# Calculation of Theoretical Plates HETP 1.

The total number of theoretical plates, n, in a distillation apparatus is equal to the number of column theoretical plates plus the theoretical plate of the pot. Since the pot has just one theoretical plate the theoretical plates of the column is just n-1. The theoretical plates can be calculated by measuring simultaneously the composition of the vapor at the distillation head and liquid in the pot. The composition is expressed as the mole fraction X. For example, the mole fraction of a propanol in butanol, x sub p, equals the moles of propanol divided by the total moles of propanol and butanol. Likewise the mole fraction of butanol is the moles of butanol divided by moles of propanol and butanol. HETP 1.jpg n = column theoretical plates + pot theoretical plate n-1 = column theoretical plates X = mole fraction

XP = nP n p + nB XB = nB n p + nB

nP = moles of propanol, nB = moles of butanol HETP 2. The number of theoretical plates of a distillation apparatus can be determined from this equation where x sub p v and x sub b v are the mole fractions of propanol and butanol in the vapor at the distillation head. Likewise x sub p l and x sub b l are mole fractions of propanol and butanol in the pot. For this experiment, x sub p v and x sub b v are obtained from the first fraction that you collect and x sub p l and x sub b l are obtained from the original mixture. Alpha is the measure of the relative volatility of the two components. Now we need to calculate the mole fractions to calculate the theoretical plates. HETP 2.jpg

log n= X P ,v X − log B ,v X P ,l X B ,l log α

XP,v and XB,v = mole fractions in the head vapor XP,l and XB,l = mole fractions in the pot XP,v and XB,v from first fraction XP,l and XB,l from original mixture α is the volatility ratio = 1.49

Packing

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The mole fractions can be calculated from GC data that is gas chromatography.
Gas chromatograph
Injector Column Detector
. The plot is referred to as a chromatogram. Different instruments.HETP 3. they are a calibration constant for converting the area ratio to a mole ratio. Different compounds exit the column at different times depending on their chemical structures and their affinity for the column packing. The times are known as retention times and can be used to identify a compound. The area of the peak is proportional to the amount of compound. Rearrangement yields equation 5. gas is run over a stationary phase instead of a liquid. Your sample will be run through a heated column containing a packing material. If two compounds are injected into the column two peaks are observed. and the detector response is plotted with time and a peak is observed. If the injection contains butanol as well. Also the sensitivity of the detector is usually different for each compound. Multiply both sides by AP/AB for the sample and this yields eq 4. In gas chromatography. then the ratio of a propanol peak area to the moles of propanol for a sample equals the ratio of a propanol peak area to the moles of propanol for any other sample including a standard. So the GC must be calibrated for each compound. the ratio of a peak area to the number of moles is constant. let Ap be the propanol peak area. This is done by comparing the peaks from a sample with the peaks from a standard that contains know amounts of the compounds. Since these two terms are constant. So the sample mole ratio of propanol to butanol is equal to the area ratio of propanol to butanol obtained from the sample chromatogram times the area ratio of butanol to propanol from the standard chromatogram times the mole ratio of propanol to butanol in the standard. the same is true for a butanol peak. temperatures. A detector is used to determine how much material exits the column. that is. instrument settings. Since the area of a peak is proportional to the amount of compound.
. This equation allows us to calculate a mole ratio from the chromatogram area ratios. more compound yields a larger peak area. Lets divide the second equation by the first equation and this yields equation 3. HETP 4. etc can change the area. For example. You will obtain relative peak areas from the chromatogram.

Substitute the expression for the butanol mole fraction into the ratio of mole fractions. Note that the sum of the propanol and butanol mole fractions equals one. Rearrange the equation to solve for the butanol mole fraction. Factor Xp to get eq 7
nP X P n p + nB nP = = =R nB XB nB n p + nB
X P + X B =1 X B =1 − X P (eq 1) (eq 2)
R = XP / XB = R − RX P = X P R = X P + RX P R = X P (1 + R )
XP 1− X P
(eq 3 ) (eq 4) (eq 5) (eq 6) (eq 7)
R(1 − X P ) = X P
. elimination of the common terms in the denominators yields the mole fraction. Collect Xp terms on right side to get equation 6. to simplify the derivation. The mole fractions needed to calculate the number of theoretical plates can be derived from the mole ratio. which we set to R.Xp. substitute the mole expression for each.AP = propanol peak area (AP/nP)sample = (AP/nP)std (eq 1) AB = butanol area peak (AB/nB)sample = (AB/nB)std (eq 2) (AB/nB)sample/(AP/nP)sample = (AB/nB)std/(AP/nP)std (eq 3) multiply by (AP/AB)sample (nP/nB)sample = (AP/AB)sample*(AB/nB)std/(AP/nP)std (eq 4) (nP/nB)sample = (AP/AB)sample*(AB/AP)std*(nP/nB)std (eq 5) (nP/nB)sample = (AP/AB)sample*C (eq 6) (mole ratio) = (area ratio)*(calibration constant)
HETP5. Multiply both sides of equation 3 by 1 . Multiply one and Xp by R to get equation 5.JPG. Here we divide the propanol mole fraction by the butanol mole fraction.

.JPG. So from the GC data you calculate R. then divide both sides of eq 7 by 1 plus R to yield an expression for the propanol mole fraction as a function of the mole ratio.v X P .we can also express the butanol mole fraction as a function of the mole ratio.HETP6. R is used to calculate mole fractions XB and XP.v X B . R = X P (1 + R ) (eq 7)
XP = R 1+ R R 1+ R
− log X B . The vapor mole fractions come from the GC measurements but the liquid mole fractions come from the starting mixture.l
log α
.l
X B =1 −
log n=
X P . and these mole fractions are used to calculate the number of theoretical plates. Since XB equals 1 minus XP.