LANPAC 3.5" packing solves methonol/water distillation problem
for major pharmaceutical manufacturer. After the switch
to LANPAC, feed rate doubled, pressure drop decreased,
and mass transfer efficiency increased.
A major manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in the northeast was having difficulties with its methanol/water distillation column. The feed rate to the column had increased dramatically, causing a capacity problem. The tower was filled with 2" Pall Rings, which were not performing to the desired efficiency, as the column had reached a flooding condition. With the excess flow diverted straight to the plant's wastewater treatment plant, bypassing the column, two serious problems were created:
1. The methanol was lost from the process, requiring the plant
to purchase additional MeOH as a replacement.
Meeting the Requirements
2.3" LANPAC and 3.5" LANPAC
reviewed, including the expected top and bottom concentrations in the column. Subsequently, a design recommendation to employ LANPAC 3.5" media was presented and accepted.
The results proved better than expected. To date, the feed rate has been doubled, pressure drop through the tower decreased, and mass transfer efficiency has increased. More methanol is being recovered and returned to the process stream. Since there is no longer any need to bypass the distillation column, the BOD effluent has returned to below permitted discharge limits. Production costs have been reduced, and a major environmental problem was avoided.