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

Authors: 
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.

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