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1. WO2016102082 - PLATEAU DE CONTACT DE FLUIDE DESTINÉ À ÊTRE NOTAMMENT UTILISÉ DANS UNE COLONNE DE FRACTIONNEMENT EN MER

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Claims

A fluid contact tray (10) for a fractionating column (1 ), in particular a vapor-liquid contact tray suitable for the use in an offshore fractionation column (1 ), wherein the tray (10) comprises:

a tray deck (12) comprising an active mass transfer surface (20) suitable for contacting two fluids (I, g) of different densities, wherein the active mass transfer surface (20) comprises one or more orifices (18) for the passage of a fluid (g), and wherein at least two at least partially radially extending separation walls (22-1 , 22-2, 22-3, 22-4) and/or at least one separation weir (42) are arranged on the active mass transfer surface (20), which divides the active mass transfer surface (20) into at least two sections (24-1 , 24-2, 24-3, 24-4),

an annular channel (26) having a bottom area (28) suitable for collecting fluids (I), which is arranged at the peripheral area of the active mass transfer surface (20) and embraces or partially embraces the mass transfer surface (20),

a central downcomer (34) for collecting and discharging a fluid (I) from the annular channel (26), wherein the central downcomer (34) has the form of a hollow body with an opening (36) in the bottom section thereof being suitable for the distribution of liquid vertically downwardly, and wherein the central downcomer (34) is non-rotatably fixed at the fluid contact tray (10), and

at least one conducting means (40) for transferring fluid collected in the annular channel (26) from the annular channel (26) to the central downcomer (34).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to claim 1 , wherein the active mass transfer surface (20) has, in top view, the form of at least substantially a circular ring and wherein the fluid contact tray (10) is formed at least substantially symmetrically and wherein preferably the tray deck (12) comprising the active mass transfer surface (20) and at least partially radially extending separation walls (22-1 , 22-2, 22-3, 22-4) and/or separation weir (42) is substantially rotation-symmetrical ly with respect to the axis (A), which extends through the center of the tray perpendicular to the tray deck (12).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, which is configured so that in operation liquid (I) flows on the active mass transfer surface (20) from its radially inner end to its peripheral area and that liquid (I) is transferred from the annular channel (26) to the central downcomer (34) located in the center of the fluid contact tray (10).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein between 2 and 8, preferably between 2 and 6 and more preferably between 3 and 4 at least partially radially extending separation walls (22-1 , 22-2, 22-3, 22-4) are arranged on the active mass transfer surface (20), and/or, wherein between 1 and 8, preferably between 2 and 6 and more preferably between 3 and 4 separation weirs (42) are arranged on the active mass transfer surface (20).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the at least two at least partially radially extending separation walls (22-1 , 22-2, 22-3, 22-4) extend from the radially outer periphery line of the active mass transfer surface (20) over more than 50% to less than 100%, preferably over 60 to 90% and more preferably over 60 to 75% of

the distance between the peripheral line of the active mass transfer surface (20) and the center of the tray deck (12).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least one at least partially radially extending partition wall (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) is arranged on the bottom area (28) and/or in the top area of the annular channel (26), wherein preferably the at least one at least partially radially extending partition wall (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) extends substantially in vertical direction.

The fluid contact tray (10) according to claim 6, wherein between 1 and 8, preferably between 2 and 6 and more preferably between 3 and 4 at least partially radially extending partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) are arranged on the bottom area (28) and/or in the top area of the annular channel (26), wherein preferably the number of partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) arranged on the bottom area (28) and/or in the top area of the annular channel (26) is equal to the number of the separation walls (22-1 , 22-2, 22-3, 22-4) arranged on the active mass transfer surface (20).

The fluid contact tray (10) according claim 6 or 7, wherein the tray (10) comprises at least two at least partially radially extending partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4), wherein the at least partially radially extending partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) are arranged substantially equally spaced apart from each other on the bottom area (28) and/or in the top area of the annular channel (26), so that the annular channel (26) is divided by the partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4) into substantially equally sized sections (32-1 , 32-2, 32-3, 32-4).

The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tray deck (12) is sloped downwardly, preferably either from center of the tray deck (12) to the periphery of the active mass transfer surface (20) or from the radially inner end of the active mass transfer surface (20) to the periphery of the active mass transfer surface (20), with a negative angle (a) measured in radial direction with respect to the horizontal plane of 2 to 10°, preferably of 3 to 8° and more preferably of 4 to 7°.

10. The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one conducting means (40) is a pipe, wherein one opening of the pipe (40) opens out into the lower part of the annular channel (26) and the other opening of the pipe (40) opens out into the central downcomer

(34).

1 1 . The fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least one at least partially radially extending partition wall (30-1 , 30-2, 30- 3, 30-4) is arranged on the bottom area (28) of the annular channel (26) dividing the annular channel (26) in a number of sections (32-1 , 32-2, 32-3, 32-4) corresponding to the number of the partition walls (30-1 , 30-2, 30-3, 30-4), wherein the fluid contact tray (10) comprises equal or a greater number of conducting means (40) than the number of sections (32-1 , 32-2, 32-3, 32-4).

A fractionation column (1 ) comprising:

a housing (29) and

at least one fluid contact tray (10) according to any of the preceding claims.

The fractionation column (1 ) according to claim 12, wherein the fractionation column (1 ) comprises at least two fluid contact trays (10), which are arranged so as to allow the distribution of liquid vertically downwardly from the opening (36) of the downcomer (34) of one fluid contact tray (10) onto the upper side of the tray deck (12) of the adjacent fluid contact tray (10).

14. Use of a fractionation column (1 ) according to claim 12 or 13 for a thermal separation process to separate fluid mixtures into their components, preferably by means of distillation, rectification, stripping, direct heat exchange, absorption or extraction, and more preferably, wherein the fractionation column (1 ) is located offshore and preferably on an offshore mobile platform or a ship.

15. The use according to claim 14, which comprises at least one of:

high pressure distillation in the fractionation column (1 ), which is preferably performed at a pressure of at least 6 bar.

removal of a heavy fraction in the fractionation column (1 ) from a hydrocarbon mixture, preferably from natural gas before liquefying one of the resulting fractions,

removal of light fractions in the fractionation column (1 ) from a hydrocarbon mixture, such as de-methanizing, de-ethanizing, de- propanizing and/or de-butanizing.