Technically Speaking - Initial Column Specifications

Mark Gabriel

December 15, 2006

When setting up the specifications for a distillation column with a partial condenser and reboiler, the one item that most people in operations can tell you is the temperature in both the condenser and reboiler. This, however, is not necessarily the best information to use as the initial guesses in setting up a simulated distillation column. The two simplest specifications for ProMax columns to solve are the Reflux Ratio and the Boilup Ratio. These values guarantee that there will be vapor and liquid traffic within the column and will usually come up with a solved solution. Keep these values low initially, usually 1 or less. It is far easier to adjust a solved column to meet actual conditions than it is for the program to know that one more degree of temperature in the reboiler could be the difference between no boilup (0% vaporization) and complete boilup (100% vaporization).

Authored by Mark Gabriel - BR&E Technical Support