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The goal is to stay on spec while using as little energy as possible and maintaining high throughput. But operators often choose to use excess energy when feedstock variations, weather changes, and other factors threaten to upset distillation. And that means you’re running inefficiently while giving away extra product quality—instead of using just enough energy to keep your product right on spec. Operators often start this chain of events when they lack a clear understanding of key process variables, such as feedstock and product composition. Unreliable equipment takes a toll too: Unless your assets are always in good working order, you’re facing a higher risk of slowdowns, shutdowns, and incidents.

Distillation problems can have any number of root causes, but the most common threats to your operation usually stem from feed variability, temperature changes, pressure fluctuations, poor control, or worn-out equipment. If they’re not dealt with properly, each can have far-reaching and serious consequences for your operation.

The Anatomy of Distillation Performance


  With Emerson’s complete set of distillation solutions, you’ll be able to transform your energy use, yield, and throughput for the better. Our wired and wireless devices—ranging from GC transmitters for measuring composition, to pressure devices that detect incipient flooding—will allow you to see what’s going on in your columns with unprecedented confidence and detail.

At the same time, our advanced process control solutions, and the predictive diagnostics in our devices, will give you an incredible edge in improving your distillation operations. By reducing process variability and fine-tuning control responses, you’ll be able to operate closer to your constraints while improving yield and throughput—without over-purifying. You’ll even be able to plan your equipment maintenance schedule based on which assets need attention the most—adding more full-production days to your year.

Take the first step. Optimize your distillation performance with technology and expertise from Emerson’s broad array of solutions.

Smart Digital Control: Emerson’s Smart Process Distillation Column Optimizer application for the DeltaV™ digital automation system works with smart field devices to improve product quality, recovery, and energy efficiency. The DeltaV advanced process control solution’s built-in linear program optimizer allocates utilities and automatically operates at limiting constraints. It allows closed-loop product-quality control with real-time models based upon composition data, and it calculates optimal control moves for safe, stable operation.
Network Interface
Smart Wireless Gateway: Connects IEC 62591(Wireless HART®) self-organizing networks with any host system.
CSI Wireless Vibration Transmitter: Provides early warning of excessive vibration and impending damage in pumps, compressors, and other rotating equipment. Determines root causes and guides action. Optional functionality can identify premature bearing wear and failure.
Micro Motion Coriolis Flow Meter: Directly measures the mass flow of gas and liquid streams and liquid density—including compressible or supercritical fluids—allowing quick reactions to process changes, improved product-quality control, and high turndown capabilities.
Rosemount Multivariable Transmitter: Measures differential pressure, static pressure, and process temperature to perform fully compensated mass and energy flow calculations 22 times per second. Allows tighter control of critical process parameters.
Rosemount Wireless Temperature Transmitter: Cost-effectively measures temperature profile of distillation columns. High density measurement technology allows for up to four independently configurable RTD, thermocouple, ohm, millivolt, and 4-20 mA inputs.
Rosemount Electronic Remote Sensors: Measure differential pressure to detect flooding, overpressure, and excessive energy use. Design reduces maintenance by using two digitally linked sensors instead of impulse piping, which liquid can clog.
Rosemount Analytical Gas Chromatograph: Quickly measures overhead and bottoms compositions with field-mounted capabilities adjacent to the sample source. This localized installation reduces operating cost while allowing closed-loop control of product quality, reducing energy use and quality give-away, and increasing product recovery.
Rosemount Pressure Transmitter: Features Statistical Process Monitoring (SPM) and advanced diagnostics capabilities that can detect early column flooding and tray malfunctions.
Rosemount Guided Wave Radar: Accurately measures tower levels regardless of fluid density and viscosity—even in extreme temperatures.
Fisher Valves and Digital Valve Controllers: Precisely control reboiler, reflux, and feed rates for higher yield and efficiency. Reduce fugitive emissions and use advanced diagnostics to enhance performance between shutdowns.
  Additional Options
AMS Suite for Maintenance: Uses predictive diagnostics to identify developing asset problems, allowing maintenance personnel to schedule repairs, which reduces downtime and costs.
Smart Wireless Thum Adapter: Allows devices compliant with HART 5 (and later revisions) to wirelessly transmit measurement and diagnostic information that was previously unavailable.

Learn more about Emerson’s comprehensive solutions for optimizing your operations: ​​​​