Cyclic distillation technology - A mini-review

Costin Sorin Bîldea, Cătălin Pătruţ, Sten Bay Jørgensen, Jens Abildskov, Anton A. Kiss

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Process intensification in distillation systems has received much attention during the pastdecades, with the aim of increasing both energy and separation efficiency. Varioustechniques, such as internal heat-integrated distillation, membrane distillation, rotating packedbed, dividing-wall columns and reactive distillation were studied and reported in literature. All these techniques employ the conventional continuous counter-current contact of vapor andliquid phases. Cyclic distillation technology is based on an alternative operating mode usingseparate phase movement which leads to key practical advantages in both chemical andbiochemical processes. This article provides a mini-review of cyclic distillation technology.The topics covered include the working principle, design and control methods, main benefitsand limitations as well as current industrial applications. Cyclic distillation can be rathereasily implemented in existing columns by simply changing the internals and the operatingmode, thus bringing new life in old distillation towers by significantly increasing the columnthroughput, reducing the energy requirements and offering a better separation performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cyclic distillation
  • Periodic operation
  • Process design
  • Control
  • Applications


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