Figure 3.2 gives the reactive distillation column and the terminology used. The column is fed with two pure reactant fresh feedstreams: F0A and F0B. The column has three zones. There are NS trays and a partial reboiler in the stripping section. Above this section, there is a reactive zone with NRX reactive trays. The third section is the rectifying section with NR trays and a total condenser.
Light reactant A is fed to the bottom tray of the reactive zone, and heavy reactant B is introduced at the top of the reactive section. Light product C leaves in the distillate, and heavy product D is removed in the bottoms. Because the light reactant goes up through the column after being fed on the bottom tray of the reactive zone, there will be little component A in the bottoms. Likewise, the heavy reactant goes down through the column after being fed on the top tray of the reactive zone, and there will be little component B in the distillate. Thus, the key components are light product C and light reactant A for the rectifying section. For the stripping section, the key components are heavy product D and heavy reactant B.
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