Cyclic distillation technology - A mini-review

Costin Sorin Bîldea, Cătălin Pătruţ, Sten Bay Jørgensen, Jens Abildskov, Anton A. Kiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveyAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Process intensification in distillation systems has received much attention during past decades, with the aim of increasing both energy and separation efficiency. Various techniques, such as internal heat-integrated distillation, membrane distillation, rotating packed bed, dividing-wall columns and reactive distillation were studied and reported in the literature. All these techniques employ the conventional continuous counter-current contact of vapor and liquid phases. Cyclic distillation technology is based on an alternative operating mode using separate phase movement which leads to key practical advantages in both chemical and biochemical processes. This article provides a mini-review of cyclic distillation technology. The topics covered include the working principle, design and control methods, main benefits and limitations as well as current industrial applications. Cyclic distillation can be rather easily implemented in existing columns by simply changing the internals and the operating mode, thus bringing new life to old distillation towers by significantly increasing the column throughput, reducing the energy requirements and offering better separation performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of chemical technology and biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Applications
  • Control
  • Cyclic distillation
  • Periodic operation
  • Process design


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