MARILENA NICOLAE COMPLEX SYSTEMS OF DISTILLATION COLUMNS USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE PROPYLENE OXIDE Complex systems of distillation columns were intensively studied within last decades and continue to show interest for researchers and for industrial application. The first designed complex distillation column with heat integration was the Petlyuk column and the development of complex systems of columns continued up to dividing wall columns (DWC) which are increasingly being used in industry. DWC are usually used to separate three products, components or fractions, from a multicomponent mixture. This study attempts to find the best fitting of complex systems of columns in the process of propylene oxide (PO) obtaining using the method of propylene chlorination and presents a proposed variant of separation which can lead to a reduced energy consumption. The fabrication of PO through this method lead to a multicomponent mixture which is separated in two main products: propylene oxide (PO) and heavier components containing as valuable compound 1,2 dichloropropane (DCP). Both products, PO and DCP, have important uses in the chemical industry. The study of complex schemes of columns used for PO separation was assessed by simulation using a simplified method based on Fenske – Underwood - Gilliland correlation (F.U.G.) <1>. The systems studied in this work include the following configurations of columns: column with prefractionator, column with partially coupled prefractionator, the Petlyuk column, the dividing wall column, column with side striper, column with side rectifier, the direct and the indirect sequence.
Keywords: complex systems of distillation columns, separation, propylene oxide