This counterintuitive behavior and the unconventional action required in the aqueous level controller has been observed in real plant operation.
Figure 8.30b shows responses to changes in feed composition from 16 to 20 mol% water and from 16 to 12 mol% water, with the corresponding changes in ethanol. Both the ethanol and the water products are kept close to their desired purity levels. More water in the feed requires more organic reflux and produces less recycle.
This study provides an excellent example of the utility of distillation simulation in both designing and controlling a very complex nonideal system.
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