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A hierarchical optimization approach for the conceptual design of extraction-
distillation processes is presented. The approach includes the solvent selection and flowsheet
synthesis using pinch-based short-cut apparatus models which take into account of the
material balances and piece-wise linearized thermody- namics (MLT models) and is limited to ternary
systems. MLT models enable fast and robust identification of feasible flowsheet-solvent
combinations and op- timization thereof. Performant solvents are found by assessing process stream
tables. Promising solvent-flowsheet combinations are evaluated using flowsheet simulation with
detailed models, whereby the MLT results are in good agree- ment with the results of the detailed
models. The approach is presented along
an example of the separation of acetic acid and water.
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