Controlling the temperature and amount of pressure in a distillation column is imperative; it dictates the type and quality of products a plant is able to manufacture.

A chemical plant in Geismar, LA was having trouble keeping temperature in their distillation columns resulting from flash cooling during rainstorms. The conventional insulation being used had been working as a thermal battery, essentially storing heat around the column. When it rained, it flash cooled the jacketing around the insulation and heat quickly escaped, needing time for the thermal battery to charge back up after the rain passed.

The plant looked to Mascoat for a resolution. Mascoat’s Industrial-DTI coating does not hold heat, it reflects it back in to the unit. By using DTI, the unit would not need as much time to come back to temperature after it rained as the conventional insulation did.  The plant ran a test. The coating was applied at a thickness of 140 mils to one distillation column. To show comparative real world results, 2” of previous Perlite insulation remained on the column right next to the Mascoat coated column, and for good measure, they left a third column completely un-insulated.

Mascoat was the ideal solution; it outperformed the other two columns. After the first rainstorm cleared, the Mascoat Industrial-DTI coated tower went back to optimal temperature quickly, while the other two towers took a significant amount of time to return to their original temperatures.

Soon after the test, the plant coated the other two distillation columns with DTI as well, and has been pleased with the coating’s superior thermal insulation performance and personnel protection; its protection against CUI has been an added benefit.