(307e) Effect of Non-Ideal Behavior on the Energy Minimum Design of Highly Integrated Reaction and Separation Processes

Authors: 
Egger, T., Hamburg University of Technology
Fieg, G., Hamburg University of Technology
Process intensification has become an important concept to meet the challenges of an increasingly global competition in the chemical industry. A promising possibility of process intensification is the integration of several primarily separated process operations into one single shell. Examples of this are the dividing wall column or the reactive distillation, which show significant savings in investment and operational costs. Further savings can be achieved by an additional integration step of these two apparatus into the reactive dividing wall column (RDWC). Though, due to the high grade of integration the process behavior of all three of these integrated processes is strongly nonlinear. Hence, it is not trivial to predict their advantageousness for a given task during conceptual design.

However, in the industrial praxis it is essential to know, how the process performances and for which tasks the RDWC is more advantageous than less integrated process alternatives. Therefore, the aim of this research is to derive systematically conceptual design heuristics and generate a deep understanding of the process behavior. So the optimal process integration level can be determined easily and the conceptual design phase can be accelerated. The investigations carried out focus on the influence of non-ideal system properties, such as azeotropes and enthalpies. Therefore, various chemical systems with systematically changed properties are investigated. To determine the best process integration level, the energy optimal designs of the RWDC and less integrated process alternatives are determined and then compared. The application of this method allows the development of heuristics regarding the optimal process integration. The basic requirement for these investigations is a flexible simulation model which can describe the RDWC as well as less integrated process alternatives.

The presentation will not only show the overall concept of the research, but also focuses on the developed simulation model with its reliable convergence strategy. Additionally, the influence of non-ideal system properties on the process behavior will be presented and the energy minimum design of the RDWC compared to less integrated process alternatives will be demonstrated.