Design of extractive distillation process with mixed entrainer
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The separation of two systems containing minimum boiling azeotropes (acetone—methanol and tetrahydrofuran (THF)—water) was performed using extractive distillation with a heavy boiling mixed entrainer consisting of two compounds. The entrainer constituents did not form new azeotropes with each other and with the components of the original mixture. An analysis of the mixed entrainer influence on the vapor-liquid equilibrium (VLE) and relative volatility provides an understanding of the cases in which the separation by extractive distillation (ED) in the presence of the mixed entrainer revealed energy benefits over their individual constituents. New results for application of the mixed entrainer monoethanolamine (MEA)—ethylene glycol (EG) and dimethyl-sulphoxide (DMSO)—glycerol for the separation of THF—water and acetone—methanol, respectively, are presented for the first time. The individual selective agents were chosen from the efficient entrainers discussed in the literature. The calculations were performed using the platform Aspen Plus 7.3. Different extractive distillation flowsheets are provided for the zeotropic mixed agents, viz. with two or three columns. For the ED of the binary mixtures investigated, the structures of the different separation schemes, the operating parameters of the columns, and the energy consumptions are presented and compared. The application of the mixed entrainer MEA—EG fed into the ED column with pre-mixing can be recommended, providing up to 1.7 % of energy saving for acetone—methanol separation. In the case of THF—water, the mixed entrainer DMSO—glycerol provides 0.8 % of energy saving. The separate inputs of the individual constituents of the mixed entrainer led to a significant increase in the energy consumptions of the flowsheet because of the third regeneration column, hence this flowsheet cannot be recommended for use in the separation of both mixtures.
Keywordsextractive distillation mixed entrainer multiple inputs synergetic effect energy consumption
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