Reboiler: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

All information you’re looking for about reboilers is right here.

Whether you want to learn about efficiency, specifications, working principle or design configurations; you’ll find everything here.

Keep reading.

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What is a Reboiler?

Reboilers are types of heat exchangers you can typically use to provide heat at the bottom of distillation columns.

Reboiler system

Reboiler system

How many Types of Reboilers Do You Supply?

There are four main types of pf reboilers that we supply to different places.

All you have to do is specify your location and the type of reboiler that you need and we will deliver.

Here are the four types of reboilers that you can select from.

  • Kettle Type Reboilers
  • Thermosyphon Reboilers
  • Fired Reboilers
  • Forced Circulation Reboilers

How Does a Kettle Type Reboiler Compare to a Thermosyphon Reboiler?

You can choose the kettle type reboilers or the thermosyphon reboilers according to your application specifications.

Here is a comparison between the two types of reboilers that will influence the decisions you make.

· Kettle Type Reboilers

These are the simplest and most reliable types of reboilers that you can choose.

It has a kettle that will hold the liquid that you can either pump in or deliver through the sufficient liquid head.

It allows the entry of steam through the inlet and then leaves the kettle reboilers as a complete condensate.

· Thermosyphon Reboilers

In this case, there is no kettle and you don’t have to pump the liquid or bottoms into the reboilers.

It uses density differences between the inlet column of reboilers and the reboiler outlets liquid-vapor mixtures.

It is a more complex type of reboiler in comparison to the kettle reboiler.

You must also pay more attention to the thermosyphon reboiler because it is very complex.

What is the Difference Between the Fired Reboiler and Forced Circulation Reboiler?

Apart from the two types of reboilers, there are other types of reboilers that you can choose from.

This includes the fired reboiler type and the forced circulation type of reboilers.

Here is a comparison between the fired type reboiler and the forced circulation type of reboilers.

· Fired Reboilers

You can also refer to it as a fired heater or furnace which you can use as a distillation column reboiler.

It has pumps that are responsible for pumping the column bottoms through the tubes of heat transfers.

Apart from that, you will also depend on the pumps to circulate column bottoms through the radiant sections and furnace convections.

You can either use fuel oil or fuel gas as the main source of heat for the fired reboilers.

· Forced Circulation Reboilers

In this case, you will also depend on the pump to circulate the column bottoms through the reboiler systems.

It is capable of forcing the bottoms from one point all the way to the reboilers no matter the distance.

Implying that it is the best type of reboiler that you can use in the reboilers that are located far away.

Apart from that, it is the most suitable type of reboiler that you can use to pump viscous liquid bottoms.

What is the Working Principle of a Kettle Reboiler?

Well, the kettle reboilers are responsible for allowing heating fluids to pass through tubes covered in liquids that you intend to distill.

It begins with the process of heating up the liquids you intend to distill and sending it to the distillation column.

In the distillation column, there are a series of pipes that transport the cooling liquid which can be water.

While in the distillation column, the heated liquid will be cooled using the cooling water that is flowing through the pipes.

As that happens there is the elimination of vapor which will move through the outlets to be collected.

In addition to that, the liquid that remains will be the byproduct will drop downwards towards the bottom.

At the bottom of the kettle, there is an outlet that will allow the byproducts to move back into the tubes.

With the help of the pumps, the liquid will flow back for reheating and the whole process continues all over again.

What is a Pump Around Reboiler?

Pump around reboilers are special types of forced circulation reboilers that use the pumps to circulate the fluids.

It can create two phase flows at the outlet that will flow back to the column to create necessary vapor traffic.

You can also use the pump around reboiler to force fluids to flow over very long distances.

It is the best type of reboiler that will pump viscous types of fluids through the reboilers.

What is the Significance of Reboiler Duty?

The reboiler duty is the total sum of energy that is utilized that is used for the main purposes of the reboiler.

It includes the total sum of energy that you will use in the following:

  • Raising the temperatures of the gas loaded liquid solutions up to the boiling point.
  • Breaking the chemical bonds between the liquid and the gases such as CO2 within the solution.
  • Generating enough water vapor to establish operating gas pressure for the operations of the reboilers.

It is significant for boiling the solution to the right temperatures up to the point where it breaks the bonds.

After breaking the bonds between the constituent parts of the solution, it will generate the pressure it requires to flow.

How Does a Boiler Compare to a Reboiler?

You can use the boiler and the reboiler to raise the temperatures of different types of solutions.

Basically, you will use the boilers to generate steam for the purpose of generating superheated or saturated steam.

In other words, it is the basic starting point of production of steam for running different machines such as turbines.

Here, your main source of heat will be latent heat as well as sensible heat for the creation of enough energy.

On the other hand, you will use the reboiler in the process of solution distillation and subsequent separation.

You will use the reboiler in the distillation process as well as the transfer of heat from one medium to another.

Apart from that, you will use sensible heat to provide the energy responsible for the above processes.

What is the Difference Between a Vertical Reboiler and Horizontal Reboiler?

You can also classify the reboilers as a vertical or horizontal type of reboilers according to the mounting positions.

In other words, you can have vertical and horizontal types of all the different types of reboilers.

For instance, you can have the horizontal kettle type reboilers and the vertical kettle type reboilers.

Here is a comparison between the vertical reboiler and the horizontal reboilers.

· Vertical Reboilers

 Vertical reboiler

 vertical reboiler

This is the best type of reboiler that you will install in the smallest of areas.

You can install the reboiler in industrial applications where space is an issue.

Despite the necessity of installing it in small areas, you will experience a few challenges such as cleaning and maintenance.

Implying that cleaning of the reboilers will pose a great challenge especially when it comes to pulling larger bundles vertically.

· Horizontal Reboilers

 Horizontal reboiler

Horizontal reboiler

You will use the horizontal reboilers in particular applications that need a larger surface area.

Just from the name, you will note that the installation of the reboilers will be in the horizontal position.

It allows you to process or install heavier components without running the risk of injury or safety.

Apart from that, you can also use it as the best machine for mounting or installing heavier reboiler components.

It is simpler for you to maintain the heavy components on the reboilers while they are in the horizontal position.

What are the Main Problems that Affect the Efficiency of a Reboiler?

Fouling is one of the greatest problems that affect all the different types of reboilers.

Foulants that cause fouling in reboilers include dirt and corrosion products that come from plug tubes or scales of eat transfers.

In case of fouling, you can maintain operations of other parts of the system while you clean the fouled parts.

Apart from fouling there are other problems that you may experience with the reboilers such as:

· Excessive Circulation

This will occur in a situation where the reboiler sump level is very high and becomes very difficult to lower.

· Insufficient Circulation

This problem is caused by tune plugging or an insufficient amount of liquids in the head.

It will lead to a very poor transfer of heat and in some cases overheating of the tubes.

· Surging

This problem usually occurs in situations where reboiler temperature differences are very low and poor control of column pressure.

In case the column pressure increases, there will be an increase in the bottom temperatures.

This will lead to arise in the liquid levels which will cause dumping on the entire system of the reboiler.

Which Factors Do You Look at When Choosing the Perfect Reboiler?

There are many factors that you have to look at when you are selecting the perfect type of reboiler.

Here are the main factors that you have to pay very close attention to.

· Available Plot Space

You must look at the space that you have for the installation of the reboiler when choosing the perfect reboiler.

In that case, you will be able to determine whether you want the horizontal type of vertical type of reboilers.

· Total Duty Requirement

You will have to do prior calculations to know the amount of energy you require in operating the reboilers.

You will proceed with choosing the right total duty range that is slightly higher than that of your calculation results.

· Fouling Tendency

Here, you will look at the tendency by which the machine is likely to foul.

In other words, the lower the fouling tendency the better the type of reboilers.

· Temperature Approach

In this case, you will look at the temperature approach required as well as the temperature approach available.

Your machine must have proper materials and specifications that are capable of maintaining proper temperature approaches.

What are the Major Configuration Selections for Reboilers?

There are different reboiler configurations that you can use in the selection of different types of reboilers.

Here are the main configurations that you can choose from.

  • Natural versus Forced Circulation – Natural configuration involves the natural flow of fluids or solutions while forced circulation uses the aid of pumps.
  • Shell Side Versus the Tube Side Vaporization Configuration
  • Once through vaporization versus Process Recirculation
  • Multiple Shell Systems versus Single Shell Systems
  • Horizontal Versus Vertical System Configurations
  • Stub in Bundles Configurations

Which Design Guidelines Should Pay Close Attention to?

You can design your custom type of reboiler that will suit your application requirement specifications.

When designing the reboiler, there are particular factors that you have to pay very close attention to.

· Diameter of the Shell

This is one of the most important dimensions you ought to pay very close attention to during the designing process.

You must make the shell diameter 40% greater or bigger than the bundle diameter of the reboilers.

· Heigh of Tube Bundles

In this case, you will look at the varying heights of the tube bundles as another dimensional factor in designing.

You must make the height of the tube bundle at 40 to 60 percent of the total shell ID.

· Overflow Weir

You must also design the reboiler with an overflow weir which will create a separate liquid product compartment.

This will help in proper maintenance of the reboiler and take care of the overflow in case of any.

How Much Does the Reboiler Cost?

You should understand that the prices of the reboilers will vary considerably due to the different types of reboilers available.

In addition to the varying types of reboilers, the price range is also a result of different quality specifications.

High-quality reboilers will require high-quality materials that will definitely cot more hence the high prices.

On the other hand, low-quality reboilers use lo-quality materials hence a lower price range.

Generally, reboilers cost between 5,000 to 1,000,000 US dollars.

Since some of the reboilers are small in size, you should expect a minimum order quantity affecting the price.

What is the Difference Between a Reboiler and a Reflux Drum?

Reflux drum

Reflux drum

You can use the reboiler or the reflux drum for the purpose of separating different types of fluids.

Apart from that, you can also choose to use the reboiler and the reflux drum together

The reflux drum will separate different solutions and get rid of the separated parts while recycling the residues.

On the other hand, reboiler help in the separation of solutions and leaving them at that point.

In conjunction with the reflux drums, you can simply complete the separation process and recycle the residues.

How Do You Maintain a Reboiler?

You must always consider having a maintenance schedule with proper dates on when to clean and maintain reboilers.

Having a maintenance schedule will allow you to plan your inspection activities to identify the perfect time for cleaning and maintenance.

In that case, the cleaning and maintenance process will begin with proper cleaning of the reboiler components.

Apart from that, you will proceed with the proper maintenance of the broken parts by replacing them regularly.

In addition to that, you will ensure that you lubricate the moving parts of the reboiler to avoid cases of friction.

Finally, you must treat the solutions you intend to separate using the reboilers on a regular basis.

Which Quality Specifications Must the Reboilers Adhere to?

Another important factor that you need to look into is the quality of the reboilers.

You must make sure that the reboiler adheres to the right quality certifications which include:

  • International Standards Organization (ISO 9001: 2015) Quality Certifications
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Quality Certifications
  • ANSI Quality Certifications
  • DIN Quality Certifications
  • SIL Quality Certifications

What is the Difference Between Partial Reboilers and Total Reboilers?

You can also classify the reboilers according to the functional capabilities including partial and total reboilers.

Partial reboilers are responsible for partially separating the solutions into a few components.

It does not involve any form of recycling of the residues thus partially completing the separation process.

On the other hand, total reboilers will complete the separation process and recycle the residues for further recycling.

What are the Typical Applications of the Reboilers?

You can use the reboilers to help in the distillation process in quite a number of industries.

Here are some of the industries where you will use the reboilers for a number of purposes.

  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Food and Beverage Industry
  • Breweries Industry
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Chemical Industry

How Do You Increase the Overall Efficiency of the Reboilers?

Horizontal reboiler

Horizontal reboiler

You should think of making the working efficiency of the reboilers better.

Here, there are particular factors that you have to consider to make the process a success.

First, you should have a good record-keeping system that will maintain proper records on the performance of the reboilers.

You will, therefore, have a better chance of analyzing the performance of the reboiler and identify parts that require improvement.

Apart from that, you must inspect the operations of the machine on a regular basis and check broken parts.

Ensure that you clean and maintain the reboilers well and replace the broken parts regularly.

Remember to employ personnel with proper experience on how the machine works and how to maintain it.

Finally, you must also treat the fluids flowing through reboilers to prevent fouling the machine.

Depending on your unique specifications, FilSon Filters offers high performance and safe reboiler systems.

Contact us today for all your reboiler needs.

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