(375f) Economic Analysis of Alternative Continuous Crystallization Technologies for Mass Production | AIChE

(375f) Economic Analysis of Alternative Continuous Crystallization Technologies for Mass Production


Ward, J. D. - Presenter, National Taiwan University
Wu, K. L., National Taiwan University
Crystallization is an ancient unit operation that remains vital for the chemical process industry [1–3]. Traditional single-effect evaporation consumes a great deal of energy and various alternatives to this method have been proposed. In this work the total cost of producing a fixed quantity of different solid chemicals by crystallization from water is determined for several different technologies: evaporative crystallization (EC), membrane distillation (MD) with porous hydrophobic membranes [4–6], reverse osmosis membrane assisted crystallization [7–8], and eutectic freeze crystallization (EFC) [9–12]. Among the solute properties, the solubility has the greatest effect on the cost of the process since it determines the amount of water that must be removed per unit product produced. If waste heat is available at a unit price lower than that of low-pressure steam produced using coal or natural gas, then the assumed price of waste heat also has a significant effect on the economics. The results indicate that EFC has the lowest cost unless energy (waste heat) is available at a very low cost (less than 1–2 US$/GJ). If EFC is not feasible or not preferred, then a conventional single effect or multiple effect evaporative crystallization or reverse osmosis membrane crystallization process has the lowest cost among the remaining options, depending primarily on the solubility of the solvent.


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