Heat Transfer and Distillation

Save utilities and capital while improving capacity and performance

High performance trays/packings and enhanced surface heat transfer tubing bring benefits in many applications including distillation intensive complexes for the production of para-xylene and propylene.

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MD Trays maximize distillation efficiency

MD Trays

For more than 25 years, UOP’s MD family of high performance trays for distillation, absorption, stripping, and extraction have provided outstanding performance and economic benefits for our customers.

  • Reduced column diameter in grassroots applications.
  • Increased capacity from existing columns.
  • Increased separation efficiency – high purity products
  • Reduced utilities consumption – low pressure drop and reflux rates
  • Reliable operation – minimum foaming and/or fouling
  • Fast, simple installation giving short turnaround times.

The high capacity capability of the MD tray allows for a smaller column diameter than would be achievable with conventional multi-pass valve trays. Since MD trays can be used at reduced tray spacings, they also allow for a reduction in height of a new column, further reducing vessel costs. . In difficult separations such as propylene-propane and xylene splitters, the use of MD trays can sometimes reduce the number of columns needed resulting in a significant decrease in capital cost.

In revamp applications, a significantly greater number of MD trays can be installed in a conventional column, increasing column capacity, providing increased product purities and recoveries, and/or allowing reduced reflux ratios for reduced energy consumption.

UOP trays have been proven to increase separation performance, reduce capital and operating costs, and/or increase column capacity in a wide range of applications. They are particularly effective for:

  • Medium to high pressure distillation with large liquid/vapor loads
  • Medium to large diameter columns
  • Difficult, low relative volatility separations
  • Heat pumping applications
  • Heavily liquid loaded absorbers and strippers

UOP’s family of MD trays also includes ECMD™ trays for further capacity increase, and PFMD™ trays for enhanced efficiency at higher vapor load. In addition, UOP offers MU™ trays for liquid-liquid extraction systems.

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Maximize hydraulic tray capacity with UOP SimulFlow


The revolutionary SimulFlow device is UOP’s latest tray technology that achieves a significant increase in hydraulic capacity – more than twice the capacity of conventional valve trays. Conventional trays are limited by gravity separation of liquid and vapor. SimulFlow utilizes mechanical separation of co-current vapor and liquid through specially-designed separator modules after each stage of contacting. These local zones of co-current flow are created by entraining the liquid in the rising vapor. The stage efficiency of this technology is similar to that of UOP’s MD or ECMD tray.

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Maximize efficiency in high vapor load applications with UOP Slotted Sieve Trays

Slotted Sieve Tray

For low pressure and vacuum separation services having a high vapor load, UOP’s Slotted Sieve Tray is the ideal solution. This is a perforated sieve tray that employs carefully designed slots to achieve high tray efficiency and extremely low pressure drop. Column cost is reduced by having fewer trays that are more closely spaced than conventional trays, and the low column pressure drop reduces utility consumption and operating expense.

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Increase condenser efficiency, reduce capital with High Cond tubing bundles

View Larger ImageHigh Cond Tubing

With more than 40 year years of experience with enhanced heat transfer products, UOP has recently expanded its portfolio with the development of High Cond tubing for shell side condensing in horizontal heat exchanger applications, ideally suited for horizontal cooling water condensers. The proprietary tube OD surface has been optimized to minimize liquid condensate film thicknesses and improve condensate drainage. These technical features maximize the tube’s condensing and overall heat transfer coefficients to more than 10 times that of bare surface tubes.

Specifying High Cond tubing in the design of new plants can save significant capital and installation costs. The total installed cost of the heat exchanger is significantly lowered, especially in applications where multiple bare tube shells are required. In those cases utilizing High Cond tubing will typically reduce the number of required heat exchanger shells in half. Fewer exchangers result in large cost savings associated with lower heat exchanger fabrication costs, less plot space, smaller/lighter exchangers, less piping, smaller structure and less civil foundation. High Cond tubing also allows efficient operation at lower approach temperatures allowing the maximum heat extraction from process fluids, column operating pressures to be reduced, and/or the minimization of cooling water usage.

Attractive applications for High Cond tubing include propylene splitter overhead condensers, propylene refrigerant condensers, naphtha splitter condensers and other water cooled shell and tube condensers. It can be used for either fresh or sea water applications.

In revamp applications, the superior performance of High Cond tubing is extremely beneficial in the retrofit of existing tube bundles and/or condensers to achieve higher capacity. Retrofitting heat exchangers with High Cond tubes allows existing shells, heads, piping and valves to be reused, conserves existing plot space, requires no modification of existing structure and minimizes plant downtime. An attractive application is retrofitting cooling water condensers which are summertime limited.

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Maximize capacity and efficiency in low pressure drop applications with Raschig Packings


The development of Raschig packings set new standards in the field of separation technology, helping to meet the industrial demands on modern packing elements more effectively. Through a partnership with Raschig Gmbh, UOP offers both random and structured packing in the form of Raschig Super-Rings™ and Raschig Super-Pak™. Both types provide a more open structure than other packing elements, resulting in higher capacity, improved separation efficiency, lower pressure drop, and excellent resistance to foaming and fouling. Raschig packings are ideal for very low pressure drop applications, such as gas processing, and are available in a wide variety of sizes to provide the most optimal solution for your specific project requirements.

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Maximize reboiler efficiency and capacity with UOP High Flux Tubing bundles

High Flux Tubing

UOP’s High Flux tubing is specifically designed to enhance heat transfer efficiency in the nucleate boiling regime. A thin, porous metal layer or matrix is bonded metallurgically to the heat-transfer surface. Saturated liquid is drawn into the layer by capillary action and vaporizes from the extremely large number of stable generation sites which exist in the structure. Boiling side heat transfer coefficients of 10-30 times that of bare tubes can be achieved, resulting in an overall heat transfer improvement of 2-4 times that of bare tubes.

In new installations, the use of High Flux tubing allows reduced exchanger surface area and/or lower utility consumption, resulting in substantial savings in capital and operating costs. For large reboiler duties, the use of High Flux tubing can reduce the total number of exchanger shells required, resulting in not only reduced exchanger costs but savings in piping, controls, foundation, and plot plan space. The use of High Flux tubing exchangers is particularly attractive for grassroots heavy aromatics separation, natural gas de-ethanizing, heat-pumped propylene/isobutene fractionators, and ammonia plant syngas chilling applications.

In retrofit situations, the use of High Flux tubing in existing exchanger shells can allow increased capacity and/or elimination of a new exchanger addition. Alternatively, the use of High Flux tubing can allow the use of lower pressure steam at fixed capacity, reducing utility costs. In a revamp situation, the use of High Flux tubing, as an alternative to a new exchanger, is particularly attractive due to conservation of plot space, minimum downtime, and short lead-times.

Stable boiling is achievable at low temperature differentials. This feature can be used minimize the Log Mean Temperature Difference (LMTD) of the heat exchanger to reduce utility consumption. This is particularly effective in heat pump applications by reducing the compressor demand.

High Flux tubes can be either ID or OD coated for boiling on the tube side or shell side, and the non-coated side can be finned or fluted for additional heat transfer capacity.

Years of commercial experience have shown the High Flux tubing is not prone to fouling due to the extremely active boiling surface. High Flux equipped exchangers have shown long-term, reliable operation.

Please contact us for further information.