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Energy-Efficient Design of Downstream Separation To Produce n‑Butanol by Several Heat-Integrated Technologies

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journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2018, 00:00 by Hui Xia, Qing Ye, Shenyao Feng, Jingxing Chen, Tong Liu
Biobutanol is a widely used biofuel, and it is traditionally produced mainly via the fermentation process of acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE). However, separation of the ABE fermentation broth featuring a low concentration of n-butanol in the presence of butyric acid and acetic acid consumes considerable energy. For the sake of reducing the capital cost as well as the energy consumption greatly, a novel DWC-SHR process was proposed to achieve further energy saving through the combination of dividing wall column technology and the self-heat recuperation technology. Moreover, the heat exchanger network (HEN) can be applied to design the HEN of the DWC-SHR process. The DWC-SHR process can be compared with the base process as well as the heat-integrated processes (HI-A process and HI-B process) from the point of the energetic, economic, as well as environmental impact. The results illustrated that the DWC-SHR process can achieve 71.13%, 57.87%, and 47.79% savings of energy consumption compared to that of the base process, HI-A process and the HI-B process, respectively. In addition, the DWC-SHR process exhibits great advantages in economic performance as well as the environmental performance. The thermodynamics efficiency of the DWC-SHR process is significantly improved compared to that in the base process as well as the heat-integrated process (HI-A process and HI-B process).