Effect of boiling point rankings and feed locations on the applicability of reactive distillation to quaternary systems

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Reactive distillation (RD) offers major benefits such as costs reduction and energy saving, but the understanding and design of RD processes usually demand complex tasks that include extensive studies and rigorous simulations. To reduce this complexity and the time required, this study applies a novel mapping method to quickly provide insights into the RD applicability to reversible quaternary systems (A + B ⇌ C + D). Generic cases are used to produce applicability graphs (i.e. plots of reflux ratio vs number of theoretical stages) and multiple RD column configurations. The systems are assumed to have ideal properties and fixed key parameters (i.e. relative volatilities and chemical equilibrium constants). This study focuses on quaternary reactions considering different boiling point rankings and feed locations. Using the mapping method, quick results are achievable regarding the preliminary economic ranking of RD processes, and the optimal feed locations with reduced energy requirement (i.e. lower reflux ratio). Ultimately, this study provides a much better understanding of the effect of boiling point orders and feed locations on the RD applicability and conceptual design, being a valuable tool in early techno-economic evaluations.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Engineering Research & Design
Early online date16 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019