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2017 : Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research

An Improved Shortcut Design Method of Divided Wall Columns Exemplified by a Liquefied Petroleum Gas Process

Seihoub, F.-Z., Benyounes, H., Shen, W., Gerbaud, V.

- Designing a sustainable and economical distillation system is a big global challenge in the industrial chemical field. To address this issue, one of most promising solutions is the so-called dividing wall columns addressed in this work, which not only can cut energy cost but also use limited installation space.
- An improved shortcut design approach is developed in this work to provide accurate models for each section of dividing wall columns ; meanwhile Underwood’s and Gilliland’s equations are employed to determine minimum reflux ratio and total number of stages in different column sections in terms of corresponding design specifications and operating conditions. This proposed approach has been applied to separations of mixtures of hydrocarbons and alcohol with different values on the ease of separation index. To test its effectiveness, the preliminary design parameters obtained through the improved proposed shortcut method are further validated by a rigorous simulation in Aspen HYSYS. Furthermore, the results indicate that this method could provide much more accuracy of average interconnecting stream composition of the prefractionator and main column than those of other methods.
- In practice, this method has been applied to a case of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) separation with three targeted products in an industrial liquefied petroleum gas plant. The applications and efficiency of the shortcut method in this study lay a theoretical foundation for designing the separation of ideal mixtures involving dividing wall columns. (Figure Presented). © 2017 American Chemical Society.