Batch Distillation: Practical Aspects of Design and Control

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Distillation, both batch and continuous, is the most often used separation technique in the Specialty Chemical Industry. While continuous distillation has historically received the most attention, batch distillation has suffered from some public neglect. This paper will present a summary of design basis criteria and control strategies for a multi-purpose batch still. Given the multiple product and flexible processing requirements of batch manufacturing, optimization of a batch distillation process is generally very equipment and process specific, unless the equipment was designed and is used for manufacturing a single product. The concepts presented here are suitable for processing over 80% of the Crude encountered in the industry and the design features and control strategies shown have accounted for 15-30% improved yields and throughputs.