Distillation, also referred to as rectification, is the industrially most widely used and most researched thermal separation process. A multi-stage distillation is the only thermal separation process which is capable of separating a mixture into its completely pure components. Hence, the skyline of refinery and large basic chemical industry complexes are dominated by huge distillation columns.
In an absorption process, gases are selectively separated by means of suitable washing liquids or solvents whereas the gases can either be physically dissolved in the liquid (physisorption) or chemically bound by reaction with the liquid (chemisorption).
As far as possible, the column design is carried out with the aid of process simulators and appropriate equipment design tools. An essential input are the thermo-physical properties of the involved substances in order to describe the real mixture behavior.
Besides the new design of a separation column, there is often the task to optimize or troubleshoot equipment that is already in operation.
The experts from Siemens EC have long-time experience in the design, rating, and optimization of separation columns as well as in the selection of suitable washing liquids for absorption or entrainers for extractive and azeotropic distillation.