Evaporation

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Evaporation is a widely used and energy-intensive unit operation in the chemical and pharmaceutical as well as in the food and beverage industry. Evaporation is used as a thermal separation technology, in which thermal energy is applied to concentrate or separate liquid solutions, suspensions and emulsions. Solutions consisting of a solvent and dissolved solid substance are vaporized to concentrate the residual solid.

Efficiency improvement measures can reduce the energy consumption considerably. There are three basic categories, in which energy savings can be realized:

• feed preheating;

• multistage evaporation;

• vapor recompression.

Combination of two of these measures is often feasible and is a common practice to minimize energy costs. All three techniques can be found in highly sophisticated evaporation plants [15]. Detailed energy efficiency studies can help to decide, whether a multistage evaporation or a vapor recompression system is the more attractive option.

However, boiling-point elevation, heat of mixing and other thermodynamic non- i dealities need to be considered while improving the energy efficiency of evaporation plants.

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