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Design of propylene tower in 600 kt/a gas separation plant


Location: Daqing, China

Start-up time: Oct., 1999



This 600 Kt/a gas separation plant, which was designed by SEI, was the largest unit in China. When conventional trays were used in this propylene tower, column ID need to be 6m and number of trays should be 200, In addition, this tower should be designed as a 4-pass tray, but it wasn’t familiar to design 4-pass trays in those years. So, client asked AMT and ZEHUA to design propylene tower with ADV® valve trays.


Propylene tower’s diameter was decreased to 5.2m, with 4-pass ADV® valve trays. This tower consisted of two columns in series, and the trays number decreased to 180 trays in total, with tray spacing 450mm. AMT was in charge of internals design and ZEHUA was responsible for technical services and field services.

There were used sloped DC, “Quick-connect” active tray joint methods and inlet bubble promoters in propylene tower.


The plant was started-up in Oct., 1999. It was stable for capacity from 50% to 100%. Tray efficiency adopted 85% at design time, but it actually reached to 95%. Purity of propylene product was more than 99.5wt% and propylene content in propane product was less than 1wt%.

This propylene tower was the first 4-pass column in gas separation plant in China, thus big propylene towers started to be designed and applied in China.