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Detail about how to design a distillation column

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2.0 Project Objectives.......................................................................................................................................... 4

2.1 Technical Objectives .................................................................................................................................. 4

2.2 Personal Objectives ................................................................................................................................... 5

3.0 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 7

3.1 Components of Distillation Columns ......................................................................................................... 8

3.1.1Reboiler [5][6] ......................................................................................................................................... 8

3.1.2 Condenser [7] ....................................................................................................................................... 9

4.0 Chemical Engineering Design ...................................................................................................................... 10

4.1 Process Description [8].............................................................................................................................. 10

4.2 Distillation Column Design [9] ................................................................................................................... 10

4.3 Key Components...................................................................................................................................... 11

4.4 Operating Conditions............................................................................................................................... 11

4.6 Packed Columns [10] ................................................................................................................................. 12

4.6.1 Types of Packing [10] .......................................................................................................................... 12

4.7 Plate Columns [11] ..................................................................................................................................... 13

4.7.1 Types of Plate [12] [13].............................................................................................................................. 13

4.8 Mass Balance ........................................................................................................................................... 16

4.8.1 Adjusted Mass Balance ..................................................................................................................... 17

4.9 Vapour Pressure Calculation ................................................................................................................... 18

4.9.1 Relative Volatility .............................................................................................................................. 19

4.10 Reflux Ratio [17]....................................................................................................................................... 19

4.11 Fenske Equation and Gilliland Correlation [19] ....................................................................................... 21

4.12 ErbarMaddox Correlation [21] ............................................................................................................... 23

4.13 Column Diameter .................................................................................................................................. 25

4.13.1 Internal Traffic [24] ........................................................................................................................... 25

4.13.2 Vapour Density ............................................................................................................................... 26

4.13.3 Liquid Density ................................................................................................................................. 27

4.13.4 Flooding .......................................................................................................................................... 29

4.13.5 Maximum Volumetric Flowrate...................................................................................................... 32

4.13.6 Calculation of Column Diameter .................................................................................................... 34

4.14 Plate Design ........................................................................................................................................... 35

1

[30]

........................................................................................................... 35

4.14.3 Weeping.......................................................................................................................................... 36

4.14.4 Plate Pressure Drop ........................................................................................................................ 39

4.14.5 Downcomer Design [40] ................................................................................................................... 42

4.14.6 Residence Time [41].......................................................................................................................... 44

4.14.7 Entrainment [42] ............................................................................................................................... 44

4.14.8 Trial Layout ..................................................................................................................................... 46

4.14.9 Liquid Flow Arrangement ............................................................................................................... 48

4.14.10 Hydraulic Gradient........................................................................................................................ 49

4.14.11 Actual Plate Efficiency [47] ............................................................................................................. 49

4.14.12 Actual Number of Plates............................................................................................................... 51

4.14.13 Height of Column.......................................................................................................................... 51

5.0 Energy Balance ............................................................................................................................................ 52

5.1.1 Condenser Heat Load (QC) .................................................................................................................... 52

5.1.2 Condenser Design ................................................................................................................................. 55

5.1.2.1 Heat Transfer Area and Number of Tubes (NT)............................................................................. 55

5.1.2.2 Tube Bundle Diameter (Db) [ ......................................................................................................... 56

5.1.2.3 Length of Condenser ..................................................................................................................... 57

5.2 Tube Side Coefficient [55] .......................................................................................................................... 58

5.3 Shell Side Coefficient [58] .......................................................................................................................... 59

5.4 The Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient ..................................................................................................... 62

5.5 Reboiler Design ........................................................................................................................................ 63

5.5.1 Reboiler Duty .................................................................................................................................... 63

5.5.2 Kettle Reboiler Design ...................................................................................................................... 64

6.0 Mechanical Design....................................................................................................................................... 67

6.1 Shell Thickness ......................................................................................................................................... 67

6.2 Skirt Design [66] ..................................................................................................................................... 68

6.3 Heads and Closures ............................................................................................................................. 72

6.4 Material Selection.................................................................................................................................... 72

6.5 Pipe Sizing ............................................................................................................................................ 73

6.5.1 Pipe Sizing at the Feed...................................................................................................................... 74

6.5.2 Pipe Sizing at the Distillate ............................................................................................................... 76

6.5.3 Pipe sizing at the bottoms ................................................................................................................ 77

2

7.0 Control and Instrumentation [74].................................................................................................................. 80

7.1.1 Quality Control ..................................................................................................................................... 81

7.1.2 Pressure Control ................................................................................................................................... 82

7.1.3 Temperature Control ............................................................................................................................ 83

7.1.4 Flow Control ......................................................................................................................................... 84

7.1.5 Level Control......................................................................................................................................... 85

7.1.6 Alarms and Safety Trips [74] ................................................................................................................... 85

7.1.7 Valve Selection [76] ................................................................................................................................ 87

7.1.8 Instruments and Controllers................................................................................................................. 88

7.1.9 Pipe Labelling........................................................................................................................................ 89

8.0 Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) ....................................................................................................... 92

9.0 Economic Appraisal ..................................................................................................................................... 93

9.1.1 Estimation of Capital Costs ................................................................................................................... 93

9.1.1.1 Wilsons Method [81] ...................................................................................................................... 94

9.1.1.2 Zevnik and Buchanan Method [81] .................................................................................................. 96

9.1.1.3 Bridgewaters Method [81].............................................................................................................. 97

9.1.2 Cost of Raw Materials......................................................................................................................... 100

9.1.3 Operating Costs .................................................................................................................................. 101

9.1.4 Plant Income ....................................................................................................................................... 102

9.1.5 Cash Flow ........................................................................................................................................ 102

9.2 Breakeven and Profitability Analysis ..................................................................................................... 105

9.2.1 Amortisation ................................................................................................................................... 105

9.2.3 Discounted Cash Flow Rate of Return ............................................................................................ 107

9.2.4 Return on Investment..................................................................................................................... 109

9.2.5 Analysis of Profitability and Improvements to Profitability ........................................................... 109

10.0 Economic Optimisation ........................................................................................................................... 110

10.1.1 Potential Changes to the Existing Plant.................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.

10.1.1.1 Re-define Product Purity ................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.

10.1.1.2 Improved Heat Integration ........................................................................................................ 111

10.1.1.3 Control System Upgrade............................................................................................................ 112

10.1.2 Divided Wall Column .............................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.

References: ...................................................................................................................................................... 115

This section of the advanced process design module involves designing a product distillation column. It is a

continuation from the group project which involved the production of 100000 tonnes per year of Methyl

Ethyl Ketone to be located in China.

This report will focus on certain chemical engineering design features including calculations of length and

diameter. Also, it will be important to consider materials of construction and other characteristics associated

with designing a distillation column. Within this part of the report cost and economical appraisal of designing

the distillation column will be included.

The type of alarms, trips and relief devices which will be used will be included in the control and

instrumentation section of the report. When selecting the types of control and instrumentation devices for

the distillation column it will be important to consider temperatures and pressures.

A piping and instrumentation drawing will be constructed for the product distillation column. This will

include all alarms, control valves, pressure relief devices and utilities.

This report will also include a Hazard and Operability study (HAZOP). This will be carried out as a group with

the group supervisor. Each member will select a process line and a HAZOP will be carried out.

Within this report a costing and economic optimisation of the product distillation column design will also be

carried out. The last section of the report includes the economic appraisal for the process. Within this

section the capital costs of the process will be determined. Standard correlations will be used to determine if

the project is economically feasible. It will identify whether the project should be carried out in the real

world.

This is a continuation from the group project and the main aim is to design a product distillation column. The

report will include detailed and constructive explanation of how the distillation column should be designed.

The following objectives have been set:

The report is expected to complete by week 22. In order to meet this deadline technical objectives will be

set. From the Gantt Chart start dates and end dates for each task can be seen. The following are the

technical objectives which have been set:

Research in detail and evaluate the design of a distillation column. Including characteristics such as

number of trays, column height, column diameter, efficiency and flooding parameters.

Research the various types of control systems, instrumentation and monitoring systems for the safe

operation of the distillation column.

Construct a P +ID indicating clearly all equipment items, piping, process and utility lines, control

loops, valves, instruments including alarms and trips, pressure relief devices. Include a key of

symbols and ensure that the diagram is correctly numbered.

Carry out the HAZOP with the group. This will include systems which are required for the safe

operation of the distillation column and reduce the chance of any accidents occurring.

An economic appraisal should be carried out. This will include an estimate of the overall capital costs

and annual operating costs. Parameters including product price, construction time and interest rate

should also be justified.

All appropriate documents including the Gantt Chart, lengthy calculations and any large drawings

should be placed in the appendices.

Important that the group works together as a team to put across ideas to ensure that the tasks are

completed on time.

Enhance communication, individual and team-working skills through the project timeline.

Remain focussed and motivated to ensure that work is produced to a high grade.

It will be important that the Gantt Chart is followed closely as time as been allocated to each task

equally to ensure that the deadline is met.

Allocate sufficient number of hours during the week to work on the project.

Regular meetings should be held with the supervisor this will ensure that everything is on task and

any changes that need to be made quickly and efficiently.

Research is a major section of this report. It is therefore very important that enough time is allocated

to carry out adequate research. Extensive research will be required to gain sufficient knowledge. It is

important that various methods of research are utilised to ensure that a wide range of information is

available.

Build vital organisational and time-management skills whilst working on the project.

Have complete and clear understanding of how a distillation column operates on completion of the

report.

Improve technical skills by carrying out a HAZOP and constructing a P +ID which may be useful in

future projects.

Proof read all work to correct any errors which may occur and to ensure that work is of a high

standard.

3.0 Introduction

One of the most important operation in the chemical and petroleum industry is the separation of liquid

mixtures into several components. It is sometimes referred to as fractional distillation. It is one of the oldest

unit operation processes. The technical publication of distillation was first developed in 1957, however,

distillation had been practiced for many centuries prior to this. Distillation is one of the most common and

widely used separation processes in the chemical industry. However, it is also an extremely energy intensive

process. [1] It requires large amounts of energy for both cooling and heating. 50% of plants operating costs

are produced from distillation. At present distillation is commonly used in the petroleum, chemical,

petrochemical, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Distillation is a process which is important in the

development of new products and for the recovery and reuse of volatile liquids.[2] A great deal of research

has been carried out into techniques of distillation due to the demand for purer products and a persistent

requirement of greater efficiency.

When designing a distillation column it is essential to consider process control. Many distillation columns

usually operate with the combination of many other separate units.

[3]

column is not always a simple procedure as it is regarded as a specialised technology. [2] Compared to other

types of processing equipment distillation columns have to be designed with a larger range in capacity with

single columns varying from 0.3 to 10m in diameter and 3m to 75m in height. It is important that designers

are able to provide the desired product quality at a minimum cost but also at a constant purity.

Distillation is usually used to separate liquid mixtures into two or more vapour or liquid products which have

different compositions. [1] The separation of liquid mixtures is dependent on the differences in the volatility

between the components. Separation is easier if the relative volatilities are larger. [3] There are two major types

of distillation, this includes continuous distillation and batch distillation.[4] In continuous distillation the feed

is supplied continuously. There are usually no interruptions however, problems may occur with the column

or surrounding units. This type is the more common of the two types of distillation. However, in batch

distillation the feed is supplied to the column batch-wise. The column is charged with a batch and the

distillation process is then carried out. Once the desired task has been achieved the next batch of the feed is

then introduced. [5]

The following section is a description of the components required for the operation of a distillation column.

This includes a reboiler and a condenser.

3.1.1Reboiler [5][6]

The main objective of a reboiler in distillation columns is to vaporise a fraction of the bottom product. They

are used to provide the necessary vaporisation required for the distillation process.[5] There are three

principal types of reboilers used in distillation columns. They are as follows:

1. Forced Circulation Reboiler: the fluid is pumped through the exchanger and the vapour which is

formed is separated at the base of the column. Figure 1 shows a diagram of a forced circulation

reboiler.

2. Thermosyphon Natural Circulation Reboiler: it is a vertical exchanger with vaporisation in the tubes

or the shell. The difference in density between the two-phase mixture of vapour and liquid and the

single phase liquid in the base of the column helps maintain the liquid circulation through the

exchanger. The most frequently used reboiler is the shell and tube thermosyphon reboiler this is

because it is the most economical type of reboiler for most applications. Figure 2 shows a diagram

of a thermosyphon reboiler.

3. Kettle type: in which boiling takes place on tubes which are immersed in a pool of liquid. In this type

of reboiler there is no circulation of liquid. This type of reboiler is sometimes also called a submerged

bundle reboiler. The bundle may also be stored in the base of the column in some applications. This

helps save the cost of the exchanger shell. Figure 3 shows a diagram of a kettle type reboiler.

The choice of the reboiler to be used for a given duty will depend on certain factors including [6]:

1. The nature of the process fluid i.e. the viscosity and propensity to fouling.

2. The operating pressure i.e. vacuum or pressure.

3. The equipment layout.

A condenser is used in a distillation column to cool and condense the vapour leaving the top of the column.

The vapour is cooled and condensed to its liquid state. The most common type of condenser used is the

horizontal shell-side and vertical tube side. This means the processor has the option of condensing on either

the shell side or the tube side. In condensers the use of cooling water as a medium to cool the substance is

of vital importance.

Condensers are available in a range of designs and in many different sizes. Capital costs of condensers can be

reduced by using a carbon steel shell. There are four possible condenser configurations which may occur as

they. They are as follows:

1. Horizontal in design with condensation occurring in the shell and the cooling medium in tubes.

2. Horizontal in design with condensation in the tubes.

3. Vertical in design with condensation in the shell.

4. Vertical in design with condensation in the tubes.

4.1 Process Description [8]

A mixture containing Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Secondary Butyl Alcohol is obtained from the solvent recovery

column and this is fed to the product distillation column.

Methyl Ethyl

Ketone

Methyl Ethyl Ketone and

Secondary Butyl Alcohol

Mixture from Solvent

Recovery Column

CO4

Secondary Butyl

Alcohol to the recycle

stream

Figure 4: Process Description Diagram

The product distillation unit will be fed with a Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)/ Secondary Butyl Alcohol (SBA)

mixture. The mixture fed to the product distillation column is obtained from the distillate of the solvent

recovery column. Before the mixture is fed to the product distillation column, the two streams are firstly

mixed in an intermediate storage holding tank. Within the product distillation column cooling water is

utilised, which enters the condenser at 24C and leaves at 40C. In the reboiler steam enters at 140C and at

a pressure of 2.0 bar.

There are various stages in the design of a distillation column. They can be divided into the following steps:

Firstly the degree of separation required is specified. The product specifications are set.

The operating conditions are selected; i.e. batch or continuous, temperature and pressure.

Select the type of contacting device which is required; i.e. tray design or packed column.

Determine the stage and reflux requirements; i.e. the number of stages required for distillation

using various correlations, calculating the minimum reflux ratio and the reflux ratio.

10

Size the column; i.e. diameter, height and number of real stages.

Before the design stage of a distillation column the designer must select the key components which are to

be separated. The light key is described as the component that is desired to be kept out of the bottom

product. The heavy key is described as the component that is desired to be kept out of the top product.

Usually it is relatively easy to determine which the key components are. However, there may be situations in

which close boiling isomers are present so judgement must be used in their selection. The light key is

described as the most volatile component in the bottom product and the heavy key is described as the least

volatile component in the top product. In this case the light and heavy keys are as follows:

It is assumed that the process operates at a steady state and the system is ideal. It is assumed that the inlet

temperature of the feed to the column will be at the boiling point i.e. boiling liquid feed. At this point q=1,

assuming that all of the feed to the column is in liquid phase.

It is assumed that the operating temperature of the column will be at an average temperature of 89C

(362K). This is because Methyl Ethyl Ketone has a boiling point of 79.79C and Secondary Butyl Alcohol has a

boiling point of 99C. So the feed has been set to operate at a temperature in between the boiling points of

the two components.

The column will be operated on a continuous basis and will be operated at atmospheric pressure at 89C

(362K).

11

Packed columns are used for a variety of processes including distillation, gas absorption and liquid-liquid

extraction. In packed bed columns the gas liquid contact is continuous, however, in plate columns it occurs

stage-wise. In packed columns the liquid flows down the column and over the packed surface and the

vapour flows counter-currently up the column. The adequate operation and performance of a packed

column relies greatly on the maintenance of good liquid and gas distribution throughout the packed bed.

Figure 5 shows a diagram of a packed column. Packed distillation columns and plate columns are similar.

However, the difference being that in packed columns the plates are replaced with packed sections.

Packing is required for certain requirements. They are as follows:

They provide a large surface area i.e. to provide a high interfacial area between the vapour and

liquid.

They should have an open structure.

They should promote the uniform distribution of liquid on the packing surface.

They should promote uniform vapour gas flow across the column cross-section.

Various types of packing have been developed with many shapes and sizes to satisfy the requirements. They

are usually divided into two categories:

1. Random Packing

2. Structured Packing

The various types of random and structured packing can be seen in appendix ##.

12

In distillation columns cross-flow plates are the most common type used. In this type design the liquid flows

across the plate and the vapour flows up through the plate. The liquid is passed from one plate to the next

through vertical channels which are known as downcomers. Figure 6 shows a diagram of a cross-flow plate.

In certain occasions plates may be used which do not have any downcomers. They are known as non-crossflow plates. This type of plate may be utilised when a particularly low pressure drop is required.

There are three principal cross-flow plate types which are used in plate columns. They are classified

according to the method used to contact the vapour and liquid. They are as follows:

1. Sieve Plate also sometimes called perforated plate: This type of plate is the simplest type of

cross-flow plate. The vapour passes the holes in the plate and the liquid is retained on the plate

due to the vapour flow. In occasions when flow rates are low liquid weeps through the holes and

this reduces plate efficiency. Usually the perforations are small holes however, in some cases

larger holes and slots are also made use of.

13

2. Bubble-cap Plate: This type of plate is the most traditional and oldest type of cross flow plate.

Various designs have been developed. For most applications the standard cap design would be

specified. In this type of plate the vapour passes up pipes which are known as risers. The risers

are enclosed by a cap with a jagged edge or slots. Risers ensure that a level of liquid is

maintained on the tray at all vapour flow-rates.

3. Valve Plate also sometimes called floating cap plate: This type of plate is very much similar to

sieve plates however, the only difference being that they have large diameter holes which are

covered by movable flaps. When the vapour flow increases the movable flaps lift. Valves plates

are able to operate more efficiently at lower flow rates in comparison to sieve plates. At low

flow rates the valves in the valve plates close.

14

It can be observed from the mass balance in section 4.8 that a plate column will be more suitable. This is

because the flow rates in this process are large and these will require a large diameter. In cases when the

diameter is large it is possible to have plates or trays.

When selecting the plate type many factors are considered including cost, capacity, operating range,

efficiency and pressure drop. Of the three types sieve plates are the cheapest and are satisfactory for most

applications. The operating costs of sieve plates are the pressure drop is lower compared to the other types

of plates. For these reasons the selected type of plate for the distillation column is sieve plates.

15

18

Product Distillation

Column

17

19

Previously in the group report it was assumed that hundred percent separation i.e. complete separation was

achieved. However, this is not likely to occur to reality. The temperature difference between the

components is only 20C as Methyl Ethyl Ketone has a boiling point of 79.79C and Secondary Butyl Alcohol

(SBA) has a boiling point of 99C. The distillate temperature is assumed to be the boiling point of Methyl

Ethyl Ketone i.e. the desired product. A small amount of SBA is assumed to be present in the distillate. Also,

a small quantity of MEK is also present in the bottom product. This means that the mass balance calculated

in the previous report has to be adjusted.

The following table shows the summary of the compositions entering and leaving the product distillation

column before recalculation.

Inlet

17

kmol/hr

170.2744204

19.11048489

Stream:

Components

kg/hr

wt%

MEK

12276.78571

89.66

SBA

1416.08693

10.34

Hydrogen

Water

TCE

Total

13692.87264 189.3849053

100

Table 1a: Inlet Flowrates of the product Distillation Column [8]

16

Outlet

Stream:

Components

MEK

SBA

Hydrogen

Water

TCE

Total

kg/hr

19

kmol/hr

wt%

1292.07899

17.43696343

100

12400.79365 171.9479419

100

1292.07899 17.43696343

Total Outlet Mass flowrate = 13692.87264 kg/hr

Table 1b: Outlet Flowrates of the Product Distillation Column [8]

100

kg/hr

12276.78571

124.00794

18

kmol/hr

170.2744204

1.673521457

wt%

99.0

1.00

It was previously assumed in the group project that all the MEK is recovered in the distillate i.e. meaning that

there would be no MEK in the bottom product stream. This does not usually occur. So it is assumed that

there is a 99% separation. This means that 99% of the MEK from the feed is recovered in the distillate and

therefore the remaining 1% is recovered in the bottom product. This will mean the previous mass balance

will have to be adjusted. This is calculated in this section of the report.

The inlet stream to the distillation column does not change. This can be seen from table 2a below:

Inlet

Stream:

17

Components

kg/hr

kmol/hr

wt%

MEK

12276.786

170.274

90

SBA

1416.0867

19.110

10

Total

13692.873

189.385

100

Table 2a: Inlet Flowrate of the Product Distillation Column [8]

Outlet

Stream:

Components

MEK

SBA

Total

18 (Distillate)

19 (Bottom Product)

kg/hr

wt%

kmol/hr

wt%

kg/hr

wt%

Kmol/hr

12140.239

99.0

168.381

99.0

13.92

1.00

0.19

126.030

1.00

1.701

1.00

1416.09

99.0

19.11

12266.269

100

170.082

100

1430.00

100

19.30

Table 2b: Outlet Flowrates of the Product Distillation Column

wt%

1.00

99.0

100

17

To determine the vapour pressure of the components the Antoine equation must be used. The relative

volatility can then be calculated using this information.

Where:

P = Vapour Pressure (bar)

T = Temperature (K)

A, B and C are constants

The following table shows the Antoine constants, the boiling point and latent heat of vaporisation for both

MEK and SBA.

Component

Methyl Ethyl Ketone

(MEK)

Secondary Butyl Alcohol

(SBA)

A

3.9894

B

1150.207

C

-63.904

B.P (C)

79.6

Hvap (kJkmol-1)

31.3

4.32943

1158.672

-104.683

99

40.75

Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)

= 0.131

P=

P = 1.35bar

Secondary Butyl Alcohol (SBA)

= -0.1735

P=

P = 0.67 bar

18

From the calculated vapour pressure for each of the components the relative volatility can be determined.

Where:

A = Light Key

B = Heavy Key

Therefore Relative Volatility:

AB = 2.015

The reflux ratio (R) is defined as:

The reflux ratio is a very important factor in the determination of the number of stages required for

separation. An increase in the reflux ratio reduces the number of stages required for separation. This leads

to a decrease in capital costs, however, operating costs and service requirements such as steam and water

increases. The optimum reflux ratio will be the ratio at which the annual operating costs are its lowest.

The minimum reflux ratio Rmin is calculated using the Underwood equation. It is assumed that the feed

enters at its boiling point. Therefore q=1.

[

](

Where:

Rmin : The minimum reflux ratio

: The relative volatility = 2.015

19

: The mole fraction of MEK in the feed =0.90

Substitute in values:

R

min

0.99

1

(1 0.99)

2.015

2.015 1 0.90

(1 0.90)

Rmin = 0.88

It is suggested that for many systems the optimum reflux ratio lies between 1.2 to 1.5 times the minimum

reflux ratio.

Therefore:

R= Rmin x 1.5

R= 0.88 x 1.5

R= 1.323

20

The Fenske Equation and Gilliland correlation are used together to calculate the number of theoretical

stages. The minimum number of stages required at the total reflux can be calculated using the Fenske

equation. The number of theoretical plates required can then be estimated using the Gilliland correlation,

figure 11. The Gilliland correlation is a relationship between the reflux ratio, the minimum reflux ratio and

the minimum number of stages. [18]

[(

) (

) ]

Where:

: The relative volatility = 2.015

: The mole fraction of MEK in the distillate = 0.99

: The mole fraction of SBA in the distillate = 0.01

: The mole fraction of SBA in the waste (bottoms) = 0.99

: The mole fraction of MEK in the waste (bottoms) = 0.01

Substitute in values:

*(

) (

) +

= 13.099

The Gilliland correlation can now be used to calculate the number of theoretical stages.

21

Where:

R: The Reflux Ratio = 1.32

Rm: The Minimum Reflux Ratio = 0.88

Substitute in values:

From figure 11 it can be determined that the curve is intersected at 0.47 when the x-axis is 0.189.

Therefore,

22

The ErbarMaddox correlation is a different method which can also be used in the determination of the

number of theoretical plates. This method gives the ratio of number of stages required to the number at

total reflux. It is given as a function of the reflux ratio with the minimum reflux ratio. Figure 12 shows the

Erbar-Maddox correlation.

The following calculations have to be carried out in order to determine the number of stages:

Where:

R: The Reflux Ratio = 1.32

Substitute in values:

Where:

Rm: The Minimum Reflux Ratio = 0.88

23

Substitute in values:

Where Nm = 13.099

Therefore, substitute in the values and rearrange to obtain N. Where N is the number of theoretical plates.

The values obtained for the number of plates are only preliminary value. The actual number of stages cannot

be determined at this point as the plate efficiency is not yet known. The plate efficiency will be calculated at

a later stage of the report and that will be used to calculate the actual number of stages.

24

The number of stages is not required to calculate the diameter of the column. However, the liquid and

vapour flowrates are required in order to calculate the diameter. The flowrate is the principal factor in

determining the column diameter. It is important that the vapour velocity is lower than that velocity which

would cause entrainment.[23] There are various steps which will be needed to calculate the column diameter

for the distillation column. A number of calculations will be carried out in this section to determine the

column diameter.

The chosen plate is a sieve plate. Certain specifications have to be put in place in order to calculate the

diameter of the column. The following specifications were made:

The liquid and vapour flowrates will be calculated using the four following equations:

1. Lo = RD

2. V = Lo + D

3. L = Lo + qF

4. V = V + (1 q)

Where:

R: The reflux ratio = 1.323

D: The total distillate flowrate = 170.081 kmol/hr which is equal to 12266.269 kg/hr

F: The total feed flowrate = 189.385 kmol/hr which is equal to 13692.873kg/hr

q: The feed enters as liquid at its boiling point = 1

1. Lo = RD

A) Lo = 1.323 x 170.08 = 225.028 kmol/hr

B) Lo = 1.323 x 12266.269 = 16228.274 kg/hr

2. V = Lo + D

A) V = 225.028 + 170.081 = 395.109 kmol/hr

B) V = 16228.274 + 12266.269 =28495.543 kg/hr

3. L = Lo + qF

25

B) L = 16228.274 + (1 x 13692.873) =29921.147 kg/hr

4. V = V + (1 q)

A) V =395.109 + (1 1) = 395.109 kmol/hr

B) V = 28495.543 + (1 1) = 28495.543 kg/hr

The ideal gas equation will be used to calculate the vapour density for both Methyl Ethyl Ketone and

Secondary Butyl Alcohol.

PV=nRT [25]

Where:

P: is the Pressure in Pa

V: is the Volume

n: is the number of Moles

R: is the gas constant

T: is the temperature in Kelvin

PV=nRT

Rearrange the above equation to make density () the subject:

The column pressure is assumed to be operating at atmospheric pressure. So the pressure will be taken as

101325Pa.

26

P = 101325 Pa

Mr = 72.1

R = 8314 m3PaK-1kmol-1

T = 362 K

Substitute the values into the above equation.

P = 101325 Pa

Mr = 74.1

R = 8314 m3PaK-1kmol-1

T = 362 K

Substitute the values into the above equation.

To calculate the liquid density for both Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Secondary Butyl Alcohol the following

equation will be used:

L A* B

1T

Tc

Where:

A, B and n: are regression coefficients (shown in table 4)

T: The operating temperature in Kelvin = 362k

Tc: The critical Temperature in Kelvin (shown in table 4)

27

0.2857

Critical

Temperature,

Tc (K)

535.5

Operating

Temperature

(K)

362

0.2676

0.2514

0.2734

0.2635

0.2604

536.01

362

Component

Methyl Ethyl Ketone

(MEK)

Secondary Butyl Alcohol

(SBA)

[26]

Substitute the values into the above equation:

0.2676 0.2514

1362

535.5

0.2857

Convert to kg/m3

Substitute the values into the above equation:

0.2734 0.2635

1362

536.01

0.2604

Convert to kg/m3

28

4.13.4 Flooding

Flooding occurs when the vapour flow is excessive and this causes liquid to be entrained in the vapour up

the column. The excessive vapour flowrate also cause an increase in pressure and this backs up the liquid in

the downcomer. This causes an increase in liquid holdup on the plate above. The maximum capacity of the

column can be reduced severely depending on the degree of flooding. Flooding can be detected by a sharp

increase in the column differential pressure and a significant decrease in the separation efficiency.

[27]

The

FLV

L

* V

V L

0.5

Where:

FLV: Liquid-Vapour Flow Factor

L: Liquid molar flowrate

V: Vapour molar flowrate

v: Vapour Density

L: Liquid Density

The Liquid-Vapour Flow Factor will be calculated for both the enriching (Top) section and the stripping

(Bottom) section.

Enriching Section (FLVTOP)

FLV

L

* V

V L

0.5

L: Liquid molar flowrate = 225.028 kmol/hr

V: Vapour molar flowrate = 395.109 kmol/hr

v: Vapour Density = 2.427 kg/m3

L: Liquid Density = 780 kg/m3

Substitute the values into equation5:

(

0.0312

29

Assuming a tray spacing of 600m (0.6m) which is suitable for maintenance, inspection and cleaning. From

the calculated FLV the corresponding K1 TOP value can be obtained. From figure13 it can be seen that the

corresponding K1TOP value is 0.11.

FLV

L'

* V

V ' L

0.5

FLV: Liquid-Vapour Flow Factor

L: Liquid molar flowrate = 414.413 kmol/hr

V: Vapour molar flowrate = 395.109 kmol/hr

v: Vapour Density = 2.495 kg/m3

L: Liquid Density =820 kg/m3

Substitute the values into equation 6

(

1.048856138 0.055155504

0.058

30

Assuming a tray spacing of 600m (0.6m) which is suitable for maintenance, inspection and cleaning. From

the calculated FLV the corresponding K1BOTTOM value can be obtained. From figure13 it can be seen that the

corresponding K1BOTTOM value is 0.1.

The flooding velocity is then calculated using the following equation:

V

U F K1 L

0.5

Where:

UF: Flooding Vapour Velocity

K1: A Constant

L: Liquid Density

V: Vapour Density

V

U F K1 L

0.5

K1: A Constant = 0.11

L: Liquid Density = 780 kg/m3

V: Vapour Density = 2.427 kg/m3

Substitute the values into equation 7

V

U F K1 L

0.5

31

K1: A Constant = 0.1

L: Liquid Density = 820 kg/m3

V: Vapour Density = 2.495 kg/m3

Substitute the values into equation 8

The flooding condition fixes the upper limit of vapour velocity. For high plate efficiencies a higher vapour

velocity is required, the velocity will be normally 79-90% of that which could flooding. In chemical

engineering design a flooding velocity between 80-85% would be effective. [29]

Taking 80% flooding the velocity at flooding is as follows:

Flowrate in the enriching section (UV,TOP) = 0.8 1.969 = 1.575 m/s

Flowrate in the stripping section (UV,BOTTOM) = 0.8 1.81 =1.448 m/s

To calculate the area for the top and the bottom of the column the maximum volumetric flowrates are

used. The maximum volumetric flowrate is calculated using the following equation:

Where:

Umax: Maximum Volumetric Flowrate

V: Molar Vapour Flowrate

: Vapour Density

Mr: Relative Molecular Mass

32

Where:

Umax: Maximum Volumetric Flowrate

V: Molar Vapour Flowrate = 395.109 kmol/hr

: Vapour Density = 2.427 kg/m3

Mr: Relative Molecular Mass = 72.1

Substitute values into the above equation:

Where:

Umax: Maximum Volumetric Flowrate

V: Molar Vapour Flowrate = 395.109 kmol/hr

v: Vapour Density = 2.495 kg/m3

Mr: Relative Molecular Mass = 74.1

33

The following equation is used to calculate the column diameter of the distillation column:

Where:

d: The diameter

A: Area

Enriching Section (Top) Diameter

Area:

d = 1.623 m

Area:

d = 1.693 m

It can be seen that the both the top and bottom diameter are very similar. However, the largest diameter is

selected to be the column diameter of the entire distillation column, i.e. Dc = 1.693 m.

34

From the diameter calculated it can be seen that the diameter is greater than 0.6m. Therefore, it would be

suitable for the column to be designed as a tray design.

4.14.1 Provisional Plate Design

[30]

The area of the column is calculated as follows:

Ac = 2.251 m2

The Downcomer area (Ad) is taken at 12% of the column area (Ac):

Ad = 0.12 2.251 = 0.270 m2

Net Area (An) = Ac Ad

(An) = 2.251 0.270 = 1.981 m2

Active Area (Aa) = Ac 2Ad

(Aa) = 2.251 (2 0.270) = 1.711m2

The Hole area (Ah) is taken at 10% of the Active area (Aa):

Ah = 0.1 1.711 = 0.171m2

The Weir length (lw) is calculated using figure14.

Where:

Ad: Downcomer area = 0.270 m

Ac: Column Area = 2.251 m

Substitute in the values:

can now be obtained from figure14. The value determined from the graph is

0.76.

35

The volume of liquid on the plate is determined by the height of the weir. It is also an important factor in the

determination of plate efficiency. Plate efficiency increases as the weir height increases. However, this is at

the expense of a higher plate pressure drop. For distillation columns which require a vacuum lower weir

heights are suggested as this reduces the pressure drop. Recommended weir heights are typically in the

range of 6 to 12mm for vacuum operation. For columns which operate above atmospheric pressure weir

heights are generally between 40mm and 90mm. It is recommended that weir heights of 40 to 50mm are

used. In this case the selected weir height (hw) is 50mm. [31]

4.14.3 Weeping

Weeping occurs when the flowrate in the distillation column is low. Due to this the pressure exerted by the

vapour is insufficient to hold up the liquid on the tray. As a result of this, liquid starts to leak through the

perforations (holes). Dumping occurs as a result of excessive weeping. This will mean that the liquid on all

the trays will crash through to the base of the column. This in turn results in a domino effect and the

therefore the column will have to be re-started. Significant pressure drops and reduced separation efficiency

indicate the presence of weeping.

[27]

The weep point occurs when liquid leakage through the plate holes

36

becomes excessive. The vapour velocity at the weep point is the minimum velocity required for stable

operation. The vapour flow velocity at the lowest operating rate must be well above the weep point when

specifying the hole area. The minimum design vapour velocity is given in equation 11. [32]

[

]

[

Where:

uh: The minimum vapour velocity through the holes

dh: The hole diameter

K2: A constant, which is dependent on the depth of clear liquid on the plate (obtained from figure 15)

Weeping Check [33]

K2 in equation 11 is a constant value. In order to determine K2 the depth of the crest of liquid over the weir

(how) must first be calculated. The Francis weir formula can be utilised to find the height of the liquid crest

over the weir. The Francis weir formula is given in equation 12.

[

Where:

how: Weir Crest

Lw: Weir Length

Lw: Liquid flow-rate

: Liquid Density

Firstly, the values required to determine the weir crest must be calculated.

The maximum liquid rate ( L):

= 0.7 x 8.312

= 5.818 kg/s

37

Maximum how:

[

Minimum how:

[

The K2 value can now be determined from figure15.

The corresponding K2 value at 74.312mm is 30.7.

Now the minimum design vapour velocity can be calculated from equation 11.

Where:

K2: A constant = 30.7

v: Vapour Density = 2.427 kg/m3

Substitute values into equation 11:

[

]

[

]

38

It is important to calculate the actual minimum vapour velocity. This is calculated as follows:

It can be seen that the minimum operating rate is well above the weep point.

In the design of distillation columns the pressure drop is an important aspect. There are two causes of

pressure drop: as a result of vapour flow through the holes and due to the static head of liquid on the plate.

The total pressure drop is the sum of the dry plate pressure drop (hd), the head of the clear liquid on the

plate (hw + how) and residual losses (hr). Residual losses account for other minor sources of pressure losses

which may occur. The residual loss is the difference between the experimental pressure drop and the sum of

the dry plate drop and the clear-liquid height. [36]

The pressure drop through the dry plate is calculated using equation 13.

[

Where:

Uh: Maximum vapour velocity through the holes

Co: Orifice coefficient. It is a function of plate thickness, hole diameter and the hole to perforated area ratio

(obtained from figure16).

v: Vapour Density

L: Liquid Density

39

The maximum vapour velocity through the holes (Uh) is calculated as follows:

To determine Co:

Now the dry plate drop can be determined by substituting into equation 13.

[

40

Many methods have been developed to estimate the residual head which have been a function of liquid

surface tension, froth density and height. As a result of the correction term being small the estimation is not

justified. However, an equation by Hunt et al (equation 14) has been proposed to find the residual head.

Where:

hr: The Residual Head

L: Liquid Density

The total pressure drop can now be calculated. The total plate drop is given in equation 15.

Where:

ht: Total Drop

hd: Dry Plate Drop = 81.673 mm

hw+how: Head of clear liquid on the plate = (50 + 30.840mm)

hr: Residual Head = 16.026 mm

Substitute in the values:

ht = 81.673 + 50 + 30.840 + 16.026 = 178.539 mm liquid

The total plate drop is expressed in terms of millimetres however it can also be given in pressure units. This

is given as follows:

41

Where:

Pt: Total Plate Pressure Drop (Pa(N/m2))

ht: Total Plate Pressure Drop (mm liquid)

L: Liquid Density

Substitute in the values:

Pt = 9.81 x 10-3 x 178.539 x780 = 1366.149 Pa

= 1.366 kPa

When designing the downcomer it is important to ensure that the level of the liquid and the froth in the

downcomer is considerably below the top of the outlet weir on the plate above it. The column is likely to

flood if the level rises above the outlet weir. The pressure drop over the plate and the resistance to flow in

the downcomer may cause a backup of liquid in the downcomer. A diagram of the downcomer backup is

shown in figure17.

The head loss in the downcomer can be estimated using the equation is equation 17.

[

Where:

Lwd: Liquid flow rate in downcomer

Am: is either the downcomer area (Ad) or the clearance area under the downcomer (Aap). The smallest value

42

is used.

L: Liquid Density

The clearance area under the downcomer (Aap):

(Aap) = hapIw

hap is the height of the bottom edge of the apron above the plate. The height is usually set at 5 to 10mm. In

this case it has been set to be 10mm. So:

hap = hw 10 = 50 10 = 40mm

= 0.04m

The clearance area under the downcomer (Aap):

=0.04 x 1.278 = 0.051 m2

It can be seen that Ad = 0.270m2. It can therefore be concluded that the smallest value for Am in this case is

equal to Aap. i.e. Am = Aap

Substitute the values into equation 17:

[

hb = 50 + 30.840 + 178.539 + 7.248 = 266.627 mm

The downcomer back up height should be less than 0.5 times the plate spacing and weir height for a safer

plate design. This is shown below:

[

This shows that the plate spacing of 600m is acceptable as the downcomer backup is less.

43

It is important to ensure that enough time is allowed in the downcomer for any entrained vapour to

disengage from the liquid stream and prevent the liquid being carried under the downcomer. A time of at

least 3 seconds is recommended.

Where:

tr: Residence Time

Ad: Downcomer Area = 0.270 m

hbc: Clear Liquid back-up = 0.266 m

L: Liquid Density = 780 kg/m3

Lwd: Liquid flow rate in downcomer = 8.312 kg/s

Substitute in the values:

It can be seen that the calculated residence time is greater than the recommended time of least 3 seconds.

Entrainment is a result of high vapour flow rates and refers to the liquid carried up by vapour to the tray

above. It is unfavourable as tray efficiency is reduced. The lower volatile material is carried to a plate holding

liquid of a higher volatility. High purity distillates can also become contaminated. In the event of excessive

entrainment flooding can occur.

[27]

entrainment. It shows the fractional entrainment () as a function of the liquid-vapour factor (FLV), with the

percentage of flooding as a parameter.

It can be seen from section 4.13.5 that the percentage flooding is taken to be 80%.

FLV = 0.058

The corresponding fractional entrainment () can be obtained from figure18 below. The () is found to be

0.041.

44

It is important to ensure that the fraction entrainment is lower than 0.1. It can be seen that the value

obtained is significantly lower than 0.1 and is therefore within a safe operating range.

45

4.14.8.1 Perforated Area [43]

Figure19: Relation between angle subtended by chord, chord height and chord length [44]

Obstruction caused by structural members such as support rings and beams and by the use of calming zones

reduces the area available for perforation. Calming zones are referred to unperforated strips of plate at the

inlet and outlet sides of the plate. The widths of each zone are usually made the same and have

recommended values of below 1.5m, 75mm; above 100mm. For sectional plates the width of the support

ring is usually between 50 to 75mm. It is important to ensure that the support rings do not enter into the

downcomer area. Using figure19 the unperforated area can be calculated from the plate geometry. [43]

From figure19:

The angle subtended at the plate edge by unperforated strip = 180 99 = 81

Mean Length of unperforated edge strips =

Area of unperforated edge strips =

46

Total Area for perforations (Ap) = Active Area - Area of unperforated edge strips - area of the calming zone

Ap = 1.711 0.116 1.328 = 0.267 m2

The distance between the hole centres i.e. the hole pitch should not be less than 2.0 hole diameters. The

normal range falls between 2.5 to 4.0 diameters. From the range the pitch can be selected to give the

number of active holes required for the total hole area. Usually square and equilateral triangular patterns

are used. Of these two the equilateral triangular pattern is preferred. The total hole area as fraction of the

perforated area Ap is expressed in the following equation.

[

Equation 19: The total hole area as a fraction of the perforated area [43]

above.

Figure 20: Correlation to show the relationship between hole area and pitch [45]

The value obtained for

does not fall within the range. This means that the hole area is too large. Within

the provisional plate design it was originally assumed that the hole area will be taken as 10% of the active

area. However, now we shall assume a hole area as 3% of the active area:

47

Therefore,

The corresponding

The diameter of hole = 5mm

Therefore,

48

The liquid flow-rate and column diameter are the factors which determine the choice of the plate type i.e.

reverse, single pass or multiple pass. Figure21 can be used to find the liquid-flow arrangement. [46]

From figure21it can be seen that a cross flow (single pass) can be used.

The difference in liquid level which is needed to drive the liquid flow across the plates is referred to as the

hydraulic gradient. On sieve plates no hydraulic gradient occurs because of small resistance to liquid flow. In

sieve plate designs the hydraulic gradient is usually ignored. [43]

Van Winkle et al (1972) published a correlation for the determination of plate efficiency which can be used

for binary systems. Dimensionless groups which affect plate efficiency are included within the correlation.

The equation is as follows:

Equation 20: Van Winkle Correlation for plate efficiency [47]

Where:

L : Liquid Viscosity

49

DLK: Liquid Diffsivity =

L: Liquid Density = 780 kg/m3

v: Vapour Density = 2.427 kg/m3

Emv = 0.07 (67.046)0.14 (74.139)0.25 (10537.998)0.08

Emv = 0.776

Therefore, using Van Winkles equation and actual plate efficiency of 77.6% is obtained.

50

Previously two methods were used to determine the theoretical number of plates. According to Gilliland and

Fenskes correlation 24 plates would be required. According to the Erbar-Maddox correlation 23 plates

would be required. We must select the worst case scenario i.e. pick 24 plates.

Therefore, the actual number of plates required taking account of the calculated plate efficiency would be as

follows:

The equation below can be used to predict the height of the distillation column:

Hc = (N+1)*Hs+H+plate thickness

Equation 21: Determination of Column Height

Where:

N: The actual number of plates (stages) required = 31

Hs: The tray spacing = 600mm (0.6m)

H: The distance of liquid holdup and vapour disengagement = 1m

Plate Thickness = 5mm (0.005m)

Substitution of all values gives a column height of: [(31 + 1) 0.6] +1 + 0.005 = 20.205m ~ 21m

The height of the column is therefore predicted to be approximately 21m tall.

51

[48]

Process streams have kinetic and potential energies; however, they are neglected as they are small. In all

systems a transfer of heat occurs between the inlet and outlet streams. This is shown in figure22.

Input of energy is provided by two means: from the feed (Hf) and the reboiler (Qb).

So: Qb + feed sensible heat Hf

Output of energy occurs from the top (HD) and bottom (HW) products and from the condenser (QC).

So: QC + top and bottom products sensible heat HD + HW

In order to calculate the condenser and reboiler heat load the following have to be calculated:

In order to determine QC the heat balance must be calculated around the condenser. The temperature of

the column is 89C (362 K), however the temperature at the top of the column must be lower than this. The

inlet temperature to the condenser is assumed to be 79.98C (352.98K) and the outlet temperature is

assumed to be 60C (333 K). From the mass balance in section 4.8 it can be seen that the distillate contains

99% MEK so the calculation will be based on the capacities of only MEK.

52

12266.269 kg/hr

At a steady state as shown in figure 23 the following are true:

INPUT = OUTPUT

Enthalpy of vapour HV = Latent + Sensible

189.809 J/molK

1.591 J/molK

[

Where:

189.809 J/molK

1.591 J/molK

V= 28495.543 kg/hr

53

QC = 6317039.579 kj/hr

= 1754.733 KW

The top product and reflux will be at the same temperature so QC = HV

Cooling water required

The amount of cooling water required in the condenser will be calculated in this section.

It is assumed that:

It is know that:

The above equation can be rearranged to calculate the amount of cooling water required. This is as follows:

Where:

Cp = 4.187 kj/kg.K

T = From the process description in section 4.1 it can be seen that the cooling water enters the condenser

at 24C (297K) and leaves at 40C (313 K).

Substitute the values in:

54

This next focuses on the detailed design of the condenser.

There are certain specifications which are put in place in order to carry out the appropriate calculations.

They are as follows:

Tube length of 5m

Baffle cut of 25% is optimum as this gives good heat transfer rates [50]

The condensing material MEK will be located on the shell side as the shell side copes better with

changes in density. The cooling water will flow on the tube side.

Pipes are assumed to be arranged in a square arrangement. This is due to the ease of maintenance

such as cleaning. [51]

The recommended minimum clearance between the tubes is 25 inches (6.4mm) when using a square

pattern. [51]

[52]

Calculating the provisional Area:

Firstly the log mean temperature needs to be calculated using the following equation:

[

(

[

]

)

]

Where:

TLM: Log mean temperature difference

T1: Inlet shell side fluid temperature = 79.98C

T2: Outlet shell side fluid temperature = 60C

t1: Inlet tube side temperature = 24C

t2: Outlet tube side temperature = 40C

55

[

(

]

)

We are aware that Q=UAT. This can be rearranged to obtain the area. This is shown below:

From the above assumptions and specification it can be seen that U is assumed to be 850 W/m2 C.

Therefore;

Therefore pitch (Pt) = 1.25 x 25 = 31.25 mm

The diameter of the tube bundle depends on both the number of tubes and the number of passes. The tube

bundle diameter can be estimated from equation 23. The constants are shown in table 5.

(

Where:

Db: Bundle Diameter

NT: The number of tubes = 139

56

K1 and n1: Constants = assumed a square pitch with 2 passes (The constants are shown in table 5)

Substitute the values into equation 23:

(

Where:

Db: Bundle Diameter = 484.774 mm

Pt: Tube Pitch = 31.25 mm

Therefore:

The length of the condenser can be calculated as follows:

Where:

57

A: The heat transfer area = 54.391 m2

do: Outside diameter = 25 mm

NT: The number of tubes

Substitute in the values into Equation 24:

The tube side coefficient is calculated using equation 25 below. The equation has been adapted from data

provided Eagle and Ferguson (1930).

Where:

hi: Inside coefficient for water

t: water temperature = 32C - calculated below

ut: Water Velocity - calculated below

di: Tube inside diameter = 20mm

Mean temperature of water:

(

58

Firstly the shell diameter has to be determined. The bundle diametrical clearance is found from figure24

below. Then this is used with the bundle diameter to calculate the shell diameter.

Choosing the pull through floating head the bundle diametrical clearance is found to be 90.5mm.

Shell Diameter (DS) = 484.774 + 90.5 = 575.274 mm

In the shells baffles are used to direct the fluid stream across the tubes. They help to increase fluid velocity

and therefore improve the rate of transfer. Single segmental baffles are the most common type of baffle

used. This type of baffle is show in figure25.

59

(

The density of MEK has to be calculated at 69.99C. This is shown in appendix ##.

Density of MEK at 69.99C (342.99 K) = 795 kg/m3

The viscosity of MEK has to be calculated at 69.99C. This is shown in appendix ##.

Viscosity of MEK at 69.99C (342.99 K) = 0.2548 MNs/m2

One is also required to calculate the thermal conductivity (K) The calculation is shown in appendix ##.

The thermal conductivity (K) = 0.188 w/mC

60

From the assumptions it can be seen that a baffle cut of 25% has been specified. From figure26 the

corresponding heat transfer factor (jh) can be determined from the Reynolds number calculated.

Jh = 2.7 10-3

The shell side heat transfer coefficient without the viscosity correction term is as follows:

61

The overall heat transfer coefficient is given by the following equation:

d

d o ln o

1

1

1

di

U ho hod

2k w

do * 1 d o * 1

d i hid d i hi

Where:

U: Overall Coefficient

ho: Outside fluid film coefficient = 1906.365

hod: Outside dirt coefficient = 5000 W/m2 K

hi: Inside fluid film coefficient =

hid: Inside dirt coefficient = 5000 W/m2 K

kw: Thermal conductivity of the tube wall = 50

di: Inside diameter = 20 mm

do: Outside diameter = 25mm

Substitute values into equation 26:

0.025

0.025ln

1

1

1

1

0.020 0.025 1 0.025

789.407

U 1906.365 5000

2 50

0.020 5000 0.020 5286.993

U = 789.407

It can be seen that the calculated value for the overall heat transfer coefficient is different from the assumed

value of 850 W/m2 C. So in this case it would be suitable to assume an overall heat transfer coefficient of

700 W/m2 C and carry out the calculations again.

62

This section will involve calculating the heat load for the condenser and also a brief design of the reboiler

required for the distillation column.

The heat needed in the reboiler can be determined from the overall heat balance over the distillation

column. This is given below in equation 27.

Where:

HD and Hb are the sensible heats of the distillate and bottom product.

In order to determine the reboiler duty the other parameters have to be calculated. Then the above

equation can be rearranged to find the heat required in the reboiler. They are as follows:

Firstly the specific heat capacity (Cp) has to be calculated for Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) and Secondary Butyl

Alcohol (SBA). This is shown in appendix##. The feed inlet to the distillation column is assumed to be 70 C.

The sensible heat of the feed at a basis of 25 C is calculated below.

Now HF can be calculated as follows:

The bottom product is assumed to be at a temperature of 98.807C. The sensible heat of the bottom product

is calculated as follows:

HD = 0

Qc was previously calculated in section 4.15.1.

Qc = 6317039.579 kj/hr

Now all the parameters have been found the heat required can now be calculated.

63

QB = QC + HD + HB HF

QB = 6317039.579 + 0 + 355253.736 2091312.493 = 4580980.822 kj/hr

= 1272.495 kw

Heat losses may occur. Therefore add 10% for heat losses:

QB =1.10 4580980.822 = 5039078.904 kj/hr

= 1399.744 kw

It is assumed that the steam which is supplied to the reboiler is at 2 bar (200 kN/m2) at a temperature of

approximately 140C. The latent heat of steam is therefore 2144.4 kj/kg. [63]

The steam required is calculated using the following equation:

Where:

QB: Reboiler heat load = 5039078.904 kj/hr

S: Steam Flowrate

hfg: Latent heat of vaporisation = 2144.4 kj/kg

The above equation can be rearranged to calculate the steam flowrate:

Section 3.1.1 describes the three types of reboilers which are usually used. In this design a kettle reboiler

will be used. In kettle reboilers boiling takes place on tubes which are immersed in a pool of liquid.

In order to carry out the appropriate calculations certain specifications and assumptions will have to be set.

They are as follows:

Steam at 2 bar

64

The temperature of the bottom product is assumed to be 98.807 C (371.807 K). From the steam table it can

be determined that the temperature of the steam at 2 bar (200 kN/m2) is 120.23 C (393.23 K).

The log mean temperature (T):

We are aware that Q=UAT. This can be rearranged to obtain the area. This is shown below:

From the above assumptions and specification it can be seen that U is assumed to be 900 W/m2 C.

Therefore;

Where:

NT: Number of tubes

A: Heat transfer Area = 72.598 m2

L: Nominal length = 5m

do: Outside diameter = 30mm

Substitute the values in the above equation:

Therefore pitch (Pt) = 1.5 x 30 = 45 mm

The bundle diameter can then be calculated from equation23.

Where:

Db: Bundle Diameter

NT: The number of tubes = 155

65

K1 and n1: Constants = assumed a square pitch with 2 passes (The constants are shown in table 5)

Substitute the values into equation23:

(

To calculate the freeboard assume the liquid level as 500mm from the base:

Freeboard = 1220.124 500 = 720.124 mm

720.124

720...

mm

.....12

4m

m

5001.5

mm

610.062

1.3 m

mm

66

[64]

This section will focus on the mechanical design of the distillation column. The detailed mechanical design of

processing equipment will not be usually carried out by chemical engineers. It is usually mechanical

engineers who are responsible for this. However, in this section of the report certain aspects of the

mechanical design will be investigated including; shell thickness, skirt design and weight of plates.

In order to carry out the mechanical design certain assumptions and specifications have to be stated. They

are as follows:

The material of construction for the shell is Stainless Steel (18Cr/8Ni, Ti stabilised)[65]

It is assumed that the column is designed for 10% above the normal operating pressure.

[65]

So the

design pressure will be 1.1 1.01325 = 1.114575 bar. This is equal to 0.114575 N/mm2

In order to calculate the shell thickness the following equation has to be used:

Where:

67

Pi: The design pressure = 0.1114575 N/mm2

Di: The column diameter: 1.693 m

f: The design stress = from table 8 at 100C the design stress is 150 N/mm2

Substitute the values into equation 29:

According to Coulson and Richardson Volume 6 a corrosion allowance of 2mm should be used. Therefore,

the column thickness will be:

From the calculated wall thickness it can be seen that thickness is too small to withstand the pressure of the

column. It is important that the thickness of any vessel is strong enough to withstand its own weight and any

incidental loads. The table below gives an indication of wall thicknesses of any vessel. The thickness should

not be less than the values stated in the table.

Vessel Diameter (m)

1

1 to 2

2 to 2.5

2.5 to 3.0

5

7

9

10

3.0 to 3.5

12

From table 6 it can be seen that with a vessel diameter of 1 to 2m the minimum thickness should be 7mm.

The diameter of this distillation column been calculated and found to be 1.693m so it is important that the

minimum thickness is 7mm.

Certain factors such as size, shape and weight of the vessel will determine the type of support a vessel uses.

Skirt supports are usually used for tall vertical columns. It is support that the supports are designed to

withstand the weight of both the column and the contents within it. Also, it must be able to withstand other

loads such as wind loads. When designing supports it has to be taken into that there should be ease of

access to the vessel for inspection and maintenance. [66] The skirt support will be made of a cylindrical shell

that is welded to the base of the distillation column. A flange at the bottom of the skirt will transmit the load

to the foundations. When designing the skirt support it is important that gaps are provided for access and

68

for connecting pipes. The thickness of the skirt must be sufficient enough to withstand bending moments

and the dead weight of the column. [66] Figure 28 below shows the two types of skirt designs.

The resultant stresses occurring in the skirt will be:

Where:

bs: Bending stresses in the skirt

ws: The dead weight stresses in the skirt

Bending Stresses

The following equation is used to determine the bending stresses in the skirt support:

Where:

Ms: The maximum bending moment elevated at the bottom of the skirt, due to wind, seismic and eccentric

loads

Ds: The diameter of the column , including shell thickness and insulation (calculated below)

ts: is the shell thickness = 7 mm

The dynamic wind pressure is taken to be 1280 N/m2 [67]

69

The diameter of the column including the shell thickness and insulation has to be calculated. This is

calculated as follows: 1.693 + 2 x (7 + 75) x 10-3 = 1.857 m

The loading Fw = 1280 x 1.857 = 2376.96 N/m

From section 4.14.13 it can be seen that height of the column is 21m.

So,

The following equation is used to determine the dead weight stresses in the skirt support:

Where:

Ms: The maximum bending moment elevated at the bottom of the skirt, due to wind, seismic and eccentric

loads

Ds: The diameter of the column , including shell thickness and insulation (calculated below)

ts: is the shell thickness = 7 mm

W: Total weight of the vessel and contents (calculated below)

The total weight of column (W)= weight of the shell (w1) + weight of the plates (w2) + weight of the insulation

(w3)

The following equation is used to find the weight of the shell:

70

Where:

Cv: Factor accounts for the weight of the nozzle, for distillation columns = 1.15

Hv: The height of the column = 21m

t: The shell thickness = 7mm

Dm: The diameter of the column including the shell thickness (calculated below)

The diameter of the column including the shell thickness:

(

The plate area if calculated as follows:

Weight of one plate = 1.2 2.251 = 2.701 kN

In the distillation column there are 31 plates in total therefore the total weight of the 31 plates is as follows:

= 2.701 31 = 83.731 kN

The volume of insulation has to be calculated. It is specified that the column will be insulated with 75 mm

mineral wool. Therefore, the insulation volume:

The value for the weight of insulation has to be doubled in order to allow for fittings:

= 2 10683.188 = 21366.376 N = 21.366 kN

Therefore, the total weight of the column can be determined:

w1 + w2 + w3 = 73.435 + 83.731 + 21.366 = 178.532 kN

The dead weight stresses can now be calculated by substitution into equation 31.

71

There are four typical types of heads of various shapes which are used for the end of a cylindrical vessel

including:

Hemispherical heads

Ellipsoidal heads

Torispherical heads

Flat plates are usually used as covers for manways and are used as channel covers for heat exchangers.

Formed flat ends are sometimes known as flange-only heads. This type of head is the cheapest type to

manufacture as fabrication costs are low, however, they are limited to low pressures and small diameter

vessels. Torispherical head are the most commonly used type for vessels with operating pressures up to 15

bar. They can be used with vessels with higher pressures however; the costs have to be compared with that

of an ellipsoidal head. For pressures over 15 bar ellipsoidal heads would be the most economical type. The

hemispherical head type has the strongest shape and is able to withstand double the pressure of a

torispherical head which is of the same thickness. For the product distillation column the flat head closure

would be suitable as the column is assumed to operate at atmospheric pressure. [65]

In the selection of engineering materials many factors have to be considered. The most important factor is

the ability of the material to resist corrosion. The designer has a role to recommend the best possible

material that will be suitable for the process conditions. Not only should the material satisfy the chemical

properties but the mechanical properties should also be considered. The material that gives the lowest cost

over the working plant life, allowing for maintenance and replacement, is also another factor in the selection

of materials. Product contamination and process safety are also other factors that must be considered. Also,

in the selection of a suitable material the suitability of the material for fabrication should be considered.

72

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used material in the chemical industry, as It is highly corrosion

resistant. [70]

The selection of pipe size depends on pressure differences which occur in the pipe. If the fluid has to be

pumped through the pipe the size of the pipe selected should give the least annual operating costs.

However, if there is enough head for gravity flow, the smallest pipe diameter is selected which gives the

required flowrate. Table 7 shows the typical pipe velocities along with the allowable pressure drops. This

information can be used to estimate pipe sizes. [71]

Velocity m/s

P kPa/m

1-3

0.5

0.05

15 - 30

30 - 60

From section 4.16.4 it can be seen that stainless steel has been chosen as the material to build the pipes.

Equation 31 has been developed to calculate the optimum diameter for turbulent flow. The following

equation can be used to give an estimation of the economic pipe diameter for normal pipes.

Where:

G: The flowrate

: The liquid density

The optimum pipe diameter will be calculated for the pipes at the feed, the distillate and the bottom

product. Also, the wall thickness will be calculated for the feed pipe, the distillate pipe and the bottom

product pipe. In order to resist internal pressure the pipe wall thickness is also calculated which has an

allowance for corrosion. Process pipes are usually considered as thin cylinders. However, in cases such as

73

high-pressure streams they are considered as thick cylinders. The wall thickness is calculated from equation

34.

[71]

Where:

P: Internal Pressure

d: Pipe outer diameter (will be calculated for each pipe and calculations are shown below)

: Design stress at working temperature (obtained from table 8)

Materials Tensile

Stainless strength

(N/mm2)

Steel

(18Cr/8Ni,

540

Ti

stabilised)

0 to

50

165

100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

500

150

115

140

135

130

130

125

120

120

The temperature of the feed inlet to the column is assumed to be 70C (343 K). We are aware that the feed

contains both Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Secondary Butyl Alcohol. Therefore, the density of the mixture has to

be calculated at 343 K. This is shown as follows:

Using equation 4 and table 8:

Methyl Ethyl Ketone:

L A* B

1T

Tc

1343

535.5

0.2857

0.2676 0.2514

74

Convert to kg/m3

L A* B

1T

Tc

1343

536.01

0.2604

0.2734 0.2635

Convert to kg/m3

(

)

75

An optimum diameter of 50 mm should be used. However, the diameter has to be converted to inches.

According to a reference a nominal pipe size of 2 inches should be used. [73]

Using this information the wall thickness can be calculated using equation 34. However, firstly the design

stress has to be calculated using the information provided in table 8 interpolation as follows:

It is assumed that the feed to the column is not viscous it is a pumped liquid. Therefore, from table 7 it can

be seen that the velocity falls between the 1-3.0 m/s range. So the pressure will be:

The temperature of the product stream from the column is assumed to be 79.982C (352.982 K). The

distillate contains 99 per cent MEK so the density will only be calculated for MEK in this instance. This is

shown as follows:

Using equation 4 and table 8:

Methyl Ethyl Ketone:

L A* B

1T

Tc

1 352.982

535.5

0.2857

0.2676 0.2514

Convert to kg/m3

76

(

An optimum diameter of 50 mm should be used. However, the diameter has to be converted to inches.

According to a reference nominal pipe size of 2 inches should be used. [73]

Using this information the wall thickness can be calculated using equation 34. However, firstly the design

stress has to be calculated using the information provided in table 8 interpolation as follows:

It is assumed that the feed to the column is not viscous it is a pumped liquid. Therefore, from table 7 it can

be seen that the velocity falls between the 1-3.0 m/s range. So the pressure will be:

The temperature of the bottom product is assumed to be 98.8 C (371.81 K). The bottom product contains

mainly SBA. So the density will only be calculated for SBA in this instance. This is shown as follows:

Using equation 4 and table 8:

Secondary Butyl Alcohol:

L A* B

1T

Tc

77

1 371.81

536.01

0.2604

0.2734 0.2635

Convert to kg/m3

(

An optimum diameter of 20 mm should be used. However, the diameter has to be converted to inches.

According to a reference a nominal pipe size of 3/4 inches should be used. [73]

Using this information the wall thickness can be calculated using equation 34. However, firstly the design

stress has to be calculated using the information provided in table 8 interpolation as follows:

It is assumed that the feed to the column is not viscous it is a pumped liquid. Therefore, from table 7 it can

be seen that the velocity falls between the 1-3.0 m/s range. So the pressure will be:

Using all the information a data sheet has been constructed for the column, the condenser and the reboiler.

This can be found in appendix##.

78

79

E-1

Column Height 21 m

1.693 m

The diameter of hole = 5mm

Active Area = 1.711m

Downcomer Area = 0.270 m

80

[74]

One of the main priorities of a chemical plant is the safe operation of the process as a potential disaster

could possibly lead to major negative consequences. Therefore, control and Instrumentation is an essential

requirement for all chemical plants. The design intention is unachievable if the chemical plant lacks control.

Control can only be met when the design intention is safe and any disturbances which may occur are within

bounds which can be predicted. Safe plant operation occurs when the process variable are within the safe

operating limits. Using control and recording instruments information can be obtained about the process.

Measuring and indicating instruments such as flow meters and pressure indicators are used to measure the

process variables. Process instruments are sometimes linked together using control valves to form control

loops which provide more efficient control and understanding of the process. The readings are taken to

ensure that pressure, temperature and other variables such as flow are within safe limits. Instruments are

defined as devices or control systems which are designed in a way that maintains a functional relationship

between a prescribed property of a substance and a physical variable. [74][75]

The designer has certain primary objectives such as:

Safe plant operation To ensure that process variables are kept within known safe operating

limits. Also, any deviations which may occur are brought to the attention of operators by the use

of alarms. Finally, in dangerous situations automatic shut-down systems should be put in place.

Production rate The desired product should be produced, i.e. to ensure the product meet the

desired specifications.

The piping and instrumentation diagram can be seen in figure 42 and in a larger size in appendix##.

Quality control is an important aspect as the cost at which the product is sold depends on the quality.

Therefore it is extremely important that the desired specification is achieved in the distillation column. A loss

of investment and could occur if the specifications are not met accurately. Higher quality products are

valued to sell at higher prices. However, to achieve higher quality products higher operating costs are

incurred so a compromise is required.

For quality control a mixture of both automatic and manual control systems can be used to achieve the most

effective results. For example, on-stream composition analysers can be installed coming off the distillation

column. However, they are rarely used as they are expensive and they require a great deal of maintenance.

81

It is important that the analysers are placed in a protected location they cannot simply be mounted to the

distillation column.

Various disturbances such as environmental disturbances i.e. weather conditions can occur which can affect

the quality of the product exiting the distillation column. Environmental disturbances are an example of

uncontrolled disturbances. To overcome the effects of uncontrolled disturbances a controller can be used

and this will help to restore the quality of the desired product.

The compositions of the distillate and bottom product must be determined externally so the product purity

can be measured continuously. To overcome this, a sample could be sent off to be tested in the onsite

laboratory for analysis. Adjustments can be made once the results have been obtained from analysis.

Pressure control is essential in systems where vapours/gases are present. [74] Therefore, it is vital to control

the pressure drop across the product distillation column. Deviations which occur can affect the temperature

profile and this therefore will affect the separation of MEK and SBA. A pressure drop controller can be used

to monitor the pressure across the distillation column. This can be seen from figure 29 below. The operating

pressure of the distillation column is 1atm. The pressure drop controller (PDC) will detect any pressure

differences which may occur in the column. This is linked to the steam control valve of the reboiler and this

causes the control valve to prevent the flowrate from entering the column from the reboiler. Once the

pressure in the column returns to its set point, the PDC will regulate the control valve to open again allowing

the flowrate to pass from the reboiler to the column.

82

Also from figure 30 it can be seen that pressure indicators are located next to each pump. This measures the

pressure in the delivery line. From the indicator operators will be able to deduce if the pump is operating

normally and adequately as the operator as the pressure in the delivery line can be analysed.

Figure 30: Pressure indicator and Transmitter for the pump delivery line

Usually in distillation columns the feed temperature is not controlled. It is only controlled if a feed preheater

is utilised. Temperature is used as an indication for the composition of the streams. For monitoring the

performance of the column it is recommended that additional temperature indicating or recording points

should be included up the column. It is advised that temperature sensors are located at the position in the

distillation column where the rate of change of temperature with the change in composition of the key

component is a maximum.

From figure 31 below it can be seen that in order to maintain and achieve the required temperature at the

bottom of the column a temperature control device has been put in place. The steam temperature is

adjusted to control the temperature of the vapour that returns from the reboiler. The temperature indicator

will detect a temperature rise over the set point and this will in turn be controlled by the temperature

controller. The steam supply to the reboiler will be either reduced or shut off until the temperature has

returned to the set point. In the case where a drop in temperature is detected then a signal will be sent to

increase the steam supply. We are aware that temperature is used as an indication of composition.

Therefore, in order to obtain the specified purity it is extremely important to monitor this section of the

distillation column.

83

The other point at where a temperature control loop is used is to measure the temperature of the cooling

water in coming into the condenser. This is used to control the temperature of the product stream which

leaves the condenser. From figure ## it can be seen that a signal is transmitted along the line to vary the

flowrate of the cooling water into the condenser. The reflux ratio can also be varied to control the

temperature at the top of the column.

From figure 33 it can be seen that flow control loop is used in the feed stream to the distillation column. FIC1 measures the flow rate of the stream entering the column. Deviations which may occur in the feed line are

detected and a signal is sent to the control value to adjust the flow. The flow rate is regulated either by

increasing or decreasing the flowrate depending on the deviation.

84

From the figure 34 below it can be seen that a level indicator is attached to the reflux drum as it is important

to maintain the ratio of the distillate to the reflux liquid. In the event of an increase in the level within the

reflux drum it is detected by the level indicator and a signal is transmitted to the control value (V-16). This

will result in the opening of the valve in order to reduce the flow in the drum until the level return to the set

point.

Operators are alerted of serious and potentially hazardous deviations in the process conditions by the use of

alarms. Alarms will help alert when any deviations occur in the system which are different from the normal

set point. Therefore, this will help to prevent any potential hazards from occurring. In cases when the

response of the operator may be delayed which potentially could lead to the development of a hazardous

situation, instruments can be fitted with trip systems which automatically prevent the hazard. For example,

shut down procedures on pumps and valves to automatically close. In the event of a deviation a visual or

audible alarm can be used to alert the operator to carry out the appropriate action.

85

There are three components of an automatic trip system they are as follows:

A sensor monitors the control variable and provides an output signal when the set value is exceeded.

A link transfers the signal to the actuator and this consists of pneumatic or electric relays.

The actuator carries out the required action. For example, to close or open a valve.

Interlock systems are utilised when a fixed sequence of operations has to be followed. Interlock systems are

included in these situations to prevent operators from departing from the required sequence. For example

these types of systems are usually applied in start-up and shut down procedures. It is possible to incorporate

them into the control system design or mechanical interlocks can also be used. [74]

Alarms have been included in the P&ID this can be seen in figures 35 and 36 below. It can be seen that the

distillation column has a level indicator attached to it with a level indicator alarm. The alarm has a high level

and low level alarm fixed to it. The main objective of the alarm is to alert operators and to ensure that the

level within the distillation column is not too high or too low.

If the level increases above the set point the alarm sends a warning to the control and this helps to alert

operators. A message is sent to the control room and then the correct regulatory procedure is carried out to

return the level back to the set point. The same procedure would occur if the level fell below the set point.

The procedure may be automatic or may have to be done manually by the operator.

In the case where the level deviates significantly i.e. high-high limit or low-low limit operators would be

alerted by the alarm. Also, at the same time safety trips would be used which in turn would cause the

automatic shut down of the process.

It is possible to incorporate a safety trip into a control loop. In some situations it may be more suitable to

separate the trip system from the control loop to increase the reliability of the control equipment. The

control loop and the trip system may be separated because a fault in the control loop can potentially affect

the trip system and may increase the risk even further.

86

From figure 36 it can be seen that safety trips have been fitted to the active pumps. In the event that a

deviation occurs from the set point in the column the pump will shut down and this prevents the flow from

entering into the distillation column. Once the deviation returns to the set point the pump will be started up

again so the flow can enter the column.

Valves used in chemical plants can be divided into two categories depending on their function:

1. Shut off valves The main purpose of shut off valves is to close off the flow.

2. Control valves They can be either automatic or manual and their objective is used to regulate the

flow.

Control Valves

Selection of control valves is an important factor. It is important that good flow control is achieved whilst the

pressure drop is kept low as possible. Control valves may fail open this is the position the valves take when

power supply failure occurs. Diaphragm valves are commonly used and this is the type used in this case. This

type of valve can be seen from figure 37 below.

Flanged Valves

Flanged valves can be used for drainage. An example of the type of flanged valve used in this case is shown

in figure 38below. These are generally closed and are in operation usually during site or unit maintenance.

Non- Return Valves

87

This type of valve is used to prevent the back-flow of the fluid in the process lie. It is important that nonreturn valves have been correctly installed to ensure they are working adequately, i.e. they should be fitted

in the correct orientation. In this case non-return valves have also been utilised an example of this type of

valve is shown in figure 39 below.

Gated Valves

Gated valves are frequently used for shut off purposes. It is important that a valve selected for this purpose

gives a positive seal in the closed position and minimum resistance to the flow when the valves are open.

Gate valves exist in a wide range of sizes and it is possible to operate them manually or atomically by the use

of a motor. When gate valves are fully open they have a low pressure drop. When operating gate valves

attention must be paid to ensure they are not operated partially open. This is because the valve seal can

become deformed, so as a result the valve will not seal properly. Below figure 40 shows a diagram of a gate

valve which has been frequently used in the piping and instrumentation diagram.

There are various locations of instruments in a chemical plant, for example local, mounted on a central

control panel. Within the P&ID there are many different shapes on instruments which are used. A circle

symbol represents a device which is field mounted. A circle which has a line through the middle indicates a

device which can be easily accessible by the operators.

88

Within the P&ID it is important that the process lines are labelled. The line label will show the required

information which is associated with that particular stream. No fixed standard exists on line piping. In this

case only the three main process lines i.e. the feed line, the distillate line and the waste products line will be

labelled. This is because the diameters have only been calculated for the three streams mentioned. The

following information is required to label each of the streams:

For example, the feed line which 2 inches made out of stainless steel is labelled as follows:

2 SS 01

89

Figure 17: Piping and Instrumentation Diagram for Product Distillation Column

90

91

Hazard and operability studies are also commonly known as HAZOP. They have been used and developed for

identifying potential hazards and operability problems which are caused by deviations from the design intent

either due to plant design or human error. [78]

It is a detailed and systematic application of prescribed guidewords to a design drawing.

[79]

Conducting a

HAZOP is an important stage of any chemical plant for the prevention of major accidents from arising. Not

only does a HAZOP prevent major accidents but they also provide major financial benefits to the plant

owner.

[80]

A HAZOP is usually carried out for the whole process. However, this is very time consuming

therefore for the purpose of this report it will only be carried out for one process line.

The method of a HAZOP involves using guidewords such as pressure, flow, temperature and level. For

each of the guidewords all deviations that could potentially occur are identified, for example no flow. Then

the possible causes of the deviation are identified and finally the consequences and actions required are

stated before moving on to the next deviation. Once all deviations have been covered move onto the next

guideword. [79]

The line chosen to conduct the HAZOP was the line connecting the feed to the solvent recovery distillation

column. The HAZOP can be seen below in section.......

92

In this section of the report an economic appraisal will be carried over the Methyl Ethyl Ketone plant by

estimating and calculating the relevant economical factors of the process plant.

There are many factors which have to be considered to determine whether the proposal of a plant is

worthwhile. A very important factor is the cost required to build the plant and to determine whether the

investment is financially viable.

To determine the feasibility of the plant a thorough economical evaluation will be carried out in which all the

costs involved must be accounted for. Costs such as services and equipment required to operate the plant

must be considered. Other factors such as capital costs, operating costs and raw materials must also be

considered to determine the feasibility. There are many methods which have been developed to estimate

the cost to set up and run a chemical plant over a number of years. From the various methods the capital

costs of the plant can be calculated and these are analysed carefully before deciding whether investing in

the plant is viable or not.

Using various methods the capital costs of the chemical plant will be calculated. Also, a cash flow table will

be constructed and from this the cost going in and out of the project during the plant life will be analysed.

From the cash flow table the expected targets on an annual can also be predicted. The breakeven point i.e.

the point at which the initial investment is recovered will then determined.

As mentioned above there are a number of methods to determine the capital costs associated with the start

up of a chemical plant. The following methods will be used to estimate the capital costs:

Wilson Method

Zevnik-Buchanan Method

Bridgewater Method

The three methods mentioned above are known as step counting methods as the capital cost is determined

by the number of significant process steps in the overall process.

93

According to the Wilson Method the principle is that the average cost of one item of equipment is a function

of the process size and complexity, i.e. the capital cost is calculated based upon the number of significant

plant items in the overall process. Firstly the Average unit cost of main plant items has to be calculated. The

following equation is used to estimate this:

AUC = 21 X V0.675

Where:

V: Is the capacity of the plant, t/y of product = 100000 t/y

So the AUC can be calculated:

AUC = 21 x 1000000.675 = 49798.85 = 49799

This is then used to calculate the capital cost from the equation below:

Where:

C= fixed capital cost

F= installation factor obtained graphically and is based on AUC

n: number of plant items (including duplicates however excluding pumps)

FM= factor for materials of construction.

FP= factor for design pressure, obtained graphically

FT= factor for design temperature, obtained graphically

From the AUC calculated above the installation factor (f) can be determined from figure 43below.

94

From Figure 43 it can be seen that the installation factor F is approximately 1.9.

Assuming that the material of construction is stainless steel the materials factor to be used is 1.3.

The number of significant process steps in the process is found to be 7.

From figure 44 below the pressure factor is found to be 1.0 as the operating pressure in the reactor is

assumed to be 2.5 bar. A pressure of 2.5 bar is the maximum operating pressure in the process.

95

Next the temperature factor has to be determined. From figure 45 below the temperature factor is found to

be 1.1 as the operating temperature in the reactor is assumed to be 800K (527C). A temperature of 800K

(527C) is the maximum operating temperature in the process.

Using all of the above information the cost can be calculated as follows:

This method uses the number of process steps rather than the number of plant items. A process step is

defined as a unit operation, unit process or separation unit which has energy transfer. For plant capacities

above 4500 t/y the following equation should be utilised to calculate the capital costs:

Where:

C: Fixed capital costs

Q: Plant capacity, t/y = 100000 t/y

N: The number of process steps = 7

In order to calculate the costs using the above firstly X has to be calculated. This is shown as follows:

[

Where:

Pmax: Maximum Process Pressure = 2.5 bar

96

Fm: Materials of Construction Factor = 0.1

So, X is calculated below as follows:

[

This method is also based on the step counting method. For plant capacities above 60,000 t/y the following

equation should be utilised to calculate the capital costs:

( )

Equation37 Bridgewaters Method [81]

Where:

C: Fixed Capital Cost

N: The number of process steps = 7

Q: Plant Capacity, t/y = 100000 t/y

s: Reactor Conversion = 87.57% [8]

Therefore:

(

Method

Wilson

50.54

88.76

Bridgewater

35.04

The Wilson method will be used as the initial capital costs. This method has been selected as it is the middle

value of the three calculated capital cost. Bridgewaters method may be deemed as not reliable as it is too

small and Zevnik and Buchanan method may be too large. So in this case Wilsons method has been selected.

Another justification as to why Wilsons method may be selected is because it accounts for all the plant

97

items. So this provides a more clear indication on how much the initial cost will be taking account for all

plant items not just the main process steps.

The calculated capital cost is that for 2000 so it is important to find the capital cost for 2012. Also, the

proposed plant is to be located in China therefore location factors and exchange rates have to be taken into

account. To determine the capital cost for 2012 inflation rates of both China and Great Britain have to be

considered. This is done as follows:

Table 10 below shows the inflation rate for Great Britain from 2000 to 2012.

Year

Inflation

Inflation Factor

2000

+0.79%

1.0079

2001

+1.24%

1.0124

2002

+1.26%

1.0126

2003

+1.36%

1.0136

2004

+1.34%

1.0134

2005

+2.05%

1.0205

2006

+2.33%

1.0233

2007

+2.32%

1.0232

2008

+3.61%

1.0361

2009

+2.18%

1.0218

2010

+3.29%

1.0329

2011

+4.47%

1.0447

2012

+3.59%

1.0359

Table 10: Inflation rate for Great Britain from 2000 to 2012 [82]

Location factors are only available for the year 2004 so the plant has to be moved in 2004. However, the

initial capital cost calculated above is for the year 2000 so this is where the UK inflation is taken into

consideration. So the cost in the UK in the year 2004 will be:

C2004 = C2000 1.0079 1.0124 1.0126 1.0136 1.0134

C2004 = 50.54x106 1.0079 1.0124 1.0126 1.0136 1.0134

C2004 = 53.64 million

98

As mentioned above the location factors are only available for 2004. So using the location factors below the

plant has to be moved from UK to China. So the capital cost in 2004 taking account of location factors is as

follows:

The location factor for China in 2004 is 0.9. So the capital cost of the proposed plant in China in 2004 is:

53.64 million 0.9 = 48.276 million

It is also important to take into account the exchange rate as the plant is to be built in China. The exchange

rate of Great British Pounds to Chinese Yuan in 2004 was 14.8173. [83] Using the exchange rate the capital

cost in 2004 would be as follows:

48.276 million 14.8173 = 715.32 million

The next step is to determine the capital cost of the plant for 2012. China inflation rates from 2004 to 2012

have to be taken into account. This is shown below:

Table 11 below shows the inflation rate for China from 2004 to 2012.

Year

Inflation

Inflation Factor

2002

-0.73%

0.9927

2003

1.13%

1.0113

2004

+3.84%

1.0384

2005

+1.78%

1.0178

2006

+1.65%

1.0165

2007

+4.82%

1.0482

99

2008

+5.97%

1.0597

2009

-0.72%

0.9928

2010

+3.17%

1.0317

2011

+5.53%

1.0553

2012

+4.58%

1.0458

Table 11: Inflation rate for China from 2004 to 2012 [84]

So, therefore the capital cost in 2012 for China is calculated as follows:

C2012 = C2004 1.0384 1.0178 1.0165 1.0482 1.0597 0.9928 1.0317 1.0553 1.0458

C2012 = 715.32 million 1.0384 1.0178 1.0165 1.0482 1.0597 0.9928 1.0317 1.0553 1.0458

C2012 = 964.94 million

The next step to be determined is the cost of the raw materials which are required for the process. There are

only two raw materials which are required for this process. In order to determine the total cost of the raw

materials the amount required in tonnes per year will have to be calculated. It is important to remember

that in this process 1 year of production is equal to 8064 hours of operation.

Also, it has to be taken into account that the prices of the raw materials obtained are in dollar per tonne.

However, these have to be converted into the Chinese currency i.e. Yuan per tonne. For this economic

appraisal an exchange rate of $1: 6.30298 [85] be used. The table below shows the cost of the raw materials:

Raw Material

Cost ($/t)

Cost (/t)

Flowrate

Flowrate

Flowrate

Total Cost

(kg/hr)

(kg/yr)

(tons/yr)

()

SBA

1080

6807.22

11576.71

93354589.44

93354.58944

635,485,228.3

TCE

1180

7437.52

2232.14

17999976.96

17999.98

133,875,211.2

Total

769,360,436.5

From table 12 above it can be seen that in order to produce 100000 t/y of Methyl Ethyl Ketone the total cost

of raw materials will be 769.36 million. However, from the mass balance produced in the previous report [8]

it can be seen that the amount of TCE entering stream 14 is completely recycled and is used again. So, the

cost of TCE can be ignored and the cost can be included in the start up cost. Therefore, TCE is not considered

100

as an operating cost. Also, It can be seen from the group project mass balance there is a recycle of 1292.08

kg/hr of SBA [8]. This amount can therefore be deducted from the amount of SBA required. This will help to

decrease the cost of raw materials.

This therefore means that total cost of raw materials is 635,485,228.3.

Operating costs compromise of fixed and variable costs. They are the costs which occur during construction

and production. Fixed operating costs do not vary with the level of production i.e. they dont vary in

accordance to that produced. Examples include insurance and taxes. On the other hand variable operating

costs do vary with the level of production in a plant for example raw materials which may be required.

An estimate of the operating of the costs associated with the Methyl Ethyl Ketone can be found from the

cost of raw materials. From table 13 it can be seen that raw materials cost represent 31% of the total

operating costs. Therefore, the total operating costs are shown below:

% of Total

Operating Cost

Cost (/Y)

% of Total

Operating Cost

Cost (/Y)

Raw Materials

31

635,485,228.3

Packaging

20,499,523.49

Labour

11

225,494,758.4

Shipping

20,499,523.49

Supervision

40,999,046.98

Depreciation

81,998,093.96

Maintenance

40,999,046.98

Property Taxes

20,499,523.49

Plant Supplies

20,499,523.49

Insurance

20,499,523.49

Royalties and

Patents

40,999,046.98

Administration

81,998,093.96

Utilities

163,996,187.9

Sales

11

225,494,758.4

Payroll Overhead

40,999,046.98

Research

102,497,617.5

Laboratory

40,999,046.98

Finance

40,999,046.98

Plant Overhead

184,495,711.4

Operating Cost

Operating Cost

From the above the total operating cost therefore equates to: 2,049,952,349

101

The plant makes an income by selling the product which is Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Currently MEK is being sold

for $1800 /t. Using the conversion above i.e. $1: 6.30298, the selling price of MEK is therefore calculated to

be 11345.364. Therefore, this gives an annual amount of:

100000 11345.364 = 1,134,536,400

The cash flow table shows all the expenditure which includes capital costs, working capital and the operating

costs. All expenditure is given a negative sign as this shows money being spent. On the other hand all income

i.e. sales of the product are positive.

The plant has been assumed to have a plant of 15 years. Also, it is assumed that construction is split equally

over two years with 50% construction in year 0 and 50% construction in year 1. This therefore, means that

production will begin in year 2.

The working capital is paid in the year before operation and is recovered in the final year of operation which

is an income to the plant. The working capital is usually required in the year before production to purchase

the initial raw materials to get the plant running. In this cash flow the working capital will be 10% of the

capital cost. The final income to account for is the scrap value. The scrap value will again be 10% of the

capital cost.

All of the data which has been previously found is bought together in order to construct a cash flow table.

The cash flow table can then be assessed to determine the profitability of the process.

The following diagram can be produced using the data from the cash flow in Table 14.

102

0

Cumulatine Net Cash Flow

-2,000,000,000

10

15

20

-4,000,000,000

-6,000,000,000

-8,000,000,000

-10,000,000,000

-12,000,000,000

-14,000,000,000

-16,000,000,000

Year

From figure 47 and table 14 the payback time can be determined. The payback time is the time required to

recover the initial costs from the income which is produced by selling the product. The payback time is also

be said to be a measure of how long the initial investment is at risk of not making a profit. However, in this

instance from figure 47 it can be seen that the payback time cannot be determined. There is not a point

where the graph crosses the axis. From the graph it can be seen that not there is not a single year where the

plant is making a profit. The payback time cannot be achieved in this case. Therefore, it can be said that the

plant is not profitable as the initial investment is not recovered over the lifetime of the plant.

103

Year

Capital Cost

0

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

Working Capital

Scrap Value

Operating Cost

Income

-96494318.05

Cumulative NCF

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-578965908.3

-1061437499

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-1976853448

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-2892269397

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-3807685346

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-4723101295

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-5638517244

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-6553933193

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-7469349142

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-8384765091

10

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-9300181040

11

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-10215596989

12

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-11131012938

13

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-12046428887

14

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-12961844836

15

-2049952349

1134536400

-915415949

-13877260785

-2049952349

1134536400

-818921631

-14696182416

96494318.05

-14599688097

16

17

96494318.05

96494318.05

Table 14: Cash Flow Table for the Methyl Ethyl Ketone Plant

104

Al the relevant costs and income have now been calculated for 1 years production of MEK. Now the

profitability of the proposed plant has to be determined. There are various methods which can be used to do

this they are as follows:

Amortisation

Return on Investment

9.2.1 Amortisation

The initial capital which is necessary to purchase all required equipment is usually borrowed from the bank.

As the capital is repaid the outstanding loan decreases and the interest on the initial loan is reduced. The

borrowed capital is often repaid on an amortisation basis. This means that over the life time of the plant a

constant annual repayment is made. The following equation is used to calculate the amortisation rate:

Where:

A: The annual repayment which includes capital and interest. It is constant over the life of the loan.

I: The initial capital cost = 964,943,180.5

r: The interest rate = 10%

n: The number of years the loan is repaid over. It is usually the lifetime of the plant = 10 years

So substitution of all the values into Equation 38 gives:

The following table show the effect of amortisation. Table 15 shows the effect if a loan was taken out based

on the full capital cost.

105

Year

Working Capital ()

Scrap Value ()

Amortisation ()

Operating cost ()

Income ()

Cumulative NCF ()

0

1

-96494318.05

-126864724.4

-223359042.5

-223359042.5

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-1265639716

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-2307920389

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-3350201063

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-4392481736

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-5434762409

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-6477043083

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-7519323756

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-8561604430

10

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-9603885103

11

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-10646165776

12

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-11688446450

13

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-12730727123

14

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-13773007797

15

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-1042280673

-14815288470

-126864724.4

-2049952349

1134536400

-945786355.4

-15761074825

96494318.05

96494318.05

Table 15: Cash Flow Table for the Methyl Ethyl Ketone Plant taking account for amortisation

-15664580507

16

17

96494318.05

106

The discounted cash flow rate of return also known as DCFrr is another method which is used to assess

profitability. This method uses the net present value to determine the profitability. Money which is invested

into a project will earn interest. This means that any sum of money which is spent or any money which arises

in the future has an equivalent value today. [81] This depends on the interest rate assumed and the number of

years. The following equation is used to calculate the present value:

Where:

P: The present value

F: The future value

I: The assumed interest rate

n: The number of years

The net present value is the cumulative present value over the life time of the plant. The net present value

will be calculated for two interest rates; 10% and 20%. The number of years of the MEK is 15 years. The net

present value can then be used to determine the DCFrr. This is the discount rate which is required to make

the net present value equal zero.

DCFrr

Cumulative Net Present Value

0

-2,000,000,000

10

15

20

25

-4,000,000,000

-6,000,000,000

-8,000,000,000

-10,000,000,000

-12,000,000,000

-14,000,000,000

-16,000,000,000

Discount Rate

From figure 48 it can be seen that a DCFrr cannot be determined as the graph does not cross the axis.

107

Cumulative NCF()

NPV at 10% ()

NPV at 20% ()

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-482471590.3

-578965908.3

-1061437499

-526332643.9

-1008804234

-482471590.3

-964943180.5

-915415949

-1976853448

-756542106.6

-1765346341

-635705520.1

-1600648701

-915415949

-2892269397

-687765551.5

-2453111892

-529754600.1

-2130403301

-915415949

-3807685346

-625241410.4

-3078353303

-441462166.8

-2571865468

-915415949

-4723101295

-568401282.2

-3646754585

-367885139

-2939750606

-915415949

-5638517244

-516728438.4

-4163483023

-306570949.1

-3246321556

-915415949

-6553933193

-469753125.8

-4633236149

-255475791

-3501797347

-915415949

-7469349142

-427048296.2

-5060284445

-212896492.5

-3714693839

-915415949

-8384765091

-388225723.8

-5448510169

-177413743.7

-3892107583

-915415949

-9300181040

-352932476.2

-5801442645

-147844786.4

-4039952369

-915415949

-10215596989

-320847705.6

-6122290351

-123203988.7

-4163156358

-915415949

-11131012938

-291679732.4

-6413970083

-102669990.6

-4265826348

-915415949

-12046428887

-265163393.1

-6679133476

-85558325.48

-4351384674

-915415949

-12961844836

-241057630.1

-6920191106

-71298604.57

-4422683278

-915415949

-13877260785

-219143300.1

-7139334406

-59415503.81

-4482098782

-818921631

-14696182416

-178221206.8

-7317555613

-44293745.49

-4526392528

96494318.05

-14599688097

19090886.41

-7298464727

Table 16: Net Present Value at 10% and 20%

4349311.953

-4522043216

108

Return on Investment (ROI) is another method which is used to analysis profitability. ROI is the percentage

return of the initial investment over the plant lifetime. This method takes into account the capital cost, the

cumulative net cash flow and the plant operating life. The following equation is used in order to calculate the

ROI.

The return on investment is calculated for the return on the initial capital cost is shown below:

It can be seen from the calculation that the ROI is negative. It again shows that the plant is suffering a major

loss. It would be classed as not being worthwhile. It shows that the plant is not profitable at all. From the

ROI achieved it can be said it would be better to invest in a bank rather than to build the plant. It would be

less of a risk to put the money in a bank rather than to build the plant.

From the cash flow tables above it can be seen that a company is making a very large loss. It can be observed

that the capital cost will not be paid over the operation of the plant. From table 15 it can be seen that if the

money required for the capital cost was loaned from the bank the company would still suffer a large loss. A

larger debt would occur if the money required for the capital cost was loaned. This is because the company

is not generating a profit in the first place. So, if a loan was taken out this would just add more to the debt as

interest would also have to be paid. It may be advisable to invest money from elsewhere in the company

rather than borrowing the initial capital cost.

It can be seen that the plant is not generating any profit as the operating costs are vastly greater than the

income into the plant. It can therefore be assumed that the project is not feasible any may not worth be

constructing.

Profitability to the plant may be increased if the cost of raw materials was decreased. The cost of raw

materials could be reduced by locating the plant closer to raw materials. This would mean that costs of

transporting the raw materials would also be decreased.

109

Also, the plant could negotiate a contract with the supplier in which a discount could be obtained if the plant

was to buy the raw materials in bulk. Therefore, this would decrease the price of raw materials which would

in turn reduce the operating cost.

Another suggestion to improve the profitability of the plant is to increase the selling price of the product

Methyl Ethyl Ketone. If the selling price increases this would in turn increase the revenue into the project

and would slowly decrease the debt. From the first term project it was seen that there is a large market for

MEK in China so it may be viable to increase the selling of MEK. However, if the selling price is set to high

then there is a threat of competition from rival companies. Also, an increase in income will also cause an

increase in the operating cost therefore; the plant again would still suffer a major loss.

Optimisation is an important strategy used for decision making. As mentioned in the introduction it is known

that distillation is a very energy intensive process. It is possible that distillation columns can be fitted in such

a way that provides greater attractive economic benefits.

The cost of the major parts of equipment in a distillation column are the vessel, the condenser and reboiler.

In section 10.1 the costs of the three parts of equipment are estimated.

10.1.1Cost of Distillation Column

It is important to calculate the cost of the product distillation. The price of a distillation column for the year

2002 was found to approximately $96,000. [88] However, the selling price has to be determined for 2012. To

calculate the price of the column in 2012 inflation has to be accounted for. Also, the price has to be

converted to Chinese Yuan. The conversion rate in 2002 from dollars to Yuan was 8.2766.[85] Therefore, the

cost in 2002:

$96,000 8.2766 = 794,553

Using the inflation rates determined in section 9 the 2012 cost can be calculated. This is show as follows:

= 794,553 0.9927 1.0113 1.0384 1.0178 1.0165 1.0482 1.0597 0.9928 1.0317 1.0553

1.0458

=1,076,024.7

110

A shell and Tube type condenser is used for the distillation column. Again the price of the condenser

obtained is from 2002 and will therefore have to be inflated and converted into Chinese Yuan. The price of

the exchanger is found to be approximately $16,600.

$16,600 8.2766 = 137,391 [88]

Using the inflation rates determined in section 9 the 2012 cost can be calculated. This is show as follows:

= 13,7391 0.9927 1.0113 1.0384 1.0178 1.0165 1.0482 1.0597 0.9928 1.0317 1.0553

1.0458

=186,062

10.2.1 Number of Trays

An optimisation technique that could be considered is setting the total number of trays i.e. actual number of

trays to twice the minimum number of trays and adding two stages for the reflux drum and the reboiler. The

Fenske equation is used to calculate the minimum number of trays. An increase in the minimum number of

trays will in turn lead to a higher number of theoretical stages. However, an increase in the number of trays

leads to an increase in the height of the column. As the diameter decreases the reboiler heat input also

decreases. This therefore means that heat exchanger costs and energy costs also decreases. As a result of a

taller column the cost of the vessel increases. The number of trays in the column can be increased by

selecting smaller tray-spacing or installing more efficient contacting devices.[89]

In most occasions it is acceptable that many chemical plants produce extremely pure products. However, it is

not worthwhile to purify a product to 99% when 95% may be an acceptable purity. In this type of situation it

would be advised to decrease the reflux rate slowly until the desired product is obtained.

In order to reduce the duty on both the condenser and reboiler it may be possible to use the heat of the

MEK distillate can be recovered to preheat the feed stream into the product distillation column. The MEK

distillate stream leaves the condenser at 60C and this then enters a product cooler. This heat can be

recovered and can then be used to preheat the inlet stream to the distillation column.

111

Under a poor control system a perfectly designed column will be unable to utilise energy inputs adequately.

Operators will be responsible to make more decisions in situations where control systems are less advanced.

By upgrading the control system optimal operating points can be achieved. Therefore, it is important to use

up to date control systems.

11.0 Conclusion

This project has been a indication of the level of detail that is involved in the design of a distillation column.

The project has been a major learning experience and has helped to further develop skills including time

management and analytical skills. The report has expanded my perspective and conception of chemical

engineering.

During the design phase it was found that many educated assumptions had to be made using the data

available and in cases were data was not available chemical engineering knowledge had to be used.

112

12.0 Nomenclature

Cp

J/kgK

Dc

Db

Diameter

Bundle diameter

m

m

di

do

Internal diameter

Outer diameter

m

m

Ds

Shell diameter

F

FLV

Liquid-vapour flow factor

kg/s

_

G

g

H

jf

Acceleration due to gravity

Height

Friction factor

kg/s

m/s2

m

_

jh

k

KL

Thermal conductivity

Thermal conductivity of liquid

W/mK

W/mK

l

Lo

L

N

Np

Length of tube

Liquid mass flow in rectifying region

Liquid mass flow in stripping region

Number of theoretical stages

Number of passes in a tube

m

kg/s

kg/s

_

_

NT

Number of tubes

p

p

P max

Pressure

Pitch

Maximum process pressure

N/m2

_

N/m2

P

q

Q

R

Rmin

Feed condition

Heat transferred per unit time

Reflux ratio

Minimum reflux ratio

N/m2

_

W

_

_

S

t

T max

TIN, TOUT

Thickness of vessel

Maximum process temperature

Shell side temperature of process fluid IN,OUT

N/m2

m

K

K

tIN, tOUT

u

uf

Velocity

Flooding velocity

m/s

m/s

Uo

W/m2K

113

us

m/s

uv

Vapour velocity

m/s

V

V*

Vapour mass flow rate per unit area

kg/s

kg/m2s

V

W

xf

Bottom mass flow rate

Mole fraction of component in feed

kg/s

kg/s

_

xHK

xLK

a, b

Liquid viscosity

kg/ms

Liquid density

kg/m3

Vapour density

kg/m3

Ps

N/m2

Pt

N/m2

T

TLM

Temperature difference

Log mean temperature difference

K

K

Nu

Pr

Nusselt number

Prandtl number

Re

Reynolds number

114

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