Distillation for R-410A reclamation from a waste refrigerant is an energy-intensive process. Thus, various heat pump configurations were proposed to enhance the energy efficiency of existing conventional distillation columns for separating R-410A and R-22. One new heat pump configuration combining a vapor compression (VC) heat pump with cold water and hot water cycles was suggested for easy operation and control. Both advantages and disadvantages of each heat pump configuration were also evaluated. The results showed that the mechanical vapor recompression heat pump with top vapor superheating saved up to 29.5%, 100.0%, and 10.5% of the energy required in the condenser duty, reboiler duty, and operating cost, respectively, compared to a classical heat pump system, and 85.2%, 100.0%, and 60.8%, respectively, compared to the existing conventional column. In addition, this work demonstrated that the operating pressure of a VC heat pump could be lower than that of the existing distillation column, allowing for an increase in capacity of up to 20%. In addition, replacing the throttle valve with a hydraulic turbine showed isentropic expansion can decrease the operating cost by up to 20.9% as compared to the new heat pump configuration without a hydraulic turbine. Furthermore, the reduction in carbon dioxide emission was investigated to assess the environmental impact of all proposed sequences.
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