Vapor recompression for efficient distillation. 1. A new synthesis perspective on standard configurations

Authors

  • N. Felbab,

    Corresponding author
    • Centre of Material and Process Synthesis, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
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  • B. Patel,

    1. Centre of Material and Process Synthesis, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
    2. Dept. of Civil and Chemical Engineering, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
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  • M. M. El-Halwagi,

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
    2. Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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  • D. Hildebrandt,

    1. Centre of Material and Process Synthesis, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
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  • D. Glasser

    1. Centre of Material and Process Synthesis, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to N. Felbab at Nik.Felbab@gmail.com.

Abstract

The vapor recompression (VRC) distillation scheme is examined and compared with conventional distillation in an analysis spanning fundamental thermodynamics, high-level calculations, and rigorous simulation. The purpose of this article is three-fold: first, it provides greater insight into VRC distillation. Second, it provides a process synthesis tool to rapidly assess whether VRC is likely to be more thermodynamically favorable than conventional distillation for a given split. Third, it may be used to determine if VRC can be implemented practically. The tool presented in the article is consolidated in the form of a single chart, for which only the top and bottom product temperatures are required to determine the outcome. Using this chart, first-pass estimates can be obtained with no calculations whatsoever. The tool, which appears to be the first of its kind in this context, is validated with examples and rigorous simulation. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2977–2992, 2013

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