In this paper, the enthalpy-concentration method was applied in order to model a steady-state continuous methanol–water mixture distillation column. This work includes three steps; first, to develop a code in MATLAB v.7.6 to apply to the mathematical model of the column. The second step is to simulate the column using HYSIS v.3.2. While the third is the calculation of the optimized reflux ratio to minimize the operating cost. For a distillation tower such as the methanol–water splitter in this study, there are relatively few degrees of freedom that can be manipulated in order to minimize operating costs; the reflux ratio can influence the steady-state operating point and therefore the daily costs. In this paper, we have discussed the trade-offs between reflux ratios and operating costs. A correlation is derived to define the optimum value of the reflux ratio as an exponential function of a certain economic parameter of energy prices and depreciation costs. We demonstrate that, at low energy prices or high equipment depreciation costs, the optimum reflux factor is high.
Research on Chemical Intermediates – Springer Journals
Published: May 13, 2012
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