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Low pressure design for reducing energy cost of extractive distillation for separating Diisopropyl ether and Isopropyl alcohol

Abstract : We show how reducing pressure can improve the design of a 1.0-1a mixture homogeneous extractive distillation process and we use extractive efficiency indicators to compare the optimality of different designs. The case study concerns the separation of the diisopropyl ether (DIPE)–isopropyl alcohol (IPA) minimum boiling azeotrope with heavy entrainer 2-methoxyethanol. We first explain that the unexpected energy cost OF decrease following an increase of the distillate outputs is due to the interrelation of the two distillate flow rates and purities and the entrainer recycling through mass balance when considering both the extractive distillation column and the entrainer regeneration column. Then, we find that for the studied case a lower pressure reduces the usage of entrainer and increases the relative volatility of DIPE–IPA for the same entrainer content in the extractive column. A 0.4 atm operating pressure is selected to enable the use of cheap cooling water in the condenser. We run an optimization of the entrainer flow rate, both columns reflux ratios, distillates and feed locations by minimizing the total energy consumption per product unit. Double digit savings in energy consumption are achieved while TAC is reduced significantly. An extractive efficiency indicator that describes the ability of the extractive section to discriminate the desired product between the top and the bottom of the extractive section of the extractive section is calculated for comparing and explaining the benefit of lowering pressure on the basis of thermodynamic insight.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 11:26:12 AM
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Xinqiang You, Ivonne Rodriguez-Donis, Vincent Gerbaud. Low pressure design for reducing energy cost of extractive distillation for separating Diisopropyl ether and Isopropyl alcohol. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Elsevier, 2016, 109, pp.540-552. ⟨10.1016/j.cherd.2016.01.026⟩. ⟨hal-01340000⟩



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