March 2002

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Consider divided-wall technology for butadiene extraction

Using this process can improve energy consumption and costs

Traditionally, purification efforts use extractive distillation with a solvent to separate high-purity butadiene from crude C4 streams. The process is energy intensive. Newer processing methods can reduce energy requirements and also lower investment costs. Divided-wall technology enables operating two distillation steps in one device. Thus, fewer heat exchangers and less peripheral equipment is needed to perform the same operation. Classic process. The butadiene extraction process is based on extractive distillation technology using N-methyl-pyrrolidone as the solvent. Evaporated crude C4 (Fig. 1) first passes to the absorber section, which consists of the mainwasher, rectifi

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