the wind and wave action on the ship. These movements include operating with a sustained tilt or with various rocking motions. The amplitude and frequency of these movements are also variables.

It has generally been assumed that the performance of distillation columns using packing (particularly structured packing) would be less susceptible to ship movement. The low film thickness on the packing should allow the packed column liquid to be less subject to momentum and gravity effects than the liquid in trayed columns , which have relatively massive liquid inventories on the trays and in the tray downcomers.

It is suggested that a distillation column of the racetrack type could be suitable for shipboard ASUs. Racetrack trays have a central mandrel and the liquid travels in an annular direction i...