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I Is a binary distillation column limited by Carnot?

  1. Jun 21, 2016 #1
    Hi Physics Forums,

    I'm wondering if a distillation column is limited by the carnot efficiency and, if so, how this limitation can be used to determine the maximum efficiency of a distillation column with particular hot and cold side temperatures.

    A distillation column has a hot and cold side and rejects heat. Additionally, the energy of demixing could be classified as 'work.' In this way it resembles a heat engine.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    All heat engines are restricted to carnot efficiency.
    The theorem is used the same way for all heat engines.
    However, almost no heat engines have efficiencies close to the carnot efficiency.
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