Dividing wall column control: Common practices and key findings

by Donahue, MM; Roach, BJ; Downs, JJ; Blevins, T; Baldea, M; Eldridge, RB

Chemical Engineering and Processing, SEP 2016, Volume: 107, Pages: 106-115, DOI: 10.1016/j.cep.2016.05.013

Dividing wall columns (DWC) are an energy-efficient distillation setup that promises capital cost and energy savings. This review focuses on DWCs as a ternary separation technology for hydrocarbon mixtures relevant to the chemical and refining industries. One of the reasons industry adoption of DWCs tends to be slow is the unique control challenge resulting from DWCs’ highly integrated nature. This review summarizes available literature on DWC control approaches, from multi-loop linear structures to advanced model-based control. We conclude that, although achieving stable DWC operation is certainly possible, the development of a comprehensive framework that incorporates (multiple and often conflicting) process operating objectives, and equipment and process constraints, into a transparent control strategy remains an open research question

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