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Improved Design and Optimization for Separating Azeotropes with Heavy Component as Distillate through Energy-Saving Extractive Distillation by Varying Pressure

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journal contribution
posted on 21.07.2017, 00:00 authored by Xinqiang You, Jinglian Gu, Changjun Peng, Weifeng Shen, Honglai Liu
With the aim of saving energy and capital cost, in this work we propose a novel extractive distillation strategy by varying pressure for the separation of pressure-sensitive azeotropic mixtures. Proceeding from the thermodynamic insight of ternary systems in extractive distillations, the considerable energy-saving potential by changing operating pressures is observed. The separation of acetone–methanol with a minimum boiling azeotrope using a heavy entrainer chlorobenzene is chosen as an illustrative case, and it belongs to a scarce classification 1.0-1a-m2 in which the component with higher boiling point is withdrawn as a product. Through the analysis of a ternary residue curve map and isovolatility curves, it could be observed that the minimal amounts of entrainer feed and extractive feasible regions in the ternary diagram are sensitive to pressures. A 3 atm pressure is preliminarily selected for the comparison with atmospheric pressure. The optimal pressure is found through sensitivity analysis. The results showed that 33.9% and 30.1% reductions in energy consumption and total annual cost, respectively, are achieved compared with that operated at atmospheric pressure. The discussion is then carried out by analyzing residue curve maps, relative volatility profile, and extractive efficiency indicators. Finally, heat integration was considered to further reduce costs. The methodology proposed in this work may provide some new theoretical guidance for the design and optimization of azeotrope separations through extractive distillation.