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In the quest for ionic liquid entrainers for the recovery of R-32 and R-125 by extractive distillation under rate-based considerations

Abstract: In line with the reduction targets imposed on the production of high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the recovery of refrigeration fluids at the end-of-life of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and the selective separation of the most valuable refrigerants is sought for recycling purposes and climate change mitigation. To that end, extractive distillation (ED) processes using ionic liquids (ILs) as entrainers is considered a promising technology to solve the difficulty of separating the typical close boiling or azeotropic behaviour of fluorinated hydrocarbon mixtures. This work provides insight into the design of ED processes evaluating the influence of both mass transfer phenomena (rate-based models) and IL properties (absorption capacity, solubility selectivity and viscosity) on the critical process variables (e.g., solvent-to-feed ratio, reboiler temperature, packing height) to separate the components of the binary mixture R-410A (50 wt% difluoromethane (R-32) + 50 wt% pentafluoroethane (R-125)) with minimum energy consumption and purity greater than 99.5 wt% of the two products. Results point to the solubility selectivity as the most influential IL property, and to [C2C1im][SCN], among all ILs assessed, as a promising entrainer because of its high R-32/R-125 solubility selectivity and low viscosity, which enables to operate the ED process at lower temperatures. The recovered R-32 can be used as a greener alternative to the high-GWP R-410A, as well as a main component in the formulation of new low-GWP mixtures.

 Autoría: Viar M., Asensio-Delgado S., Pardo F., Zarca G., Urtiaga A.,

 Fuente: Separation and Purification Technology, 2023, 324, 124610

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/11/2023

 Nº de páginas: 10

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2023.124610

 ISSN: 1383-5866,1873-3794

 Proyecto español: PID2019-105827RB-I00

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2023.124610