The chemical process industry has been employing various kinds of separation strategies, led by continuous and batch distillation operations. Although the distillation process is well understood, it is the complex interaction of compounds and their phase behavior, which makes it difficult to operate and optimize the distillation operation.

Equinox offers MBDS® (Multi-Batch Distillation Software) application to the Pharma, Specialty Chemicals etc. to optimize their batch distillation operations including solvent recoveries to gain better purity and recovery, lower batch times, and augment capacity quickly.

The recent increase in the production of high value specialty chemicals has generated a renewed interest in batch processing technologies; particularly batch distillation.

Challenge Solution Benefits FAQ's

Design, simulation and optimization of multicomponent batch distillation systems in chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and other industries.

Multi-Batch Distillation Software®, with an intuitive GUI, allows users to quickly design,  simulate and optimize any batch column configuration easily with their operating recipe.

  • Reduce cycle times to increase capacity, thereby saving reboiler and condenser energy requirement
  • Capital savings by avoiding over design
  • Optimize operating recipe
  • Enhancing key component recoveries

It has been used for process improvement studies of existing solvent recovery systems. Typically, companies have been keen to find a better batch distillation recipe, to enhance recovery or purity of the desired component. Often, they have also been able to reduce the Batch Time by 20 to 30%.
Operating companies, have over the years, tried and fine tuned a batch distillation recipe for a particular system. Say for example, IPA-IPAc-Water system. The recipe may say, (1) Charge 5000 liter in the still (2) Operate the column under total reflux for 2 hours (3) Start withdrawing distillate @ 150 liter/hour while maintaining the reflux at 2.5 (4) Take the first cut for about 600 liter…and so on. This recipe or sequence is not changed, even though the composition of the feed may be different from batch to batch.
We need to only characterize the impurity – as light or heavy. MBDS property databank enables users to select an appropriate chemical to represent the impurity. Another option is to use past historical data to predict, probabilistically, the effect of the impurity.
Yes, that is the main objective. The sequence of steps (Recipe of batch distillation) can be directly applied in the plant. And that is how, most operating companies have been using MBDS.
The experience dictates that the predictions are very accurate. Numerous plant case studies offer a testimony to this fact.
It is possible to study the effect of column operating pressure in any range – from vacuum to atmospheric to higher pressure. Although, Pharma industry typically operates only under atmospheric or vacuum conditions, MBDS has shown beneficial effect of operating at higher pressure.
The software is very user-friendly for anyone to build a new model after one day training.
MBDS is equally applicable for both design and operating companies. In fact, it is much more valuable tool for the operating companies because they can use it on regular basis for optimizing the operation from batch to batch and from stream to stream.
No, MBDS is focussed only on Batch and Continuous distillation.
Although the pay-back depends on the average batch size and the number of streams being processed, most of our users have reported a pay back period of less than 3 months.
Supported Configurations
Rigorous simulation (Constant Reflux)

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