(449l) Energy Consumption Minimization in Multi-Pressure Reactive Distillation Networks
Energy consumed by a multi-pressure reactive distillation network involving a ternary azeotropic mixture is investigated in this work. In the synthesis of reactive distillation networks, a promising process intensification technology, different pressure levels are allowed to be used to overcome the azeotropes, which can enhance the separation process. For the multi-pressure reactive distillation of methanol/isobutene/MTBE azeotropic system, a previous work showed that, for the same purity target, when the reactive holdup is reduced, the total flow at the network increases, which impacts the overall energy needs of the network. A methodology for the globally optimal synthesis of a reactive distillation network with minimum energy consumption, under certain conditions, is presented. The proposed methodology employs the Infinite DimEnsionAl State-Space (IDEAS) conceptual framework, which is shown to be applicable to the problem under consideration. The IDEAS framework considers an infinite number of units with all physically possible mixing and splitting streams existing between them. The resulting mathematical formulation is an infinite-dimensional program (ILP). The method is demonstrated on a case study involving the multi pressure reactive distillation of methanol/isobutene/MTBE azeotropic mixture.