Preliminary economic ranking of reactive distillation processes using a navigation method

Rahma Muthia, Aloijsius G.J. van der Ham, Anton A. Kiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Evaluating the applicability of reactive distillation (RD) is an important stage in the conceptual design phase, when RD is considered as a promising process intensification option. However, performing that task may be both time consuming and difficult due to the complexity of the models and the detailed data required. To solve this problem, this study presents a quick approach to perform a preliminary economic ranking of RD using a navigation method. This method works like a global positioning system (GPS) in which pre-defined maps (i.e. the plot of reflux ratio vs number of stages) are used to charting the applicability of RD. Together with the pre-defined maps, the data of RD configurations (i.e. number of rectifying, reactive, stripping stages) are generated. By using the navigation method, this study checks the applicability of RD for quaternary reversible reaction systems (A + B = C + D) with different boiling point orders. The result of a preliminary economic assessment is given as RD cost ranking which can be used as a valuable pre-screening prior to performing any detailed economic analysis. Therefore a full assessment requiring a long time can be avoided. With a fair comparison in terms of relative volatilities, the system with mid-boiling reactants generates the lowest cost, whereas the system with mid-boiling products requires the most expensive RD setup.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Subtitle of host publication28th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780444642356
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Event28th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering 2018 - Graz, Austria
Duration: 10 Jun 201813 Jun 2018
Conference number: 28

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1570-7946


Conference28th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering 2018
Abbreviated titleESCAPE 2018
Internet address


  • conceptual design
  • navigation method
  • reactive distillation


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