Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, I.R. IRAN
Dividing Wall Column(DWC) offers the large potential for operating and capital cost saving in compared with conventional distillation sequence. In the studied DWC in this study, the aid of Vmin diagrams, it is shown that without a suitable value for vapor split fraction bellow the dividing wall in different operating conditions, the energy requirement increases from optimal value and it will lead to the suboptimal operation. Accordingly, a control structure based on the self-optimizing concept is designed using vapor split fraction as the control degree of freedom (active vapor split). To find the best self-optimizing Controlled Variables (CV) the exact local method is used. It is shown that the value of loss with the aid of active vapor split is lower than 0.7 percent of nominal value with using the conventional single measurement self-optimizing CV, which is a reasonably small value, and using a more complex combination of measurement as a self-optimizing CV provides a little enhancement in reducing the loss. So, including vapor split fraction in the self-optimizing control structure of the DWC can save energy and in the meantime avoid the complexity of combination of measurement. Moreover, the dynamic simulation studies show that the proposed control structure with the simple decentralized control loops can conveniently stabilize the plant and reject the effects of disturbances.