(341e) Process Intensification in Multicomponent Distillation
Though the term âprocess intensificationâ is relatively new, a handful of intensified distillation arrangements have been reported in the literature. Well known examples include Wrightâs  dividing wall column (DWC), Agrawalâs  DWC arrangements for side-rectifier and side-stripper, Brugmaâs  configuration, Kaibelâs  column, etc. Nevertheless, a systematic approach to draw such arrangements is missing in the literature. Here, we discuss the following aspects of process intensification for a general zeotropic nâcomponent distillation: (1) Improving operability of thermally coupled columns by means of eliminating vapor streams in thermal couplings with only liquid transfers or column section rearrangement; (2) double and multi-effect arrangements for thermally coupled configurations; (3) simultaneous heat and mass integration to reduce column sections and overall heat duty; (4) systematic consolidation of column shells to draw novel operable DWC configurations with shells ranging between 1 to n â 2. We demonstrate these aspects through examples and illustrate how they lead to compact, easy-to-operate, energy-efficient and cost-effective multicomponent distillation system designs.
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