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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2013, Volume 7, Issue 4 doi: 10.1007/s11705-013-1349-y

Exergy analysis of multi-stage crude distillation units

1. School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China; 2. National Engineering Research Center of Distillation Technology, Tianjin 300072, China; 3. Yunnan Jiehua Clean Energy Development Co., Ltd., Kunming 650224, China

Available online: 2013-12-05

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This paper aims to investigate the multi-stage effect on crude distillation units (CDUs) in thermodynamics. In this regard, we proposed three-, four-, five-, and six-stage CDU processes with all variables constrained to be almost the same except for the number of stages. We also analyzed the energy and exergy to assess the energy consumed by each process. Because additional distillation units would share the processing load and thus prevent products with low boiling points from overheating, the heat demand of the CDUs decreases with increasing stages and thus reduces the heat supply. Exergy loss is considered as a key parameter to assess these processes. When the exergy losses in heat exchangers are disregarded, the three- and four-stage CDUs have lower exergy losses than the five- and six-stage CDUs. When the overall exergy losses are considered, the optimum number of stages of CDUs depends on the exergy efficiency of heat integration.

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