(4) Primary distillation occurs in vacuum pipe stills.
will not boil at safe temperatures under atmospheric pressure. To distill them, a
partial vacuum in created within the fractionating column.
fractionators, called vacuum pipe stills, are easily recognized by their short,
thick shape. They will appear very much like large "thermos bottles" sitting next
One or more pipe furnaces
One of more large fractionators
A small cooling/condensing pond
Possibly an electric substation.
Figure 2-30. Vacuum Pipe Still.
First, the crude oil is heated in a pipe furnace
Here the crude oil is routed into an enclosed structure which
contains a radiator like arrangement of piping and a burner.
Oil is heated to a
high temperature by the burner as it flows through the piping labyrinth. However,
the hydrocarbons are prevented from vaporizing by the considerable pressure at
which they are contained.