Published: CABEQ 34 (3) (2020) 149-167
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Divided Wall Column Modeling and Simulation in an Open-Source Environment

J. P. Henrique, R. D. S. Jr., A. R. Secchi, M. A. D. S. S. Ravagnani, A. Barbara and C. Bastos Borba Costa

The divided wall column (DWC) can achieve sharp separations of three or more components in a single shell, substituting conventional sequences of two or more binary distillation columns, with lower expenses. Despite these advantages, DWC models are not available in commercial chemical process simulators. To simulate DWC, users must employ instances of conventional column model and couple them in different configurations. In this paper, a DWC model was developed in EMSO (Environment for Modeling, Simulation and Optimization). DWC model was then used for simulating the separation of an equimolar mixture of three hydrocarbons. Results show that, depending on the number of trays, DWC presented energy savings compared to two ordinary distillation columns. Better separation was obtained when the number of divided trays was close to half the number of total trays. However, the liquid and vapor flow rates split into the divided section play a key role in the separation.

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EMSO environment, divided wall column, modeling, distillation, simulation