(82b) Novel Optimization of a Dividing Wall Distillation Column

Roach, B. - Presenter, The University of Texas at Austin
Barsotti, D. - Presenter, from Red Cedar Technologies
Eldridge, R. B., The University of Texas at Austin
Andrews, C., University of Texas at Austin
Novel Optimization of a Dividing Wall Distillation Column


Bailee Roach, Bruce Eldridge

James R. Fair Process Science and Technology Center

University of Texas at Austin

Originally patented in 1949, the dividing wall distillation column has gained renewed attention due to the potential for reduced energy consumption, an estimated thirty to fifty percent over traditional multiple column arrangements, and lower capital investment. Unfortunately, this new interest has not been accompanied by the development of rigorous design approaches that utilize the latest in computational methods. In the current study, optimization and process simulation software was seamlessly integrated to yield minimum energy consuming dividing wall column (DWC) designs over a range of operating conditions and product purity targets. The modeling effort was supported by data collected from the Separations Research Program (SRP) experimental column. Multiple chemical systems were investigated with the study yielding a powerful methodology for future DWC retrofits or new column construction.