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Keywords:

  • multicomponent distillation;
  • distillation sequences;
  • distillation configurations;
  • simultaneous heat and mass integration;
  • Kaibel column

In this work, well known Brugma's configurations are shown to be only a subset of a much larger proposed set of simultaneously heat and mass integrated configurations. Furthermore, a systematic classification that allows the exploration of the entire set of simultaneously heat and mass integrated distillation configurations is described. The classification can be used as an underlying principle of any synthesis algorithm and helps identify several novel simultaneously heat and mass integrated distillation configurations for separating a multicomponent feed. A hitherto unknown class of simultaneously heat and mass integrated configurations characterized by strategic side-stream withdrawals is also described. These new configurations provide an array of novel energy efficient options for the nonazeotropic distillation processes. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 272–282, 2013