PTQ: Troubleshooting premature tower flooding

Flooding is defined as an operating condition where liquid accumulates in a column. It is the most common cause of capacity limitation of a separation column.1 The build-up of liquid in a column can initiate from a variety of mechanisms, for instance jet flooding, downcomer choking, and backup flooding. Flooding is usually revealed by a sudden increase in the column differential pressure. Several reasons for column malfunctions have been reported in the literature. Many column malfunctions related to flooding are caused by fouling.

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