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Comment PDF Separation Processes

Optimization of Complex Distillation Columns

By G.P. Rangaiah, Chan Tsun Yue, Johnny and K. Hidajat, National U. of Singapore |

    Distillation, based on differences in the volatility of components, is the most common unit operation for separating homogeneous mixtures. In simple distillation columns, a single feed stream is separated into two product streams. Complex columns are those that involve either two feed streams or three product streams – a side-stream in addition to the top and bottom products. These complex systems are used to separate multiple mixtures in the oil and gas, petrochemical and other chemical process industries (CPI). This article offers a study and concluding guidelines on how to minimize costs by optimizing complex distillation units.   Column optimization, in this article, refers to minimizing the sum of both annualized capital and operating costs. Several industrially important, complex distillation columns, with either multiple feeds or side-streams, are simulated using a commercial process simulator, HYSYS 3.2. Each column is optimized with respect to the total number of stages and locations for the feed and side-streams. Both shortcut and rigorous calculations are carried out and compared. In an earlier article [1], the validity of heuristics for design and the significant effect of feed stage on the total…
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