Design of heterogeneous azeotropic distillation sequences

P. V. Vanage, M. Jobson, R. Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    The methodology of Tao et al. (2003) for screening process alternatives for ternary heterogeneous azeotropic distillation systems is extended. Distillation flowsheets, including stand-alone and integrated decanters, are considered. A shortcut distillation design model, based on Underwood's method, allows the minimum reflux ratio to be calculated for single- and two-feed columns, with and without integrated decanters. To apply Underwood's method, the controlling pinch composition must first be calculated, by generating liquid composition profiles for the rectifying and stripping sections at arbitrary reflux and reboil ratios, respectively. The new shortcut model for distillation is applied to ternary heterogeneous azeotropic systems including acrylonitrile-acetonitrile-water and butyl acetate-acetic acid-water. The model is effective for predicting minimum reflux requirements, with errors of generally <15% compared to those predicted by the boundary value method. Given the minimum reflux ratio, the total energy requirements of flowsheet alternatives can be estimated. The benefits of integrating distillation and decanting operations, in terms of energy requirements, component recoveries or recycle flow rates, are quantified. The new methodology allows rapid generation and evaluation of flowsheets for separating heterogeneous azeotropic mixtures, which can also be coupled with design of the reaction process. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (Glasgow, Scotland 7/10-14/2005).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, GLASGOW2005, incorporating the 5th European Congress of Chemical Engineering
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Distillation (azeotropic
    • design of heterogeneous azeotropic distn. sequences)
    • Azeotropes (design of heterogeneous azeotropic distn. sequences)
    • heterogeneous azeotropic distn sequence design


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