Optimization of Three-Phase Distillation Columns based on Conceptual Design Principles
1Department of Chemical Engineering,Quchan branch,Islamic Azad University,Quchan,Iran
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Quchan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Quchan, Iran
Three-phase distillation is an attractive process for the separation of heterogeneous azeotropic mixtures. In this paper, optimization of three-phase columns is carried out via sensitivity analysis based on conceptual design principles. Separation of water/ethanol/ethyl acetate azeotropic mixture, which contains four azeotropes and three distillation regions is selected as the case study. To select the best distillation region, column conceptual design is performed for various feed compositions in triple regions. Given the obtained results, it was found that the region in which ethanol is the stable component was the most suitable region for the distillation process. Further, the effect of operating pressure and reflux ratio is studied on conceptual design of the three-phase column. Then, the process is rigorously simulated relying on conceptual design results and it is optimized by sensitivity analysis procedure. Ethanol is separated from the column with 98.71% mole purity. Finally, the performance of three-phase tray and packed columns are compared in terms of required column diameter.