(139a) Novel Dividing Wall Columns for Ternary and Quaternary Distillation

Agrawal, R., Purdue University
Dividing wall columns for fully thermally coupled distillation can provide significant cost benefits. For many applications, they are known to offer savings on capital and operating costs by as much as 30% compared to conventional sequences using direct/indirect splits. However, during operation, these benefits may not necessarily be realized because the vapor flows in the different sections of the DWCs are not conveniently controlled by external means. To solve the issue of the unregulated vapor split at the bottom of a vertical partition, we propose new, alternate DWCs for any thermally coupled configuration. The vapor flow in each section of the new DWCs can be regulated by means external to the column, thereby making optimal/near-optimal operation, a practical possibility. We will illustrate our method by presenting novel DWCs for 3-component and 4-component distillations.