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Efficient distillation  

By Mary Page Baily |

Last month, Toyo Engineering Corp. (Toyo; Chiba, www.toyo-eng.co.jp) was awarded a contract for a distillation column in a methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) production plant of Maruzen Petrochemical Co. (Ichihara City, Chiba, Japan). The contract marks the first commercial application of an energy-saving distillation process called SuperHIDiC (heat-integrated distillation columns), which was patented in 2011. Advancing HIDiC and applying well-proven distillation and heat-transfer technologies, Toyo developed SuperHIDiC, a distillation system that enables 40–60% energy savings, in many cases, within the distillation process by providing optimal internal heat exchange. SuperHIDiC is co-licensed jointly with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and the engineering methodology was jointly developed with professor Shinji Hasebe at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Kyoto University (for more process details, see Chem. Eng., January 2012, p. 10; www.chemengonline.com/chementator/8828.html).
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