July 2005

Process Technology/Distillation

Consider dividing wall distillation to separate solvents

Using an established technology as part of a revamp installation provided new products at lower capital and operating costs than conventional methods

Plana Ruiz, F. J., CEPSA; Spencer, G., Koch-Glitsch UK

CEPSA Refinery at Algeciras in Southern Spain operates a solvent distillation unit downstream of a catalytic reforming plant. This unit separates paraffins and isoparaffins via distillation to obtain solvents of various compositions and boiling point ranges. In 2002, following market demand for solvent-free n-hexane, CepSA considered revamping the conventional distillation column train to produce a new solvent. The refinery applied optimized process simulation models for both conventional distillation sequences and also a sequence using a dividing wall column (DWC). The engineering contract package was prepared and implemented by a contractor working from offices local to the refinery. The

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