An important stage in the design process for many chemical products is its manufacture where, for a class of chemical products that may be thermally unstable (such as, drugs, insecticides, flavours /fragrances, and so on), the purification step plays a major role. Short-path evaporation is a safe method, suitable for separation and purification of thermally unstable materials whose design and analysis can be efficiently performed through reliable model-based techniques. This paper presents a generalized model for short-path evaporation and highlights its development, implementation and solution through a computer-aided modelling framework, which allows the use of systematic simulation strategies for various types of design/analysis problems. The main features of the model and the modelling framework are highlighted through two case studies: (a) the purification of a reaction mixture containing glycerol, mono-, di- and triglycerides, and (b) the recovery of a pharmaceutical product from a six-component mixture. Validation of the short-path evaporation model is highlighted through the comparison of experimental data from an industrial pilot plant with the simulated results from the model. Also, results from model-based sensitivity analysis and design problem solution are highlighted for two case studies.
Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 2006, Vol 84, Issue A7, p. 583-594