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.
Rosen, Stephen L.
Bertrand, Gary L.
Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
M.S. in Chemical Engineering
University of Missouri--Rolla
xii, 84 pages
© 2000 Mark Andrew Wilper, All rights reserved.
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Wilper, Mark Andrew, "Applications of heat integration and inverse distillation in refrigeration systems" (2000). Masters Theses. 1973.
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