Modeling of a Distillation Column Using Bond Graphs


Modeling and simulating distillation columns are not new enterprises. The models used for distillation columns vary from the simple to the quite complex, depending on the nature of assumptions. All of the models described in the literature either contain algebraic loops or simplifying assumptions that render the model ill-equipped for dynamic simulations.

The structure and the equations that represent a trayed distillation column are explored using bond graphs. Bond graphs model the power flow in a system, an inherently instructive way to view such a complex system. The power of bond graphs is evident by providing a clear, graphical representation of a distillation column that systematically organizes the equations and possible approximations.

The model of a distillation column is explored in general and then using a specific model used by Steven Gallun. Results reveal several ways of eliminating the algebraic loops and producing a dynamic model. The bond graph model can be expanded by introducing other elements including chemical reactions and thermal interaction with other columns.

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