October 2004

Process Technology/Distillation

Reduce energy costs for distillation column

Steam ejectors as part of the auxiliary water circuit can optimize energy and improve reliability

Meili, A., Consultant

Many benefits are possible by using water as part of the auxiliary circuit for heat-pump system for distillation columns. 1 As a driving machine, turbocompressors are proposed. Installing an auxiliary circuit, especially for water in this circuit, provides a simple, reliable installation with well-proven equipment. Such systems can achieve high energy cost savings when compared to conventionally heated columns. Several alternative heat-pump systems are available that use vapor ejectors as the driving unit. 2 With the exception of distillation columns in which water is separated from another component, all of these systems do not use steam as the driving medium; rather the top product from

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