Distillation columns : Principles, Operation & Design

A complete understanding of construction details and functioning of distilling columns for successful operation

Course Summary

Distillation columns of various designs and applications are encountered nowadays throughout petroleum refining, petrochemical, chemical and process industries.
This course is designed to provide you with a complete understanding of construction details and functioning of distilling columns. This understanding is a prerequisite for successful operation of your plant.

The course features 5 major items :
1- VAPOR LIQUID EQUILIBRIA : (thermodynamics of pure components and complex mixtures)
  • Volatility of pure components : boiling point, vapor pressure
  • Concept of Sensible and Latent Heat
  • Behavior of mixtures in distillation : dew and bubble points, vaporization curves, total/partial condensation and vaporization, liquid-vapor separation and distribution of components according to their volatility
  • Relation between temperature, pressure and composition of distillate and residue
  • ...
  • Operating parameters of an industrial distillation column (Pressure, Temperature, Flow rates, Reflux Ratio...)
  • Separating power : number of stages, liquid and vapor traffics, feed inlet location
  • Column pressure : pressure control and pressure profile along the column
  • Internal flow rates profiles, concentration and temperature profiles, concentration peaks
  • Material balance of the column : concepts of cut point, separation quality and fractionation capability
  • Heat balance : condenser and reboiler duties, Reflux and Boil-up ratios and industrial configurations
  • Instrumentation and process control loops around the column
  • ...
  • Trays : technology, performances, flexibility
  • Packings (structured or random) : technology, performances, flexibility
  • Different types of contacting systems for the active area : bubble caps, fixed or floating valves
  • Liquid or vapor distributors, collectors and redistributors
  • Troubles such as flooding, weeping, fouling...
  • ...
  • Base case
  • Effect of temperature
  • Effect of pressure
  • Effect of feed stage location
  • Effect of reflux ratio
  • ...
  • Ethylene / Ethane fractionator
  • Reboiler operation
  • Flash separator
  • Distilling column overhead operations
  • Depropanizer case study
Many images, cross sectional views, graphs and animations can be found throughout, increasing the value of this course as an educational tool and industrial reference for personnel involved in distilling operations.
So this course is not only of use to practicing engineers and operators to whom a knowledge of the distillation process is of crucial importance in efficient operation of distilling columns but also intended as a study guide for undergraduates in process, chemical, petrochemical & petroleum engineering disciplines.

So with no further ado, check out the free preview videos and the curriculum of the course and we look forward to seeing you in the first section.

Hope to see you there !

WR Training
Spread the wings of your knowledge

Learning objectives

  • Understand the thermodynamics of Vapor Liquid Equilibria for pure components and mixtures
  • Know, understand and master the concepts necessary to optimize the operation of your distillation column
  • Know about all parameters and profiles for the analysis of your distillation column operation
  • Detect deficiencies in the operation of your distilling column, find their origin and solutions
  • Know and understand the operating variables and process control systems used for your distillation column
  • Know the different types of internals, how they operate and how you can optimize them
  • Use the Aspen Plus simulation results to understand and predict the performance of a distillation column


  • Some engineering or field knowledge is preferable but not mandatory. All the concepts are explained in depth using an easy to understand language to allow students to build their knowledge from the ground up

Target Audience

  • Chemical engineers
  • Process engineers
  • Design engineers
  • Process control personnel and technical staff in the refining, petrochemicals, chemical and process industries
  • Production and Shift Supervisors in charge of distilling columns
  • Field Operators
  • Experienced field operators preparing for console operations

Course Curriculum

WR Training

WR Training is a group of professional engineers from various disciplines (chemical, petrochemical, mechanical, electrical…) providing academic and industrial online courses.

Whether you’re trying to learn and discover a new scientific or engineering topic from scratch, or want to refresh your memory on something you’ve learnt in the past, you’ve come to the right place.

WR Training exists to help you succeed in your academic and professional life. Our goal is to spread the knowledge and promote science.

The courses, you are about to enroll in, were undertaken to give you a clear view of scientific and engineering topics through detailed examples using hands on demo and provide numerous problems with their solutions. You can also use these courses as a review for taking exams or as a vehicle for self-instruction.

Our training methodology was designed to enable individual self paced e-learning.

Each course has been undertaken to teach a specific skill.

Our courses can be watched 24/7 wherever you are.

Each of our courses has a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can check it out, make sure it’s the right course for you, and get a refund if it’s not.

We are active online instructors and we will be here for you every step of the way. If you have questions about the course content, you can always post your questions or send us a private message. It will be our pleasure to provide assistance and answer your questions.

So with no further ado, go ahead, select the course suitable for you, click the enroll button and we'll see you in the first section !

WR Training

Spread the wings of your knowledge

Course Pricing

  • Distillation columns
  • $29.99 USD

    A complete understanding of construction details and functioning of distilling columns for successful operation

    Buy Now
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • Numerous practice sessions
  • Case study using Aspen Plus
  • 8 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion

Now You can Pay in Indian Rupee Also

Use any Indian Bank Debit and Credit Card while Purchasing This Course