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EP426

Chemical Process Design and Optimization


Chapter 3b - Separation train synthesis.
Development of a separation process
Part 2

Sequence Notation
[AB/C]; [A/B]

A/B
AB/C

Sequence Notation

Identifying the Best Sequences


HEURISTICS of favourable separation sequence

1. Remove thermally unstable, corrosive, or chemically reactive


components early in the sequence.
2. Remove final products one-by-one as distillates (the direct sequence).
3. Sequence separation points to remove, early in the sequence, those
components of greatest molar percentage in the feed.
4. Sequence separation points in the order of decreasing relative volatility
so that the most difficult splits are made in the absence of other
components. (low volatility at last)
5. Sequence separation points to leave last those separations that give
the highest purity products.
6. Sequence separation points that favor near equimolar amounts of
distillate and bottoms in each column. The reboiler duty is not
excessive.

Exercise 1: Determine number of possible


sequence.

Number of possible sequence: 14


14
(5 components)

Exercise 2: Use heuristics to determine a good


sequence of ordinary distillation units.

Solution:
Sequence based on heuristic 4

Quantitative method for evaluating


distillation sequences
Minimum vapour flow
How: Use Underwood method to estimate minimum
vapor and liquid flows
Why: To screen for different alternatives based on
cost estimation.
Vapor flow method is a viable estimate of cost
because:
1. Major component contributing to the required column
diameter & trays capital cost
2. Reflects utility costs (e.g., utilities use in reboiler +
condenser)

Quantitative method for evaluating


distillation sequences
Minimum vapour flow
How: Use Underwood method to estimate minimum
vapor and liquid flows

Example 1

Step 1: Material Balance

Step 2: Determine Alpha

Step 3: Define Sequence

Step 4: Determine Vmin for each sequence


= 6.4
= 8.9

= 5.5
= 10.7

Answer

Homework 1

Q. Calculate the total vapor flow produced in the sequence assuming actual to min.
reflux ratio of 1.2:1

Challenge
Repeat Homework 1
Q1. Evaluate the total internal vapour flow for direct sequence
configuration.
Q2. Evaluate the total internal vapour flow for any distillation
sequencing of your own choosing.
Q3. Compare those three configurations. Which configurations is
the most favourable and why? Describe the disadvantage(s) of
this method for distillation sequencing?

Homework 2

Each component is to be separated with a specification of 99 %. Assume


that the non key component will not distribute but end up either at the top
or bottom depending on their relative volatility compared to the key
component. Determine the best sequence(s).
Determine the best sequence(s).

Estimating Annualized Cost, CA


For each separation, CA is estimated assuming 99 mol % recovery of
light key in distillate and 99 mol % recovery of heavy key in bottoms.
The following steps are followed:
1. Set distillate and bottoms column pressures
2. Estimate number of stages and reflux ratio (e.g., using HYSYS.Plant
Shortcut Column).
3. Select tray spacing (typically 2 ft.) and calculate column height, H.
4. Compute tower diameter, D (using Fair correlation for flooding
velocity, or HYSYS Tray Sizing Utility).
5. Estimate installed cost of towerSize and cost ancillary equipment
(condenser, reboiler, reflux drum). Sum total capital investment,
CTCI.
6. Compute annual cost of heating and cooling utilities (COS).
7. Compute CA assuming ROI (typically r = 0.2). CA = COS + r CTCI

Selecting sequence based on


Annualized Cost, CA
Example: Assuming 99 mol % recovery of product A,B,C,F
Species
Propane
1-Butene
n-Butane
trans-2-Butene
cis-2-Butene
n-Pentane

A
B
C
D
E
F

1st Branch of Sequences


Sequence

Cost, $/yr

1-5-16-28

900,200

1-5-17-29

872,400

1-6-18

1,127,400

1-7-19-30

878,000

1-7-20
Species
Propane
1-Butene
n-Butane
trans-2-Butene
cis-2-Butene
n-Pentane

1,095,600
A
B
C
D
E
F

2nd Branch of Sequences


Sequence

Cost, $/yr

2-(8,9-21)

888,200

2-(8,10-22)

860,400

Species
Propane
1-Butene
n-Butane
trans-2-Butene
cis-2-Butene
n-Pentane

A
B
C
D
E
F

3rd Branch of Sequences


Sequence

Cost, $/yr

3-11-23-31

878,200

3-11-24

1,095,700

3-12-(25,26)

867,400

3-13-27

1,080,100

Species
Propane
1-Butene
n-Butane
trans-2-Butene
cis-2-Butene
n-Pentane

A
B
C
D
E
F

4th Branch of Sequences


Sequence
4-14-15

Species
Propane
1-Butene
n-Butane
trans-2-Butene
cis-2-Butene
n-Pentane

Cost, $/yr
1,115,200

A
B
C
D
E
F

Answer
Sequence

Cost, $/yr

Sequence

1-5-16-28

900,200

2-(8,9-21)

888,200

1-5-17-29

872,400

2-(8,10-22)

860,400

1-6-18

1,127,400

Sequence

Cost, $/yr

1-7-19-30

878,000

3-11-23-31

878,200

1-7-20

1,095,600

Sequence

Cost, $/yr

4-14-15

1,115,200

3-11-24

Cost, $/yr

1,095,700

3-12-(25,26)

867,400

3-13-27

1,080,100

Homework 3

Appendix

Example: Determine Rmin

Appendix

Calculate using Underwood Eqn.


(Assume sat. liq and therefore q = 1)
Step 1: Determine the root of Underwood equation value

Calculate using Underwood Eqn.

Appendix

(Assume sat. liq and therefore q = 1)


Step 2: Using the calculated root of the Underwood equation,
and determine Rmin

End
Next: Midterm
DETSAR HALL (12:45 PM to 1:45PM) 2 Questions (Chapter 1 to 3)
Next Lesson: Chapter 4 - Optimisation