Case Study

Optimizing separator process performance with fluid dynamics modeling

The Challenge 

Throughout the process industry, separating gases and liquids leads to situations in which liquid droplets remain in the gas stream. These droplets not only compromise the quality of the gas stream but can damage equipment downstream, so must be removed. 

Element uses its fluid dynamics expertise in helping manufacturers to perfect and assure their devices. In this case, the product was a vertical scrubber that was not meeting its performance objectives.

The Solution

Element began by building a detailed model of the vessel, internal devices, and upstream and downstream pipework. The flows through the device were then modeled at a number of operating points before the size range of the droplets generated was calculated and tracked through the system. If the separation devices work properly, these droplets should be captured before leaving the vessel. In actual fact, different proportions of droplets are captured of different sizes, allowing the performance to be illustrated as a graph showing percentage captured against size.

The Result

The relative position of the operating liquid level and the droplet capture device was identified to be the cause of the poor performance. Once this was rectified, the device operated as intended. This lifted a plant operating restriction, greatly increasing throughput.

fluid dynamics modeling


To learn more about how to optimize separator process performance with fluid dynamics modeling, or if you have any questions, contact our team today. 

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