Masters Theses


The goal of this project was to apply new energy-saving techniques to refrigeration cycles. Refrigeration is an important part of almost every chemical process and makes up a large portion of the utility costs for refineries and other industries that deal with low-temperature processing.

The simple vapor compression cycle is compared to several different absorption refrigeration systems with varying absorbents and degrees of heat integration. A new concept, called inverse distillation is also investigated to determine if it yields significant energy savings or added value to the process.

Addition of a subcooler to the absorption system reduces capital and utility costs greatly, as does using a close boiling refrigerant / absorbent working pair. Attempts to fully heat integrate the process and distillation column lead to a large decrease in utility costs with a disproportionately high increase in capital investment.

Inverse distillation was shown to be more efficient in providing subcooling and added a utility benefit. Unfortunately, in this case at least, the capital investment was too large to recommend its use. It is certainly a process improvement that should be studied more in depth.

Overall, it was found that absorption systems are much more expensive to build and operate than vapor compression systems. The extra utility cost can be hidden using “waste heat”, which is assumed to have no other value.


Manley, David B.

Committee Member(s)

Rosen, Stephen L.
Bertrand, Gary L.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Summer 2000


xii, 84 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (page 83).


© 2000 Mark Andrew Wilper, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 7826

Print OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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