Process Int - Software


What can DIST-int do?

  • Minimize energy consumption for a fixed column configuration through pressure optimization and heat integration.
  • Determine the best configuration of energy integrated simple and complex column arrangements.
  • Simultaneously optimize column pressures for heat integrated distillation configurations.
  • Select heat integration matches.
  • Identify heat pumping opportunities.
  • Simultaneously optimize selection of column type, sequence, operating pressure of the columns, heat integration matches and heat pumping opportunities.
  • For sub-ambient distillation systems, simultaneous design of the refrigeration system.
  • Screen refrigeration system designs for sub-ambient distillation systems, including multiple levels, cascade systems and mixed refrigerants.

DIST-int designs integrated distillation systems.


Distillation operations consume a significant proportion of the energy of most processing sites. DIST-int enables the most appropriate distillation configuration and its heat integration arrangement to be designed for minimum energy consumption or minimum total cost. This requires the selection of the type of column to be used, the sequence of the columns, the operating pressure of the columns and heat integration arrangement.

Distillation columns can be simple (using one feed, producing two products with a single reboiler and single condenser) or complex (prefractionators, side-strippers, side-rectifiers, dividing wall or partitioned, dephlegmators).

DIST-int can select the most appropriate type of column to be used, the sequence of the columns, the operating pressure and the heat integration matches simultaneously. Heat pumping can also be included. For low temperature (sub-ambient) distillation, the additional problem is that the refrigeration system needs also to be designed simultaneously, along with everything else.

The refrigeration system might involve multiple stages, cascade systems or use mixed refrigerants.

Distillation System Heat Integration

dist pfdMinimizing the energy costs of distillation systems requires the heat recovery opportunities to be maximized. DIST-int can optimize the pressure and heat integration matches for a fixed distillation configuration to minimize energy costs. Column pressures can be constrained to operate within bounds to allow retrofit studies and to allow practical constraints in new designs to be included.

Distillation System Configuration

DIST-int can be used to screen sequences of simple and complex columns. The software can be used to identify the most appropriate arrangement of simple and complex columns. Column pressures are optimized simultaneously with configuration. Optimization can be based on energy consumption or utility costs or total cost.

Simultaneous Design of the Distillation Configuration and Heat Integration

dist dwDIST-int can be used to select the type of column to be used, the sequence of the columns, the operating pressure and the heat integration matches simultaneously. This unique facility within DIST-int allows novel distillation system designs to be identified. The energy integration implications of any given design can be considered within DIST-int. DIST-int can export data to HEAT-int. The unique facilities within DIST-int allow novel distillation system designs to be identified and the interactions between the design of the distillation system and the utility system servicing it to be examined, together with the sensitivity of the design to changes in feedstock, etc.

Heat Pumping of Distillation

Rather than recover heat to reduce energy costs, heat pumping schemes can be applied. Various heat pumping schemes are possible. HEAT-int has a unique facility that allows heat pumping around a given column or between columns. Such schemes are identified whilst considering all other issues simultaneously.

Low-temperature (Sub-ambient) Distillation

dist sa hisLow-temperature (sub-ambient distillation) requires a refrigeration system to be also specified. This cannot be done in isolation from the rest of the design if the best results are to be obtained, but must be designed simultaneously with all other features of the system.

The objective of such designs is usually to minimize the power consumption. In addition to all of the degrees of freedom that need to be optimized for above ambient designs, the refrigeration system offers many other options, including multiple levels, cascade systems and mixed refrigerants.

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