High energy costs are associated with the recovery of ethanol from fermentation broths. This paper discusses a computer simulation of the Dartmouth Process, which aims to reduce these costs by the use of IHOSR distillation, extensive heat integration, and extractive distillation using a salt.
To resolve the uncertainty in modeling alcohol-water-salt vapor-liquid equilibrium, a new and more accurate activity coefficient model was used. An Aspen™ model was used to generate capital and energy costs for a range of ethanol concentrations in the feed. Simulation results show that the Dartmouth Process offers substantial economic advantages over benzene azeotropic distillation, particularly at low feed concentrations.