Using factorial design to increase the efficiency on a small-scale ethanol distillation
Keywords:factorial design, small-scale, process optimization, ethanol distillation
This research assessed experimentally the performance of a small-scale ethanol/water distillation column. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica® 7.0, considering a significance level of 90% (p < 0.10), to evaluate if the independent variables (feed stream ethanol concentration and flow rate) influence on the production of ethanol in accordance with the Brazilian legislation, i.e., a Hydrous Ethanol Fuel with ethanol content between 92.5 and 93.8 wt%. The results demonstrated that the influence of the feed stream ethanol concentration and flow rate were significant for both the top product concentration and the recovery ratio. The recovery ratio of ethanol was above 80%, demonstrating that the performance of the small-scale column is satisfactory.
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