Volume 95 Issue 25 | pp. 18-21
Issue Date: June 19, 2017

Putting distillation out of business in the chemical industry

Purifying chemicals without heat would go a long way toward reducing global energy consumption and pollution
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: sustainability, process chemistry, green chemistry, distillation, separations, energy efficiency

Heating a liquid until it evaporates is one of the most fundamental ways to separate chemical mixtures. Just turn on the heat and wait. On the industrial scale, the problem is not so much the wait, but the heat. The chemical industry requires a lot of it to separate chemical compounds using distillations—as much as 15% of the U.S.’s energy consumption, according to an Oak . . .

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ISSN 0009-2347
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