(474c) An Easy-to-Use Rule Synthesizes Numerous New Dividing Wall Columns for Thermally Coupled Distillations

Agrawal, R., Purdue University
We present a new, easy-to-use rule, which we derive in this work within a formal framework, to synthesize dividing wall columns (DWCs) for multi-component thermally coupled distillation. As a result of the availability of this new, easy-to-use rule we derive, we observe a drastic expansion in the search-space of possible DWCs to implement any attractive thermally coupled distillation in the form of a DWC. We demonstrate the application of this easy-to-use rule, and the multitude of options it leads to, through examples. To get a measure of the magnitude of expansion in the search space of DWCs as a result of application of our rule, we present simple formulae to determine their number. Among them, we identify a subset of DWCs in which the vapor flow through every section of the DWC can be controlled during operation by means external to the column. We believe any thermally coupled distillation can be implemented and optimally operated in the form of a DWC because of the availability of numerous options borne out of this work.