(520a) Scaling up Dividing Wall Distillation Columns

Authors: 
Roach, B., The University of Texas at Austin
Eldridge, R. B., The University of Texas at Austin
Scaling up Dividing Wall Distillation Columns

Bailee Roach, Bruce Eldridge

James R. Fair Process Science and Technology Center

The University of Texas at Austin

Dividing wall distillation columns (DWC) exhibit reduced energy consumption and lower capital cost when compared to traditional multi-column separation schemes. Several open literature articles address the modeling of a DWCbut very limited information is available containing both model development and experimental validation. In addition, investigation of the hydraulic impact of the non-circular geometry and heat transfer across the dividing wall is lacking.

The presentation will report results from a comprehensive analysis of DWC operation performed at the Separations Research Program (SRP) facility. Air/water hydraulic tests were performed to determine the impact of the dividing wall geometry on the hold-up, pressure drop, and wetted area. The results from the hydraulic study were incorporated into a rigorous process simulation which was used to match pilot DWC data from a 6 inch diameter column. The rigorous simulation captured both heat loss to the atmosphere and heat transfer across the wall. The simulation was used for the development of an industrial column design and to provide guidance for industrial applications.

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