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Revamp of Phosgene Absorber

Munters solved high pressure drop and bottom temperatures on SOS basis for a customer in the petrochemical industry. A permanent solution and increased capacity to handle maximum load was achieved by Munters' technicians to the satisfaction of the customer.

The company has a joint venture with Swedish Co., and manufactures petrochemicals since 1989. Its main products include aniline, nitrobenzene and toluene di-isocyanate.

Process Overview
Toluene di-isocyanate is obtained through a reaction of meta-toluene diamine and phosgene in orthodichlorobenzene (ODCB) solvent. The unreacted gases containing phosgene are then sent to the absorber to be absorbed in ODCB for reuse in the process and to prevent the emission of highly poisonous phosgene in the atmosphere.

Customer Requirements
Since the column was not performing to its capacity with very high pressure drops and bottom temperatures, the column was opened and inspected and the trays were found to be terribly corroded.

The client requested Munters to work on SOS basis and provide a permanent solution along with increased capacity to handle maximum load.

Problem analysis
Munters specialists performed the study and analysis. During the hydraulic rating of the existing valve trays it was noted that the jet flood and pressure drop were quite high, which contributed to the problem. Since the pressure drop was high, the client had to maintain a very high pressure at the bottom of the column. The high pressure drop was resulting in higher column temperatures and corrosion. It was decided to replace the trays with high capacity valve trays.

On studying the hydraulics of the existing trays, it was found that they were running at 130% jet flood giving very high-pressure drop. Consequently, the temperature at the bottom was very high resulting in corrosion. Munters' specialists decided to replace these trays with high capacity valve trays.

Solutions provided
After the study and analysis of the problems Munters recommended replacement of valve trays with high capacity valve trays. High capacity valve provide maximum open area and thereby reduce pressure drop. Also, these trays could efficiently handle fouling services. Accordingly, thirty high capacity valve trays were designed to suit the existing tray attachments, manufactured and installed within 48 hours. This resulted in:

  • Fitment on existing attachments, thereby eliminating hot work
  • Lowering the pressure drop
  • Lowered column temperature
  • Reduced pressure requirement at the bottom of the column
  • Reduced corrosion
  • Increased capacity

Results achieved
After installation of the high capacity valve trays, the temperature was maintained and capacity increased by 40%. The plant is running satisfactorily. The client was satisfied with overall performance and planned further modifications in other columns using Munters' service and equipment.

Schnelle Fakten

  • Customer: Petrochemical Company
  • Location: Western India
  • Tower Name: Phosgene absorber
  • Tower Diameter: 630 mm.
  • Mass Transfer Equipment: Tower Trays (High Capacity Valve Tray)

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