The Importance Of Distillation

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Distillation is one of the common and most important separation processes used in the chemical, petrochemical and refining industries and it is responsible for about 5-8% of the total operating costs of a plant (De Figueiredo et al., 2011). Accordingly, optimal design of distillation units from the viewpoint of energy consumption is of great interest and can strongly influence the energy consumption of a process plant. The difference between the volatility of the key components of a mixture is the fundamental property that describes the operation of distillation columns (Doherty and Malone, 2001). However, mixtures forming azeotropes cannot be separated with the desired purity using conventional distillation process due to the existence of distillation boundaries in the residue curve map of these systems (De Figueiredo…show more content…
The lighter component of the azeotropic feed is withdrawn at the top of the extractive distillation column and the mixture of the solvent and the heavier component of the azeotropic feed is sent to the recovery column. In the recovery column, the almost pure solvent leaves the bottom of the column ant it is recycled to the extractive distillation column while the other component leaves the recovery column as the distillate product. The extractive distillation process has been studied from various points of views including solvent selection and the synthesis of the separation sequence. The main variables affecting the economics of the extractive distillation process are: type of the solvent and its flow rate, molar reflux ratio of the columns, number of stages, azeotropic feed and solvent trays. This leads to a large number of degrees of freedom to cope with using the shortcut methods (Kossack et al., 2008) and needs to be dealt with using systematic procedures. Literature review on the methods of ED design

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