AIChE Journal Highlight: 3D-Printed Packings for Scale-Up of Distillation Columns | AIChE

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AIChE Journal Highlight: 3D-Printed Packings for Scale-Up of Distillation Columns

Journal Highlight

Journal Hightlight

Distillation is the most important thermal separation process in the chemical industry, often implemented in packed columns. Test rigs are usually indispensable for scale-up purposes, especially if new or challenging separation processes are considered. However, test rigs for precise measurements tend to be very expensive. The chemicals required for the studies are usually available only in small quantities and are expensive to synthesize. Other challenges include high demands on process safety and the desire to keep the plant spatial footprint as small as possible. Consequently, testing the process on a miniature scale promises significant time and cost savings when scaling up new distillation processes.

In the March AIChE Journal article, “Development of Enhanced Three-Dimensional Printed Packings for Scale-Up of Distillation Columns: A Successful Case Study,” Johannes Neukäufer (Ulm Univ.) and his coauthors describe an approach to improve the scalability, separation efficiency, and fluid dynamic properties of structured packings using 3D printing.

In the literature, a minimum column diameter of...

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