Energy-efficient recovery of tetrahydrofuran and ethyl acetate by triple-column extractive distillation: entrainer design and process optimization

Ao Yang, Yang Su, Tao Shi, Jingzheng Ren, Weifeng Shen, Teng Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An energy-efficient triple-column extractive distillation process is developed for recovering tetrahydrofuran and ethyl acetate from industrial effluent. The process development follows a rigorous hierarchical design procedure that involves entrainer design, thermodynamic analysis, process design and optimization, and heat integration. The computer-aided molecular design method is firstly used to find promising entrainer candidates and the best one is determined via rigorous thermodynamic analysis. Subsequently, the direct and indirect triple-column extractive distillation processes are proposed in the conceptual design step. These two extractive distillation processes are then optimized by employing an improved genetic algorithm. Finally, heat integration is performed to further reduce the process energy consumption. The results indicate that the indirect extractive distillation process with heat integration shows the highest performance in terms of the process economics. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2021


  • conceptual design
  • extractive distillation
  • heat integration
  • process optimization
  • solvent selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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