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Optimal operation of Petlyuk distillation: steady-state behavior
Ivar J. Halvorsen and Sigurd Skogestad

Journal of Process Control
9 (5), Pages 407-424 (October 1999)


The "Petlyuk" or "dividing-wall" or "fully thermally coupled" distillation column is an interesting alternative to the conventional cascaded binary columns for separation of multi-component mixtures. However, the industrial use has been limited, and difficulties in operation have been reported as one reason. With three product compositions controlled, the system has two degrees of freedom left for on-line optimization. We show that the steady-state optimal solution surface is quite narrow, and depends strongly on disturbances and design parameters. Thus it seems difficult to achieve the potential energy savings compared to conventional approaches without a good control strategy. We discuss candidate variables which may be used as feedback variables in order to keep the column operation close to optimal in a "self-optimizing" control scheme

Comment. . The paper was reprinted in 2001 in the Norwegian Research Bulletin MIC: I. J. Halvorsen, S. Skogestad, Optimal operation of Petlyuk distillation: Steady-state behavior. Modeling, Identification and Control (MIC), 22 (3) (2001)