A graphical method for designing reactive distillation columns. I. The Ponchon-Savarit method

J. W. Lee, S. Hauan, K. M. Lien, A. W. Westerberg


We show how to construct a Ponchon–Savarit diagram for a binary reactive distillation column, illustrating it specifically for isomerization and decomposition reactions. We first show the properties needed for points to lie on a straight line in composition/enthalpy space. Then, for the isomerization reaction, we show how to step off the stages using a reactive cascade difference point. In the Ponchon–Savarit diagram, the reactive cascade difference point has two elements. One is the composition coordinate formed as a linear combination of stoichiometric coefficient vectors and the top product composition. The other is the enthalpy coordinate formed by combining the top product molar enthalpy, the condenser molar duty and the molar heat of reaction. Finally, and in a similar manner, we construct the Ponchon–Savarit diagram for a decomposition reaction.