Systematic synthesis of intensified distillation systems

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The choice of the optimal configuration for the separation of multicomponent mixtures represents one of the prevailing problems in the process industry. Simple distillation column sequences have been the favorite choice for long time, until the increase of the energy price makes these configurations no more competitive from an economic point of view. The research of alternative arrangements is an evergreen topic in the Chemical Engineering community. In this chapter a systematic methodology to generate different classes of distillation configurations is presented. The generation methodology is able to consider thermally coupled, thermodynamically equivalent structures and intensified alternatives with a less number of columns compared to the corresponding simple column sequences. The methodology described has the advantage to produce a complete set of alternatives, avoiding the trial and error procedure with random configurations picked up from the literature. Finally, the methodology described has the benefit to keep a clear connection between the simple column sequences and all the alternatives predicted. This aspect helps the designer in the definition of columns’ configuration parameters.




Errico, M., & Rong, B. G. (2016). Systematic synthesis of intensified distillation systems. In Process Intensification in Chemical Engineering: Design Optimization and Control (pp. 35–64). Springer International Publishing.

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