Reflux System in the Amine Plant

Reflux is a process where a fluid is removed from a vessel, condensed and returned to the vessel to enhance the process. The reflux system consists of reflux condenser, accumulator and pump.

Overhead vapor from the stripper mainly consisting of water vapor and acid gases passed through the reflux condenser which condenses most of the water vapor and small amount of amine solution which may vaporize in the stripper. This two phase stream flows to the reflux accumulator where the acid gases are separated from the condensed liquid. The acid gases may be sent either to flare stack or sulfur recovery plant depending on the amount of hydrogen sulfate present. The condensed liquids are pumped to the top of the stripper to reflux.

Reflux accomplished two things in the overhead system of the stripper, first it cause vapor in the top of the stripper to reduce amine carryover, secondly it cool the acid gas in the top of the stripper to reduce its corrosiveness. However reflux is additional heat load for the re-boiler.

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