June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.177.1 - 23.177.8
An Instructional Module on Thermally Coupled Columns for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering SeparationsIn the chemical processing industry companies are seeking methods for becoming moreeconomically competitive. This includes better design of new processes as well as retrofittingexisting processes. Process intensification is used by industry to reduce process costs. Onemethod for process intensification is combining existing process units into a single unit for costreduction due to both capital cost savings and energy savings. Although students are taught howto design single function units and how to sequence these units for a chemical manufacturingprocess, they are not taught process intensification. To help students understand these concepts,an instructional module was developed that presents thermally coupled columns and divided wallcolumns. This module is presented in the required undergraduate separations course.This paper presents the module including implementation, examples and resources used. Themodule is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of process intensification, andthen demonstrate these concepts with thermally coupled columns such as the Petlyuk columnconfiguration and divided wall columns. Comparisons are made between traditional distillationsequences with the thermally coupled configurations and the divided wall columns. The benefitsof capital cost reduction and energy savings are emphasized. In addition to discussing thebenefits of these approaches, it is emphasized that this approach will not work for all chemicalsystems. Since this module has been used twice with two different instructors, it is expected tobe transferrable to other instructors. Assessment of student understanding is being performedusing pre/post surveys on the content. Preliminary assessment data is also be presented.
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