US 3208833 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 28, 1965 D. B. CARSON FLUID DISTRIBUTING MEANS FOR PACKED CHAMBERS Filed May 1, 1963 F gure Figure 5 Figure 4 Figure /A/ VEN TOR.- Don B. Garson gy TTORNE'YS United States Patent O 3,208,833 FLUTD DISTRIBUTING MEANS FOR PACKED CHAMBERS Don B. Carson, Mount Prospect, lll., assigner to Universal i] Products Company, Des Plaines, lll., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 1, 1963, Ser. No. 277,336 Claims. ('Cl. 23-288) This invention relates to fluid distributing means for packed chambers and more specifically to a flushable type of distributor means which is adapted for use in a multiple stage fluid-solids contacting chamber. In other words, the design and arrangement of the distributor unit is such as to permit a flushing and removal of retained fluid therein by the fluid of the chamber, whenever no liquid is being introduced to or withdrawn from that particular zone of the chamber.
It is not unusual to effect the redistribution of fluid streams through packed columns by providing multiple beds and perforate plate means for redistributing one or more moving contact streams. Also, it is generally customary to have spray or nozzle means for introducing a fluid stream into an intermediate point of a packed column. However, the usual arrangements do not provide for uniform rapid mixing of an additive stream with the fluid moving7 through the column, nor do the conventional constructions and arrangements provide means for flushing a distributor-withdrawal device to preclude contamination of a subsequent withdrawn fluid product stream with the fluid contents of the distributor-withdrawal device.
It is thus a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved fluid distributor-withdrawal unit for a packed chamber which permits flushing and removal of a retained fluid by the mass flow of liquid through the chamber.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an improved fluid distributor-withdrawal unit for use between packed sections of a fluid-solids contacting column which provides for the opposing placement of porous fluid discharge sections in the faces of the unit such that there may be a through flow of liquid from the chamber and a flushing of any retained liquid for such periods that no liquid is being introduced to or withdrawn from the unit at that zone of the chamber.
In a broad embodiment, the present invention provides a liquid distributing means for use between packed sections of a fluid-solids contacting chamber and being r particularly adapted to permit flushing of a retained liquid medium at such times that there is no liquid distribution or withdrawal, which comprises in combination, a hollow grid member having a multiplicity of spaced open fluid channels therethrough permitting the passage of an external continuously flowing chamber and being sized and adapted to be positioned laterally across the internal cross section of said chamber, said grid member in addition having internal confined interconnected fluid passageway means therein, fluid conduit means connecting with said internal passageway means, and porous fluid transmitting means spaced uniformly within and across the opposing faces of said grid member, whereby fluid may be discharged from or collected within said interconnected passageway means and, in addition, whereby fluid flushing of said passageway means may be effected by fluid flow through said chamber.
There are many forms of fluid distributing rings or headers which are adapted to introduce an additive fluid stream into a processing chamber whereby there may be an intermixture of the additive fluid with the fluid medium passing through such chamber from one end to the other. However, in connection with certain processes there are packed contact chambers where the distributor means does not operate to continuously discharge the same material, or where such distributor means operates both as a distributor and withdrawal unit, such that there may be a disadvantageous and harmful contamination of the later added stream or of the withdrawal stream by retained liquid from a previously introduced additive or withdrawal stream. The present improved distributor unit as indicated hereinbefore, precludes the contamination of a product stream, in systems having alternatively operating distributor-withdrawal units, by utilizing fluid transmitting means within the opposing faces of the unit such that the chamber fluid flow will serve to flush the internal portion of the distributor means while it is not in operation as a distributor or a withdrawal member.
In connection with packed chamber construction, it is also preferable to utilize fluid outlet means which do not form jet streams and cause high pressure and high velocity impingement and attrition against the packed material. Thus, an enlarged area fritted or sintered plug arrangement, or screened outlet means, such as provided by the present improved unit, permits improved fluid discharge and fluid withdrawal in a reduced velocity manner.
In a more specificembodiment, the present invention provides a fluid distributing-withdrawal means for use with a packel fluid-solids contacting chamber such that there may be a flushing of any retained fluid medium from the interior of such means when it is not in operation for fluid discharge or withdrawal and comprises in combination, spaced header plate means forming a confined hollow grid member sized to traverse the cross section of the packed chamber, fluid conduit means connecting from outside of the chamber to the interior of the hollow grid member, a multiplicity of fluid transmitting porous members spaced within and across each of the spaced header plate means whereby fluid may be discharged from and collected within said hollow grid member from each face thereof, and a multiplicity of openended tubular members extending through said header plate means from one face of said grid member to the other, with said tubular members being spaced substantially uniformly with respect to said porous members across said grid member, whereby there is provided a substantially uniform fluid flow through said chamber from one packed section to another and a uniform mixing with the fluid flow from said spaced porous members.
The present fluid distributing apparatus arrangement is suitable for any packed chamber using catalyst particles, inert particles, or sorptive materials and having one or more intermediate fluid streams being brought into contact with the mass flow of a fluid stream moving upwardly or downwardly through a vertical column, or laterally through a horizontal chamber. Still further, the distributing system is particularly useful in connection with columns having a multiplicity of beds and a multiplicity of inlet and/ or outlet points, or a combination of inlet and outlet points, by reason 0f a compact shallow construction. However, more particularly, the improved distributor construction provides for reduced contamination of subsequent charge or withdrawal streams. For example, the fluid distributing system of the present invention may be used advantageously in connection with a chamber having a multiplicity of separate fixed sorptive beds and operating in a continuous manner by moving the inlet and outlets with respect to the beds. For this type of operation, reference is made to Patent No. 2,- 985,589 of D. B. Broughton and C. G. Gerhold issued May 23, 1961. Sorbents used in a process of this type may comprise silica gel, activated charcoal, aluminum silicates, such as various clays, synthetically prepared com- 3 posites of alumina and silica, activated alumina and molecular sieves which may consist of a dehydrated calcium aluminum silicate hydrate.
From the aspect of good design and engineering, it may be noted that the following requirements are essential to the good operation of a multiple' bed packed chamber having intermediate feed distribution points with respect to superimposed spaced beds of molecular sieves or other contact material: (a) a small volume of liquid in t-he distributor pipe in order to minimize the volume of a flush stream which may be required; (b) the preclusion of high velocity jet streams impinging on an adsorbent material in order to avoid attrition; (c) the channeling of the liquid llow through the column into a path adjacent the distributor pipe means in order to obtain uniform mixing of the intermediate feed streams with the liquid flowing through the column; and (d) the unpacked volume in the chamber minimized in order to reduce convective mixing.
Reference to the accompanying drawing and the further following description thereof will serve to point out and amplify the advantageous features of the improved fluid distributing system and the ability to satisfy the requirements of the above enumerated points providing optimum operation of a fluid-solids contacting unit.
FIGURE 1 of the drawing is an elevational view, partially in section, indicating a packed vertically positioned chamber having a plurality of superimposed contact beds with intermediate fluid distributing points.
FIGURE 2 of the drawing is a partial sectional plan view through one form of fluid distributing arrangement, as indicated by the line 2 2 in FIGURE 1 of the drawing (with chamber packing not shown).
FIGURE 3 of the drawing is a partial sectional elevational view, indicating the use of sintered or fritted types of material on each face of the distributor unit.
FIGURE 4 of the drawing shows another partial sectional elevational view indicating perforations covered with a screening material on each face of the unit.
FIGURES 5 and 6 of the drawing illustrate the use of a modified form of fluid distributor-withdrawal unit which is fabricated by using a plurality of small pipe nipple and porous plug elements in spaced plate members.
Referring now particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing, there is shown diagrammatically a vertically positioned confined chamber 1 adapted to hold a plurality of vertically spaced superimposed contact beds 2 which are to be contacted with two or more lluid streams. The particulated material compris-ing the beds 2 may comprise an inert material such as quartz chips, an active catalyst in the form of pellets, spheres, etc., or alternatively, such material may comprise a sorptive type of particle such as silica gel, activated charcoal, molecular sieves, and the like, as described hereinbefore. In other words, it is not intended to limit the present improved construction and the fluid-solids contacting chamber to the use of any one type of material or compound for the packing therein. Onefluid stream may be introduced to the upper portion of chamber 1 by way of inlet port 3 while a combined or treated fluid stream may be withdrawn by way of outlet port 4. On the other hand, where an upflow is desired in the column, the lower port 4 may serve as an inlet and the upper port 3 provides means for discharging a contacted stream from the chamber. One or more additional fluid streams that are to be mixed with or withdrawn from the fluid passing vertically through the chamber will be introduced through one or more inlet lines 5 which in turn connect with the perforate distributor-withdrawal means 6 within the interior of the chamber.
As ibest shown in FIGURE 2 of the drawing, one embodiment of the distrtbutor unit 6 may comprise a plurality of hollow concentric rings, such as ring sections 7, 8, 9 and 10. Each of the ring sections may be interconnected by utilizing a plurality of short hollow tubular members 11 such that a fluid medium being introduced by way of conduit 5 into one or more of the concentric ring sections will in turn be redistributed through all of the spaced adjacent sections. The present embodiment indicates conduit 5 connecting through suitable internal piping means 12 and nozzle 13 to the intermediate ring section 8 at a single inlet; however, where desired, two or more points of iluid introduction may be made internally through the distributor unit from a multiple branch inlet piping means. The number of points of fluid introduction, or lluid withdrawal, may depend upon the overall size of the unit and the necessity for obtaining a more uniform distribution or withdrawal than results from single connection.
Each of the concentric distributor rings 7, 8, 9 and 10 in turn have a multiplicity of fluid transmitting means 14 which will permit the passage of the iluid stream into or from the packed sections to the chamber but will preclude the passage of any of the packing material. The present drawing indicates diagrammatically that the lluid transmitting passageways 14 are of a circular plug-like nature comprising a porous sintered material; however, various shapes and forms of construction may be utilized to effect the desired fluid transmission without the passage of any of the packed material. Alternatively, relatively large holes or perforations in the faces of the lluid transmitting sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 may be covered by suitable fine mesh screening to accomplish lluid transmission without the passage of any of the packing in the chamber. Further, it is not intended to limit the shape or construction of the sintered type of fluid transmitting elements to any one particular material inasmuch as they may be formed of sintered metal, fritted glass, ceramic, plastic and the like. The choice of material being goverened by the operating temperature conditions of a particular fluidsolids contacting chamber and the type of lluid or iluids being utilized within such chamber.
In FIGURE 3 of the drawing there is shown, in a somewhat enlarged detailed view, the use of separate sintered members 15 in the opposing faces of a hollow grid member 16, which in turn provides confined fluid passageway means to accommodate the distribution or withdrawal of a lluid stream. The porous sintered members 15 may be welded or otherwise iixedly attached to the grid member where they are of a metallic nature while, on the other hand, if they are formed of glass or plastic types of materials they may be wedged, clamped, or otherwise xedly held in position to withstand the pressure of the lluid stream passing therethrough.
In FIGURE 4 of the drawing there is indicated diagrammatically the use of a hollow grid member 17 which is provided with a plurality of smaller holes or perforations 18 in opposing faces thereof and a covering small mesh screening material 19. The meshes shall be sized to preclude the passage of the packing material encompassing the distributor-withdrawal member and in addition may be tackwelded, bolted or otherwise iixedly attached to the faces of the distributor member. In other words, it is not intended to limit the construction of the iluid passageway means to the use of any one type of material or to anyy one predetermined design and arrangement. However, there shall be utilized a uniform spacing of the porous lluid transmitting means across each face of the hollow grid member, as well as uniform spacing of openended fluid passageways through such member, from one face to another, so that the lluid circulating through the packed chamber may be uniformly redistributed across the transverse area of the chamber and such that the additive lluid, or withdrawal system, is uniform with respect to the overall fluid flow through the column. Thus, there is accomplished suitable intermixing of the additive fluid stream with the chamber fluid together with a redistribution `of the latter stream between spaced packed sections of the chamber.
In FIGURES 5 and 6 of the drawing, there is indicated still another form of hollow grid construction which utilizes spaced opposing header plate member 20 and 21 which are joined around their outer peripheries to form a hollow grid type of unit with an internal fluid passageway 22. Fluid may be introduced into, or withdrawn from, this internal passageway 22 by means of a suitable pipe connection or nozzle 23 which may in turn connect with suitable conduit means such as indicated in connection with FIGURE 1 of the drawing. The fluid discharge from, or intake to, the internal space 22 is provided by a multiplicity of spaced porous members 24 which are inserted within and through each of the spaced header plates 20 and 21. As indicated hereinbefore, various means may be provided for inserting or attaching porous fluid transmitting means; however, the present embodiment indicates the use of members 24 which are fixedly positioned within small threaded pipe sections 25, such that the latter may be readily inserted or removed from tapped holes extending through each of the opposing header members 20 and 21.
As best shown in FIGURE 6, a multiplicity of the porous plugs 24 and holding members 25 are positioned and spaced substantially uniformly across the entire face of the resulting hollow grid member so as to provide a uniform distribution, or withdrawal, of a fluid medium with respect to the packed chamber. Spaced uniformly with respect to the porous fluid transmitting members 24 are a multiplicity of open-ended pipe sections 26 which extend entirely through plate members 20 and 21 from one face to the other to in turn provide open fluid channels between adjacent packed sections in any given chamber. Such tubular members may be welded, rolled into place, or otherwise flxedly sealed between the opposing header plate members 20 and 21 such that the internal passageway space 22 between the latter is capable of retaining a fluid medium in a confined pressure tight manner. The tubular members 26 are also spaced in a suitable substantially uniform pattern or arrangement across the entire area of the grid member such that the latter is capable of effecting a substantially uinform redistribution of the fluid stream passing through the chamber from one packed chamber to another as well as effecting a plurality of separate fluid streams interspaced with respect to the fluid passageway means 24 whereby the additive fluid will be uniformly admixed with the chamber fluid in a substantially uniform manner.
The embodiment of FIGURES 5 and 6 provides an outer projecting flange portion on the upper header plate member 20 which serves to attach each unit to a suitable accompanying supporting ledge or ring member on the internal wall of a particular packed chamber; however, various modifications may be utilized to effect the clamping or positioning of the hollow grid members within a packed chamber so as to effect spaced liquid distributing, or withdrawal, means and the separation of packed zones in such chamber. As may be noted in connection with FIGURE 1 of the drawing, the outer ring section 7 is provided with a flange portion 27 which may be bolted or otherwise attached to a supporting ring angle 28 around the inside periphery of chamber 1. It may also be noted that the distributor-withdrawal unit of the present invention is adapted for placement directly within the packing material 2 such that the latter may actually ll the spaces within the the open-ended channels or tube sections which extend within and through the opposing faces of the hollow grid members. This design and arrangement thus precludes the need of perforated plates on each side of the hollow grid members to in turn support the particulate material and prevent it from coming into direct contact with the spaced grid members.
For convenience in installation, it may be necessary to divide each hollow grid member into two or more segments such that each segment is capable of being passed through a manhole in the contacting chamber. The
various segments may be bolted, clamped or otherwise assembled together inside the chamber. Thus, suitable fluid tight connecting means shall be provided to interconnect the internal passageway means in the distributor units, or alternatively, a separate fluid conduit means shall be provided for each segmental piece of a unit to permit fluid introduction and fluid withdrawal therefrom. Various means may be utilized to effect the installation and interconnection of segmental sections and it is not deemed necessary to illustrate or describe in detail any one specific arrangement.
It may be further noted that the pack-ed chamber of FIGURE l is indicated as being a vertical column with the hollow grid members, as illustrated and described, having a horizontal position in each instance; however, such units may be positioned vertically to accommodate a horizontal flow in a laterally positioned packed chamber of a processing plant.
I claim as my invention:
1. In combination with a packed fluid-solids contacting chamber having at least one fluid distributing means positioned between packed zones therein, and which may serve to discharge a fluid stream into admixture with a separate fluid medium passing continuously through such chamber, an improved flushing type of fluid distributor unit, which comprises in combination,
(a) a hollow g-rid member having a multiplicity of spaced apa-rt, vertically disposed, open fluid channels adapted .to redistribute and to pass fluid and packed solids material through the grid member,
(b) said grid member in addition containing conned interconnected internal horizontally disposed passageway means therein and being sized to extend laterally across the internal cross section of said chamber,
(c) fluid conduit means connecting from outside the chamber with said internal fluid passageway means within said hollow grid member, and
(d) a multiplicity of porous fluid transmitting means spaced substantially uniformly within and across each of the opposing faces of said grid member,
whereby fluid may be discharged from and collected within said interconnected passageway means and in addition whereby flushing of said internal passageway means may be effected by fluid flow passing within said chamber and through said distributing unit when the latter is not in discharge or withdrawal operation.
2. The distributor unit of claim 1 further characterized in that each of said porous fluid transmitting means spaced across the opposing faces of sai'd grid member comprises perfor-ate means covered with a fine mesh screening material.
3. The distributor unit of claim 1 further characterized in that each of said porous fluid'transmitting means comprises a sintered material.
4. In combination with a packed fluid-solids contacting chamber having at least one fluid distributing means positioned between packed Zones therein, and which may serve to discharge a fluid stream into admixture with a separate fluid medium passing continuously through such chamber, an improved flushing type of fluid distributor unit, which comprises in combination,
(a) spaced header plate means forming la confined hollow grid member sized to .traverse the cross-section of said packed chamber,
(b) fluid conduit means connecting from outside said chamber to the interior of said hollow grid member,
(c) a multiplicity of fluid transmitting porous members spaced in and across each of said spaced header plate means whereby fluid may be discharged from and collected within said hollow member from each face thereof, and
(d) a multiplicity of open-ended tubular members extending through said header plate means from one face of said grid member to the other, with said tubular members being spaced substantially uniformly with respect to said porous members and across said grid member whereby there is provided substantially uniform fluid ow therethrough from one packed section t0 another and uniform mixing with fluid iiow from said spaced porous members.
5. The distributor unit of claim 4 further characterized in that said porous members are mounted in said spaced plate members as removable plug type of inserts.
l References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Conger 210--264 Stuart 23-284 X Jahnig et al 210-274 X Penick 208-310 Huntley et al 23-288 X MORRIS O. WOLK, Primary Examiner.