• reactive distillation design;
  • feasibility analysis;
  • feasible regions


The design and optimization of reactive distillation columns using feasibility analysis is addressed. Based on the feasible regions identified in previous work, we present two examples to illustrate the benefits of having feasibility information when locating design alternatives for systems with ideal vapor–liquid equilibrium. The examples include a reactive column for the metathesis of 2-pentene and a multifeed reactive column with a constant volatility mixture. In the first example, we use the feasible regions to initialize an optimization-based design strategy. For the second example, we characterize the feasible regions to determine feasible placement strategies for side streams and reactive stages. The design insights gained from feasibility analysis are highlighted for each example. © 2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2006