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FRI Roles in Distillation Studies< Back to Blog

Jun 04, 2013
By: T. Cai

Distillation is a dominant separation process in Chemical Process Industries (CPI), especially for mixtures that are usually processed as liquids.   It is expected that distillation will continue to dominate separations as it often has a distinct economic advantage at large throughputs.   Although significant progress has been made in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a useful design and development tool for improving distillation internals, e.g., trays and packings,   CFD must still be regarded as a tool that requires validations.  The day when molecular modeling and CFD simulation will make experimental work unnecessary is still in the far distant future.  Until people can confidently simulate multi-phase, turbulent fluid dynamics coupled with mass transfer, performance measurements of a distillation column will still be the key to distillation studies.  As a premier research consortium in the world,  FRI has played and will continue to play a very important role in understanding distillation fundamentals, advancing distillation technologies, developing new internals, accumulating consistent and reliable data, and developing new performance models.