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CPE 633 PROCESS ENGINEERING II

HEAT INTEGRATION OF
DISTILLATION COLUMNS
By Siti Shawalliah Idris, AMIChemE

Heat Integration Characteristics of Distillation

The dominant heating and cooling duties associated with a distillation


column are the reboiler and condenser
The sensible heat duties usually will be small in comparison with the latent
heat changes in reboilers and condensers
Both the reboiling and condensing process normally take place over a
range of temperature

Practical considerations usually dictate that the heat to the reboiler must
be supplied at temperature above the dew point of the vapour leaving
the reboiler and that heat removed in the condenser must be removed at
a temperature lower than the bubble point of the liquid
In preliminary design, both reboiling and condensing can be assumed to
take place at constant temperature

Appropriate Placement of Distillation Column


Process T-H diagram NOT including distillation column

Total hot: QHmin + Qreb; Total cold: QCmin + Qcond

Appropriate Placement of Distillation Column


(Contd)
Distillation above the pinch

Total hot: QHmin + Qreb QHmin + Qreb Qcond;


Total cold: QCmin + Qcond QCmin

Appropriate Placement of Distillation Column


(Contd)
Distillation below the pinch

Total hot: QHmin + Qreb QHmin;


Total cold: QCmin + Qcond Qcmin+ Qcond - Qreb

Appropriate Placement of Distillation Column (Contd)

The appropriate placement for separators is not across the pinch


If both the reboiler and condenser are integrated with the process, this can
make the column difficult to start up and control
Above the pinch, the reboiler can be serviced directly from the hot utility
with the condenser integrated above the pinch. In this case, the overall
utility consumption will be the same as that shown in previous figure

Below the pinch, the condenser can be serviced directly by the cold utility
with the reboiler integrated below the pinch. In this case, the overall utility
consumption will be the same as that shown in previous figure

The Use of Grand Composite Curve for Integration

Given that the dominant heating and cooling duties associated


with the distillation column are the reboiler and condenser duties
A convenient representation of the column is therefor a simple
box representing the reboiler and condenser loads
This box can be matched with the grand composition representing
the remainder of the process
The grand composite curve would inside all heating and cooling
duties for the process, including those associated with separator
feed and product heating and cooling but excluding reboiler and
condenser loads

The Use of Grand Composite Curve for Integration


Example:
The

distillation column reboiler and


condenser duties are shown
separately and are matched
against it
The reboiler and condenser duties
are on opposite sides of the heat
recovery pinch and the column
does not fit

The Use of GCC for Integration (Contd)

Although the reboiler and


condenser duties are both above
the pinch, the heat duties prevent
a fit
Part of the duties can be
accommodated, and if heat
integrated that would be a
saving, but less than the full
reboiler and condenser duties

The Use of GCC for Integration (Contd)


A column appropriately placed
above the pinch

The reboiler duty can be supplied


by utility
The condenser duty must be
integrated with the rest of the
process

The Use of GCC for Integration (Contd)

A column appropriately placed


below the pinch
The reboiler duty can be supplied
by integration with the process
Part of the condenser duty must be
integrated, while the remainder of
the condenser duty can be rejected
to cold utility

The Use of GCC for Integration (Contd)

If a distillation column is inappropriately placed across the pinch, it may be


possible to change its pressure to achieve appropriate placement
If an inappropriately placed distillation column is shifted above the heat recovery
pinch by changing its pressure, the condensing stream (a hot stream) is shifted from
below to above the pinch. The reboiling stream (a cold stream) stays above the
pinch.
If an inappropriately placed distillation column is shifted below the heat recovery
pinch by changing its pressure, The reboiling stream (a cold stream) is shifted from
above to below the pinch. The condensing stream (a hot stream) stays below the
pinch.
The appropriate placement is a particular case of shifting streams across the
pinch, which in turn is a particular case of the plus minus principle

The Use of GCC for Integration (Contd)

Note: The relative volatility will also be affected,


generally decreasing with increasing pressure
Note: Changes in pressure also affect heating and
cooling duties for column feed and product
Both the height and the width of the box will change as
the pressure changes

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration
Now
Establish heat loads and temperature levels for such
modifications as:
Pressure
Reflux

ratios
Feed preheating/cooling
Inter reboiling/condensing

And identify the best combined options.

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)
Column Across Pinch

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

Change Pressure

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)
Change Distillation Reflux Ratio

RR Q
RR Q

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration

Trade-off for stand alone column

Optimum RR/RRmin Around 1.1

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

If the column is inappropriate


placed with the process, then
increase in reflux ratio cause a
corresponding overall increase in
energy, and the trade-off rules
apply
If, however, the column is
appropriately placed, then the
reflux ratio can often be increased
without changing the overall
energy

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

Increasing heat flow through column


decreases requirement for distillation
stages but increases vapor rate
In designs initialized by traditional
rules of thumb, this would have effect
of decreasing capital cost of column
Consequently, the optimum reflux ratio
for an appropriately integrated
distillation column will be problem
specific and is likely to be quite
different from that of a stand-alone
column operated from utilities

(Be prepared for unusual reflux ratios.)

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)
Control

This Fit

BUT

This is easier
to control

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)
Control Conclusion
In principle, it is enough to integrate the reboiler OR the
condenser.

Double Effect
The classical application of
double-effect distillation is to
choose the relative pressures
of the columns such that the heat
from the condenser
of the high-pressure column can
be used to provide the
reboiler heat to the low-pressure
column.
P

Stand Alone Column Optimisation Double Effect

In isolation, we have saved energy

But What If?

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

Do not link the two column thermally

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)
Vapour Compression Distillation Column

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

Evolving Design of Simple Distillation


Columns to Improve Heat Integration(Contd)

For heat pumping to be economic on a stand-alone basis, it must operate


across a small temperature difference, which for distillation means close
boiling mixtures.
The use of the scheme is only going to make sense if the column is
constrained to operate either on a stand-alone basis or at a pressure that
would mean it would be across the pinch.
Otherwise, heat integration with the process might be a much better
option.
Vapor recompression schemes for distillation therefore only make sense for
the distillation of close boiling mixtures in constrained situations.

Conclusion:

Do not optimise your column before you have understand


the process context.

Summary

Columns must be considered and optimised in the


process context
Appropriate placement of column is a fundamental
principle
Boxes used to represent the column against the grand
composite curve gives a simple pictur of opportunities.

Working Session
Heat Integration of Distillation

Data for the Process Grand Composite Curve


T* (oC)

H (MW)

300

16

280

22

180

130

80

10

40

13

30

15

Working Sheet for part (i)


GCC (Tmin = 10oC)
400
350

T* (oC)

300
250
200

150
100
50
0
0

10

15
Enthalpy (MW)

20

25

30

Working Sheet for Part (ii)


GCC (Tmin = 10oC)
400
350

T* (oC)

300
250
200

150
100
50
0
0

10

15
Enthalpy (MW)

20

25

30