Sample Problem #7

:
A rectification column is fed 100kg mol/h of a mixture of 50 mol % benzene and 50 mol % toluene at 101.32 kPa abs pressure. The feed is liquid at the boiling point. The distillate is to contain 90 mol % benzene and the bottoms 10 mol % benzene. The reflux ratio is 4.52:1. Calculate the kg mol/h distillate, kg mol/h bottoms, and the number of theoretical trays needed using the McCabe-Thiele method. Using graphical methods, calculate the minimum reflux ratio Rm and the minimum number of theoretical plates at total reflux.

Equilibrium data at column pressure, mole fraction benzene x 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 y 0.21 0.37 0.51 0.64 0.72 x 0.60 0.70 0.80 0.90 0.95 y 0.79 0.86 0.91 0.96 0.98

Solution:
Step 1: Draw diagram
total condenser L0 L R= 0 4.52 Distilling D Column
101.32 kPa

100 kgmols/h Feed (liquid at boiling point) xF = 0.5

Distillate = ? xD = 0.9

Rm = ? in Bottoms = ? xB = 0.1

n=? nmin = ? partial reboiler

Step 2: Plot equilibrium data on McCabe-Thiele diagram
BENZENE TOLUENE SYSTEM
1 0.8 0.6
y

0.4 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

0.6

0.8

1

Step 3: Plot xD, xF, and xD on
Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6
y

0.4 0.2 0

0

xB=0.1

0.2

0.4

xF=0.5
x

0.6

0.8

xD=0.9

1

Note: xD, xF, and xB on the diagonal are a point of upper operating line, feed line, and lower operating line

Step 4: Plot rectifying operating line
Equation of upper operating line:
xD R = xn + R +1 R +1

y n+1

xD 0.9 = = 0.163 y-intercept = R + 1 4.52 + 1

Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6
y
Rectifying Operating Line

0.4
y-int. =0.163

0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

0.6

0.8

1

Step 5: Plot feed line
Since feed is saturated liquid (liquid at the boiling point), quality q = 1 and feed line is vertical Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6
y

Feed Line

0.4 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

0.6

0.8

1

Step 6: Plot stripping operating line
Note: The lower operating line will also intersect at the intersection of feed line and upper operating line. Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6
y

Stripping Operating line

0.4 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

0.6

0.8

1

Step 7: Step off stages
Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6

2 3 4 5 6 N=5.9
0 0.2 0.4
x

1

y

0.4 0.2 0

0.6

0.8

1

N = 5.9 = theoretical trays + reboiler = n + 1 ∴ n = 4.9 theoretical trays

Step 8: To get D and B, set up material balances

Total balance =D+B More volatile component balance
F

F = xDD + xBB

.5(100) = 0.9D + 0.1B Solving these two equations

Step 9: To determine Nm , step off stages using in diagonal as overall operating line
At total reflux, R =∞ and y-intercept of the upper operating line =0; ∴ overall operating line coincides with the diagonal Benzene-Toluene System
1 0.8 0.6
y

0.4 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

Nmin = 4.9
0.6 0.8 1

Step 10: To determine Rm , locate pinch point in
Benzene-Toluene System 1 0.8 0.6
y

Pinch point

y-int for Rm = 0.495
0.4 0.2 0 0 0.2 0.4
x

0.6

0.8

1

y-int of rectifying line =

xD R +1

0.90 0.495 = Rm + 1 ∴ Rm = 0.82

Answers:
D = 50 kmols/h and B = 50 kmols/h n = 4.9 theoretical trays nm = 3.9 in Rm = 0.82

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