EBA columns with a distribution system based on local stirring

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A new type of liquid distribution system for expanded bed columns has been developed. The construction differs from traditional distribution designs by not having any small pores (like filters or distribution plates) in the flow path of the crude feedstock. A stirrer at the bottom of the column distributes the incoming feedstock. Due to the stirring, jet streams are prevented and a stable expanded bed is formed above a mixed zone. This article describes the new column design, and investigates the performance of the stirred distribution concept experimentally by measuring theoretical plate number and breakthrough profile. Furthermore, the possibilities of scaling up the concept will be discussed based on theoretical plate measurements.

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