Automatic distillation system to recover bitumen from crude oil as well as for distillation of different crude oil fractions up to approx. 400°C (AET).
Process description: This is a distillation system to distill, separate and discharge light boiling fractions under atmospheric as well as vacuum conditions into a tank (receiver or fraction collector). The design is based for the distillation of a charge of 10 – 20 kg of crude oil in a minimum of time with a high throughput until a temperature of 400 °C AET.
The crude oil is charged into a 33 L stainless steel flask and heated by an electrical heating bath. All vapors are passing through a DN 100 stainless steel column and are condensed in an integrated vertical condenser.
An additional high performance condenser made of borosilicate glass which is located on top of the column construction is required to condensate all remaining light boiling components.
All condensed product is being discharged by means of a tempered gear pump into a tank (receiver) or a fraction collector (optional). The discharge process is being performed independent from the current system pressure (atmospheric or vacuum) to avoid any manual discharge in between the different pressure conditions. The whole processing of the distillate can be visualized all the time.
The distillation is performed in several pressure steps (atmospheric and vacuum) until a final atmospheric equivalent temperature (AET) of 400°C. Once the final temperature is reached and distillation is finished the still heated residue in the flask can be discharged via a valve located at the bottom of the flask.
The PC-based PILODIST- process control system includes control of heating and vacuum as well as the display and storage of all important process values.
To keep all products liquid during the whole process including discharge all lines are being tempered by a circulation thermostat. A second high performance circulation thermostat for the main top condenser with high cooling performance ensures condensation of all product.
The safety concept of the system includes a glass cold trap with a simple drain valve to protect the vacuum system.
The system can optionally be upgraded with an automatic fraction collector.
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