Modular representation synthesis framework for homogeneous azeotropic separation
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The synthesis and design of separation systems for nonideal azeotropic mixtures traditionally utilize graphical methods, focusing on separation feasibility within a sequential design framework. Once promising systems have been identified, sequencing and design are optimized in a second stage, limited by the separation feasibility region defined in the first stage. A generalized modular representation proposed for the synthesis of nonideal separations can simultaneously explore entrainer and sequencing alternatives. A multipurpose mass/heat exchange module, introduced in earlier work, is employed to investigate separation units and structures as mass- and heat- exchange possibilities. Process units, separation sequences, and entrainers that aid the separation are examined within one separation problem rather than in a sequential manner. Promising separation schemes can be further considered for detailed design optimization.