A thermally-integrated extractive distillation process for recovering anhydrous ethanol from fermentation or synthetic feedstocks has a distillation train of four columns. Two columns are preconcentrators operated in parallel. The remaining columns are an extractive distillation dehydrating tower, and an entrainer-recovery column. The two preconcentrators and the dehydrating tower are operated at three successively increasing pressures so that the condensing vapors of the overhead product of the dehydrating tower supply the necessary heat to the reboiler of the intermediate-pressure preconcentrator. The overhead vapors of this preconcentrator are, in turn, used to supply the required heat to the reboiler of the lowest-pressure preconcentrator. The bottom product from each preconcentrator is used to preheat the dilute feed. Additional energy savings are accomplished by the appropriate heat exchange between the various feeds, overheads, and bottoms.