Fully electrified heat pump assisted distillation process by flash vapour circulation

Chengtian Cui, Xiaodong Zhang, Meng Qi, Hao Lyu, Jinsheng Sun*, Anton A. Kiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In industrial processes there are instances where heat pump assisted distillation falls short of full electrification, necessitating an auxiliary reboiler. To solve this limiting issue, this short communication proposes a new method using flash vapour circulation (FVC) to recuperate the waste heat within the heat pump cycle. This method incorporates a flash drum after the throttling valve to generate flash vapour. Rather than employing an auxiliary cooler for condensing the mixed vapour-liquid in a conventional heat pump system, the produced flash vapour is circulated back to the compressor inlet to enhance the recycled heat in the reboiler. With proper energy match, this approach has the potential to realise full electrification of distillation. The distillation of methanol/water serves as an illustrative case study, showcasing the viability of FVC which allows additional 22% energy savings, as compared to mechanical vapour recompression. Yet, this strategy may not be advantageous if the waste heat is already maximally utilised in preheating both the compressor and column inlet feed. The separation of tetrahydrofuran/water is used as case study to demonstrate the limitations of this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Volume206
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Heat pump assisted distillation
  • Process electrification
  • Renewable heat
  • Waste heat upgrade

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