Process control of a heat pump assisted extractive DWC for bioethanol dehydration

Iulian Patraşcu, Costin-Sorin Bildea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Bioethanol dehydration can be achieved in a highly-integrated process comprising of a dividing wall column, combining extractive distillation and vapour recompression technology. Compared to conventional processes, this integrated design allows 40% energy savings and reduces the energy requirements to only 4.45 MJ/kg ethanol. This work addresses the challenges related to process dynamics and control, which are just as important as the economic improvements. A dynamic simulation model, built in Aspen Plus Dynamics, is used to identify the control difficulties. Small design modifications are introduced to stabilize the system. A control structure is proposed, where the main element is temperature control of pre-fractionator side, achieved by a combined manipulation of the side reboiler external duty and recompressed vapour by-pass. Several concentration controllers ensure product quality. Dynamic simulations show that rather large feed flow rate and composition disturbances can be effectively rejected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1570-7946


  • Bioethanol dehydration
  • heat pumps
  • integrated design
  • process control
  • process dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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