Effects of Energy Intensification of Pressure-Swing Distillation on Energy Consumption and Controllability



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ACS Omega


The aim of process integration is the efficient use of energy and natural resources. However, process integration can result in a more precise process operation, that is, it influences controllability. Pressure-swing distillation processes are designed for the separation of azeotropic mixtures, but their inherent heat integration option can be utilized to significantly reduce their energy consumption. One maximum-boiling and three minimum-boiling azeotropes are considered to study and compare the nonintegrated and integrated alternatives with the tool of mathematical modeling where ASPEN Plus and MATLAB software are used. The results show that the heat-integrated alternatives result in 32–45% energy savings that are proportional to the emission reduction and the consumption of natural resources. As far as the operability is concerned, the heat-integrated alternatives show worse controllability features than the nonintegrated base case. This can be due to the loss of one controllability degree of freedom. This recommends using more sophisticated control structures for the sake of safe operation if process integration is applied.