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Vertical Separator Sizing

separator sizing gas processing ko drum

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#1 iamalimki@gmail.com


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Posted 20 August 2023 - 05:25 AM



I am sizing a KO drum and I'm facing trouble achieving the recommended L/D ratio. One issue, which I, myself, can manage, is that I yet have not used the standard vessel diameter. The second issue is that the height I obtained for the liquid gravity section is too low (<< 1 ft). My supervisor mentioned there's a standard guideline but couldn't recall the exact value (maybe 1 ft or 2 ft). I couldn't find the information in reference books. I need help to determine the length and resolve these issues. Any insights or suggestions would be appreciated.

#2 breizh


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Posted 20 August 2023 - 07:12 AM


Use these resources and try to get a copy of GPSA.

CheCalc ‐ Vapor Liquid Vertical Separator Sizing

note : Using the built in engine of this forum you will find more information.


#3 Bobby Strain

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Posted 20 August 2023 - 09:04 AM

You can size it with software at my website.



#4 snickster


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Posted 20 August 2023 - 10:47 PM

GPSA Data Books give a diagram that shows recommended levels of all fluids.  There are two binders of GPSA data books - you should puchase a copy.

#5 iamalimki@gmail.com


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Posted 22 August 2023 - 05:12 AM

Thank you all for your support and your fast responses.


Now, the issue seems to revolve around the distance between the high-high-level alarm and low-low-level alarm. However, all the other aspects and sections of the column align closely with the current KO drum. Despite having a very low liquid section, I followed the GPSA recommendation of a minimum liquid section height of 12 inches (S/D) and another 12 inches for level gauges. Yet, I'm still unable to achieve a height similar to the existing vessel.

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or ideas on how to resolve this challenge.

#6 Pilesar


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Posted 22 August 2023 - 07:10 AM

Designing separators according to best engineering practice is not the same thing as matching existing equipment. There can be a lot of sloppy engineering in separator design that the end user does not complain about. I have never seen separator performance tested once they are installed. If there is no obvious blockage that inhibits operation then it is assumed one is as good as another. Separators are generally viewed as commodities which either work or they don't. Separator designers can take a lot of pride in their work but they will have to pat themselves on the back because no one else will notice. When replacing an existing separator, sometimes the economical choice is to just copy the existing design even if it is not an optimal design.

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