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Separation Process Engineering: Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, Third Edition by Phillip C. Wankat

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11.4 Energy Conservation in Distillation

Distillation columns are often the major user of energy in a plant. Mix et al. (1978) estimated that approximately 3% of the total U.S. energy consumption is used by distillation! Thus, energy conservation in distillation systems is extremely important, regardless of the current energy price. Although the cost of energy oscillates, the long-term trend has been up and will probably continue to be up for many years. This passage, originally written in 1986, is obviously also true for the twenty-first century. Several energy-conservation schemes have already been discussed in detail. Most important among these are optimization of the reflux ratio and choice of the correct operating pressure.

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