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Level Measurement Solutions for Column Reboilers

In order to refine crude oil into petroleum, it must first undergo the distillation process. Once the crude passes through the distillation column, it enters the column reboiler. A heat exchanger positioned near the bottom of the distillation column reheats and vaporizes liquid and reintroduces the vapor several trays higher. This improves separation by introducing more heat into the column. Column reboilers are essential for improved distillation and for ensuring that raw crude oil is refined and purified properly.

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

For effective functioning of the reboiling process, precise level monitoring of the reboiler is required. In some steam reboilers, the level must be controlled so that only a percentage of tubes are covered. This allows a control scheme to regulate the heat transfer in the reboiler by controlling the percentage of the reboiler tubes covered by liquid. This is a critical control loop as heat transfer into the liquid is a strong function of the percentage of tubes covered. Without accurate, reliable level measurement, the heat transfer will not be well controlled and the tubes will not be covered correctly.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for all types of column reboilers:

  • For point level
    Series 3 float-actuated external cage level switch or Tuffy® II float-actuated switch


  • For continuous level
    E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter or Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar 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 column reboilers and other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.