(374e) A Method for Minimization of Total Exergy Loss over the Complete Search Space of Regular Distillation Configurations
Here, we present a global optimization algorithm based on Underwood's equations that minimizes the total exergy loss of any regular-column distillation configuration (i.e. distillation sequence separating n components using n-1 columns) which separates any ideal or near-ideal multicomponent mixture. This objective function tends to favor configurations that use high temperature condensers and low temperature reboilers, relative to other configurations with similar vapor duties. For the first time, a global optimization based rank-list of the complete search space of regular-column configurations based on minimizing total exergy loss is synthesized. The identification of configurations that simultaneously have low vapor duty and high thermodynamic efficiency provides industrial practitioners with strong candidates for heat pump assisted multicomponent distillation.