(377a) A Method for Multicomponent Distillation Sequences with Fewer Columns

Shenvi, A. A., Purdue University
Shah, V. H., Purdue University
Zeller, J., Purdue University
Agrawal, R., Purdue University

The synthesis of optimal distillation sequences for a given application is a challenging problem in process design. Several researchers have provided solutions for the problem of synthesizing the complete search space of distillation configurations that use exactly (N-1) columns to separate a zeotropic feed mixture into N product streams. However, the search space of all possible distillation configurations that use less than (N-1) columns for an N?component separation has not been completely explored. In this work, we develop a systematic procedure to quickly synthesize the complete search space of distillation configurations using less than (N-1) distillation columns to separate any zeotropic N?component feed into N product streams. We demonstrate the utility of the method to achieve energy savings by applying it to a four-component case study.