Investigation on ternary system tetrahydrofuran/ethanol/water with three azeotropes separation via the combination of reactive and extractive distillation

Yang Su, Ao Yang, Saimeng Jin, Weifeng Shen, Peizhe Cui, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, a systematic method for conceptual design and multi-objective optimization of an energy-efficient and sustainable reactive/extractive distillation (RED) process is proposed to separate a ternary wastewater mixture with multi-azeotrope tetrahydrofuran/ethanol/water. Conceptual design of the proposed scheme is carried out by the analysis of thermodynamic feasibility (e.g., residue curve maps and iso-volatility line). In the proposed process, the component of water in the ternary system is firstly removed by adding the reactant in a reactive distillation column and the remaining binary azeotropic mixture is then separated via ED. During the ED process, the best entrainer dimethyl sulfoxide could be determined via the comparison of iso- and uni-volatility. An improved multi-objective genetic algorithm is employed for optimizing the established process with some key decision variables (e.g., feed locations and distillate rate). The results illustrated that the economic and environmental benefits of the proposed RED process will be greatly improved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123145
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020


  • Cleaner production
  • CO emissions
  • Energy-saving
  • Extractive distillation
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Reactive distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this