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(2017) Separation and Purification Technology, 184, pp. 404-423.

The production zone method : A non-ideal shortcut method for the design of distillation columns

Guillaume, W., Michel, M., David, R., Mathias, B.


- Graphical shortcut methods are useful tools for the design of distillation columns. The proposed nonideal shortcut method includes a graphical representation and is based on the concept of operation leaves. This new method uses a production segment rather than a completely specified product, which eliminates any sensitivity to the composition of the minor product. Concerning phase equilibria, no restrictive assumptions are made. - The study aimed (1) to determine whether a specified separation respects the mass balance and thermodynamic feasibility and (2) to find the minimum reflux ratio for a preliminary design of the column. Designs obtained with this new method for ideal, non-ideal, and azeotropic mixtures give purity and recovery rates close to the specifications, which might be impossible to obtain with a conventional ideal shortcut like the well-known Fenske–Underwood–Gilliland shortcut method. The distillation boundaries of azeotropic mixtures are taken into account thanks to a non-ideal thermodynamic model applied to the calculation, which is not the case with a conventional ideal shortcut.
- The paper examines the following
mixtures : an ideal mixture of ethanol, n-propanol, and n-butanol ; a non-ideal mixture of acetone, water, and acetic acid ; and an azeotropic mixture of acetone, isopropanol, and water. © 2017