Multi-scale experimental study and modeling of the supercritical fractionation process

Abstract : In this work, the fractionation of water–ethanol mixtures by supercritical carbon dioxide at 333 K and 10.1 MPa was used as a model system to compare experimental extract and raffinate compositions and overhead loadings at laboratory, pilot and industrial scales to contribute toward a sizing methodology for counter-current supercritical fractionation columns. A series of three columns with an internal diameter of 19, 58 and 126 mm and with a height of 2, 4 and 8 m respectively were used for the different scales, meaning scaling factors from 9 to 44 between columns. The massic solvent-to-feed ratio was varied between 5.2 and 78.8. Experimental results at the different scales are analyzed and compared from the thermodynamic, mass transfer and column hydrodynamics points of view; and also using process simulation by equilibrium-stage models. In total, 42 successful experimental runs are taken into account, including 6 at a pilot scale unit and 2 at an industrial scale.
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Carlos Ariel Pieck, Christelle Crampon, Frédéric Charton, Elisabeth Badens. Multi-scale experimental study and modeling of the supercritical fractionation process. Journal of Supercritical Fluids, Elsevier, 2015, 105, pp.158-169. ⟨10.1016/j.supflu.2015.01.021⟩. ⟨hal-01297564⟩

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