Practical Distillation Technology

Location London, UK

Date 16th September 2024

Duration 3 days

Topic Process Operations

CPD Hours 23.25

Price IChemE member £2,050 + VAT / Non-member £2,400 + VAT

Face-to-face | In-company


Learn about distillation technology with this comprehensive course from world-renowned expert, Henry Kister. 

This course has a particular emphasis on the problems that can occur and how to solve them. It will help you to develop a working knowledge of key techniques that can promote trouble-free operation and reduce distillation cost. Henry will discuss numerous operating experiences throughout the course to illustrate the key principles and to distinguish good from bad practices. 

You will receive copies of two textbooks written by Henry Kister, Distillation Operation and Distillation Troubleshooting, together with extensive course materials, providing invaluable reference sources after the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you will understand:

  • how to troubleshoot a distillation column and determine what may cause poor performance
  • how to evaluate existing column performance and develop new designs
  • how to avoid common causes of capacity bottlenecks, tray damage, downcomer sealing problems, packed tower distributor malfunctions and many other operating difficulties
  • how to de-bottleneck a column to improve capacity and/or separation
  • how to control and operate a distillation column
  • how to validate your tower simulation.

Who will benefit

Engineering and supervisory personnel who are involved in:

  • operating
  • troubleshooting
  • de-bottlenecking
  • designing
  • starting up distillation processes.

Course outline

  • Avoiding fractionation pitfalls
  • Troubleshooting distillation simulations
  • Tray hydraulics and limits
  • Troubleshooting tray towers
  • Troubleshooting packed towers
  • De-bottlenecking
  • Distillation control
  • Avoiding tower malfunctions
  • Case studies

View a detailed course outline

What delegates say

"Fantastic course with a very knowledgeable and passionate presenter, covering a wide range of useful topics. Good content, with course schedule tailored to people's interests with good use of examples to enhance understanding."
J Walton, Mitsubishi Chemical, UK

"Henry was excellent. His enthusiasm and the course content were brilliant. What a pleasure!"
E Anderson, Seqens Custom Specialties, UK

"Henry was excellent and used case-based learning effectively to demonstrate fundamental principles. The content was extremely informative and well presented. Henry's tireless energy in presenting the core material, and his willingness to answer any questions on distillation no matter how complex made this course exceptional."
S Hayton, Worley, UK

"Henry is an excellent presenter, teacher, and speaker; a terrific course."
B Floan, Crown Iron Works, USA

"Wonderful. Top class teacher."
L Ferrari, Total, Belgium

Upcoming courses


  • No scheduled dates.


  • 16–18 September 2024, London, UK

Not available then?

Register your interest in alternative dates.


  • IChemE member – £2,050 + VAT
  • Non-member – £2,400 + VAT

How to register

Select your preferred course from the list of upcoming start dates and go to the 'Book course' button at the bottom of the page.

More than one person to train?

Multi-place discounts

Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place. Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.

  • 2 places – 10% discount
  • 3 places –15% discount
  • 4 or more places – 20% discount

In-company training

This course can be delivered to corporate teams, either on-site or online. This could be a cost-effective option if you have several people requiring the training. Content can be tailored to your specific requirements. Request a quotation.

Attendance certificate & CPD hours

An e-certificate will be issued at the end of the course to confirm attendance and CPD hours logged. Please note that you must attend the whole course to receive the certificate. 

Contact Phone +44 (0)1788 534496

Contact Email

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Associated course

Troubleshooting Distillation Controls

Learn how to get the best performance from a distillation column control system with world-renowned expert, Henry Kister.

Henry Kister, FIChemE


Henry Kister, FIChemE


Henry, 'the tower doctor', is a recognised specialist with a vast background in all phases of distillation, including operation, troubleshooting, controls, design, start-up, and research.

At Fluor he designs, revamps and advises on distillation processes, equipment and controls for the chemical, petrochemical and oil industries. He is also extensively involved in field consulting, start-up and troubleshooting assignments and in developing Fluor’s in-house distillation technology.

He is the author of three textbooks - Distillation Operation and Distillation Design (McGraw-Hill Inc., 1990 and 1992) and Distillation Troubleshooting (Wiley Interscience 2006) - as well as the Distillation Equipment chapter in Perry's Handbook (2008, 2018), and over 120 technical articles. He has presented IChemE's Practical Distillation Technology course over 500 times.

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