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Level Measurement Solutions for Chemical Distillation Towers

Separation and purification is a crucial part of all industrial operations that deal with chemicals. Selecting a separation technology from among 20 leading varieties depends upon a chemical’s nature, the number of phases, and the capacity, speed and efficiency required. Distillation—separating substances based on differences in volatilities—is the most widely used separation and purification method. Today, approximately 40,000 distillation towers are operating in U.S. chemical plants.

Magnetrol® has produced a brochure detailing different applications throughout the chemical industry and exploring measurement challenges and solutions for each one. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations
Distillation is an energy-intensive process—in a typical chemical plant, it accounts for about 40% of the total energy consumption. Reliable level measurement is needed in order to maintain energy efficiency throughout the distillation process and lower the fuel costs needed to distill. In addition, level measurement at the bottom of a distillation tower controls the “bottoms” product rate. Poor high level control could allow liquid to back up over the stripping trays causing damage and reduced yields. Too low of a level may cause pump cavitation. In related extraction and distillation towers, interface level control provides optimal separation from associated substances.

Level Instrumentation Solutions
MAGNETROL offers a range of level instrumentation solutions for chemical extraction and distillation towers:

  • For point level measurement

Series 3 float-actuated external cage level switch

  • For continuous level measurement

Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter

  • For visual indication

Atlas™ or Aurora® Magnetic Level Indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information
For more information on level measurement solutions for distillation towers and other chemical industry applications, download the Chemical Industry brochure.