The Energy Of Energy Usage

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Historically, the distillation of alcohol (spirits, wine and vodka) has been a high-end consumer in terms of energy usage. According to U.S. Dept. of Energy, there are more than 40,000 distillation columns in North America and they consume 40% of the total energy used to operate plants in chemical industries [1]. As a result, researchers have focused their efforts towards developing distillation columns that are more compact, utilize compressors to recirculate latent heat and possess more effective separation technology in order to reduce energy consumption.
The principal topics of research that pose effective solutions to these present-day energy challenges are: the use of divided-wall columns (DWC), self-heat recuperation
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[3] shows that by using dividing-wall columns, the uninstalled equipment cost for the total column configuration is reduced by about 10%. The capital costs savings result from a reduction equipment quantity. There are also indirect benefits; a dividing-wall column requires less plot area, shorter piping, electrical runs and smaller storm runoff system [3]. When compared to a conventional two-column system, capital costs savings of up to 30% is typical [2]. In summary, fully thermally coupled columns/configurations/ arrangements require less energy than conventional counterparts, because of providing operating conditions that avoid or minimize entropy of mixing formation, which in case of conventional configurations occurs, more or less pronounced, at the feed stage, the ends of the columns, and due to remixing of internal flows [8].

Self-Heat Recuperation Technology
In order to separate ethanol contents from water, enormous amounts of heat must be applied to the azeotropic mixture during distillation. According to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, an ethanol-water mixture must be distilled at 78.3 degrees Celsius to reach the 80 proof content level of standard vodka [9]. As a result, the heat needed to distill vodka creates the need to explore sources of recycled energy. As investigated by Matsuda et al., self-heat recuperation technology utilizes not only latent heat but also the sensible
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