Full-Blown Dynamic Distillation Column Simulator

Based on the initiative of Louisiana Tech University Department of Chemical Engineering and its cooperation, PiControl Solutions has developed and it is pleased to announce novel, modern and powerful chemical engineering and process control software simulation tool, called PiDistill.  PiDistill is full-blown real-time dynamic simulator of a typical distillation column.  In addition to a distillation column simulation the PiDistill also consists the simulation of a dedicated cooling and heating heat-exchangers, column reboiler and a storage tank, as shown on Figure 1.  This simulator is excellent for chemical engineering universities and colleges which teach and hold laboratories in the area of mass and heat transfer, distillation and separation principles, unit design and process control.  It is excellent for designing different and practical distillation column tests, home projects or laboratory examples.  Also, it is excellent for online teaching and for building a virtual laboratory by following the goal of new industry revolution, Industry 4.0.

Figure 1: PiDistill process screen

PiDistill allows to each student or to professor to play (increase and/or decrease) with all inlet and outlet distillation flows, such as: feed, reflux, recycle and distillate flows and to observe how these flows affect distillation temperature profile and top and bottom product purity. Also, they can how to run the distillation column in a steady state and non-steady state manner. Students can observe the trends of all measured variables, such as: flows, pressures, levels and temperatures and save them in the Excel for further analysis and study. With the saved data they can build theoretical (heat and mass balance) or even empirical models and compare their results with the simulator. Moreover, the simulation consists several PID control loops.

After mastering the basics of a distillation process and its performance the simulator gives
you an ability to understand the need and power of a process control.
The students or professors can fearlessly play with the distillation column, change PID control loop tuning parameters in real-time without no possibility of process or plant problems or a shutdown. PiDistill converts your computer into a plant and DCS/PLC dynamic simulator, where you can change setpoints, PID control loop tuning parameters, open and close the control valves and observe how these changes will affect complete distillation unit performance, all in real-time mode. This practical distillation column simulator with which they can mimic all typical behavior of a distillation process gives them unmeasured and valuable knowledge, understanding and experience which they can directly use in any separation industry.

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