December 2011

Special Report: Plant Design and Engineering

Manage risks with dividing-wall column installations

A simple auxiliary configuration and an extensive modeling study can mitigate the implementation risks of DWCs

Lee, M., Yeungnam University; Shin, J., LG Chem.; Lee, S., Lee, J., LG Chem Ltd.

Dividing-wall columns (DWCs)—also called partitioned-wall columns—have been introduced as an attractive option to reduce energy consumption and capital costs in distillation processes. However, risks and worries associated with the implementation of DWCs hamper the expansion of this technology in conservative process industries. This article introduces a real implementation case in which a conventional column was upgraded to a DWC. It also discusses how the risks in DWC implementation can be mitigated by establishing contingencies and predicting the column performance via modeling. BACKGROUND Since Wright first introduced the concept of the DWC1 in 1949, over 90 commercial-sc

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