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Author: Joseph Zakzeski
Getting Started Setup VLE diagrams Reactions 6 The Reactor Separation: Flash Columns Distillation Columns Heat Exchangers
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Getting started Click Aspen Plus User Interface icon and enter password once the simulator finishes initializing. Save the file as a new file name and SAVE OFTEN with different versions (ie save as design1, make a change, then save the new design as design2. If something goes wrong, then, it’s still possible to go back to design1 and fix problems). The simulator will open with the following screen after the password has been entered.
Setup First, click the Data pull-down menu then click Setup. This section allows the title, base units, and other characteristics to be manipulated. Name the project and switch to the appropriate units. Note the toolbar on the left part of the screen displayed in outline form. The rest of the system properties can be specified using this toolbar by simply going down the list until all the sections have BLUE checkmarks.
Set global properties After finishing the initial setup. Click the box under component ID and type in the name of the component (ie hydrogen or water). Select the type (typically conventional).Toolbar 1: Name the Project 2: Set the units 3. click on the Components section to define the species present. The Tab button can be used to move to remaining sections. Enter all elements accordingly. The simulator will input the component name and formula automatically if the species is present in the database. 1: Type in compound ID (ie hydrogen) Select Components 2: Select type (usually conventional) 3: Ensure that compound name and formula are correct 3 .
go to Tools. select Properties and Specifications on the toolbar. then Analysis. Depending on the model chosen. 4 . First. the simulator should input the remaining required information. This section is where the THERMODYNAMIC MODEL is selected. then Property. after selecting the model. Using a correct thermodynamic model is crucial because the entire separation system will be based on it. Select Specifications under Components Select the thermodynamic model in the Base Method Section VLE diagrams Make sure to check the VLE diagrams to make sure that the boiling points. and finally Binary. and components of the mixtures match the components and that there’s no unusual occurrences. select an appropriate thermodynamic model for that adequately models the components present. The section is completed when blue checkmarks appear on the screen.After the components are entered. To check the VLE diagrams. Enter in any necessary information if required in the appropriate section. Select the thermodynamic model in the Base Method section.
Select Go to get the Txy diagram. Setup the computer to use mole fraction based on a particular component.Select the analysis type (typically Txy) and the components of interest. which should be analyzed for accuracy. and under the property method select the thermodynamic model used. 1: Set Txy diagram 2: Select Components 3: Select Basis and Component 7: Select Go 4: Select phases (typically Vapor Liquid) 5: Set the pressure (or temperature) 6: Select the thermodynamic model 5 .
When the stoiciometry is correct. Click the New button. A new screen should appear. then click the subfolder Reactions. hit the Kinetics Tab 6 . Click Reactions and then subfolder Reactions 2: Name the reaction 3: Select the reaction type 4: Click OK 1: Click the New button On the next screen. Click Reactions. Scroll down on the toolbar to the folder marked Reactions.Ensure no unusual behavior (like spikes) and that boiling points match Reactions The next step is to enter reaction stoichiometry and chemical kinetics. Enter the Reactants and the appropriate coefficients (Aspen automatically places a minus sign on the reactants) along with the products. hit the New button and fill in the information on the Edit Reaction Screen.
select the phase (ie vapor). Do not fill in the To space. 1: Select Reaction 2: Select Phase 3: Enter kinetic Parameters (ensure units are correct) Leave To blank! 4: Select Driving force Under driving force. unless there’s a temperature dependence known. and enter the kinetic parameters. the exponentials of all components is typically set at 0. Select Next.7: When finished. select the appropriate reaction. enter the appropriate basis (ie partial pressure for gases) for term1. For the coefficients for driving force. Under Term 2. enter 0’s for all parameters. select Driving Force. Enter the correct coefficients based on the kinetics (typically the reactants have a 0 exponential unless they’re present in the rate equation). select Kinetics Tab 4: Select Reaction Type (usually kinetic) 1: Hit New 2: Enter Reactant 3: Enter coefficient 5: Enter Products and Coefficients 6: Click Next Under kinetics. 7 . When all the parameters have been entered.
the simulator is now ready for the unit operations. click on the material screen and click on the blue arrow either entering or leaving the reactor to place the stream. Coolant streams enter through the Red arrows 2: Click reactor and place 3: Click materials button and place streams 1: Select Reactors tab 8 . and click on the screen to place the reactor. After placing the reactor. simply right click the icon on the screen and select the Delete Block option on the menu. Left clicking places the streams. On the main screen. To delete the reactor. On the far left part of the screen is a materials stream button. and right clicking “deselects” the materials button. Note: Reactants enter the Top in the Blue arrows.1: Select Basis and Term 2: Set exponentials 3: Select coefficients 4: Set up Term 2 in kinetic reaction 5: Select Next The Reactor At this point. The best and place to start is with the Reactor since this component is the most important in the process. click on the icon for the desired reactor (ie RPlug). select the Reactors tab.
etc. Select Blocks on the outline on the left. adiabatic. Select the desired reactor type (ie isothermal. Select Setup. Aspen uses these values to calculate conversion. When finished. Click next when finished. Click configuration 3: Select the Reactor type and enter necessary information Enter the reactor length and diameter under configuration. 5: Click Next 1: Double click stream 3: Specify components 4: Ensure Total flow equals Total flow 2: Set Temperature and Pressure The next step is to setup the reactor block. Select the appropriate temperature and pressure along with the species present in the stream. click configuration. Click the Reactions tab when finished 9 .Double click the stream entering into the reactor to specify its components. 1: Select Blocks 2: Select the Reactor and then Setup 4: When finished.).
the simulator will attempt to converge the process flow diagram. To view the results of the process. Click OK and the computer will run the simulation. double click the reactor or the stream leaving the reactor to determine the species present. simply select the reactions that are occurring in the reactor by double clicking the reaction. Click next. 2: Click Next 1: Select Reactions At this point. 10 .2: Select Reactions 1: Enter length and diameter Ensure correct phases are allowed Under the reactions tab.
1: Double Click stream Species present in stream Three possibilities: Error (red = plant blows up) Results Available with Warnings (yellow = caution) Results Available (blue = happiness) Separation – Flash Columns In order to insert separation units. Click next to run the simulator. Finally. (NOTE: Flash Columns cannot be sized in ASPEN to the best of my knowledge!) 4: Click Next to run Simulator 1: Select Separators 2: Place Separator and Reconnect Stream Destination 3: Double click separator and set specifications 11 . The example used is a flash column. select the Separators Tab and select the desired unit. Right click the stream leaving the reactor and select Reconnect Destination. Double click the flash column to set the specifications including temperature and pressure. select the materials button and create any other necessary streams. Click on the separator to connect the stream. Place on the screen as was done with the reactor.
Click next to converge. Connect the stream similarly as was done with the flash column. First. 3: Click Next 1: Set specifications 2: Consider if it’s better to have Total or Partial Condenser 12 . click the columns tab and place the short-cut column on the screen. 3: Reconnect Streams 2: Place short-cut column 1: Click Columns Tab Double click the short-cut column to designate the specifications.Distillation Columns It’s best to start with a short-cut column before using a rigorous column in order to first acquire some necessary information. Designate the column specifications (use correlations).
This column is much more rigorous (and also more difficult to converge). DELETE short-cut column (save as a new name in case you need to go back) Delete the short-cut column and replace with the RadFrac column.Once the simulator converges and the system has adequately separated the components (takes some trial and error). Use the information from the short-cut column to help design the rigorous column. Under the Configuration Tab. enter the number of stages. distillate rate. and reflux ratio. and then Results 3: Record all information 4: When satisfied. This information will aid in designing the rigorous column. 1: Install RadFrac 2: Reconnect Lines Double click the RadFrac column. Click the Streams tab when finished 13 . click on results and record the information. double click the short-cut column again. The Distillation Column. On the outline on the left part of the screen. select the condenser type. 1: Double click short-cut column 2: Click on Blocks.
) are acceptable in each stream by double clicking the streams. Check the outlet streams to ensure that the compositions the conditions (Temperature and Pressure. etc. 1: Input Feed Stage and Convention 3: Click Pressure Tab 2: Ensure phases are correct In the Pressure Screen. and Phases 5: Click the Streams Tab when finished 4: Input Operating Specifications On the Streams section.1: Double Click RadFrac 2: Enter # of Stages 3: Enter Condenser. designate the condenser pressure and click next. enter the feed stage and also where on the stage the stream enters (typically on stage or above stage). 14 . Reboiler. Click the Pressure Tab. The Simulator should now attempt to converge the Distillation Column.
double click the column and select Results Summary for condenser/reboiler duties and other information. Simply Click OK. click the Tray Sizing folder. A Tray Sizing Section Number should appear. on the menu on the left. 1: Double click column 2: Click Results Summary 3: Admire what a sweet column this is In order to size the trays.2: Click Next 1: Enter Condenser Conditions In order to find the important information about the column. Read through the other tabs for other important or necessary information. 15 . On the screen that appears. click the New button.
1: Select Tray Sizing 2: Click New 3: Select a number and press OK Aspen sizes the distillation columns on a single tray basis. select the box that says Results Available and hit the edit button. Once everything is designated. The Tray Sizing folder will now have a bluish color. 1: Select Starting Tray (ie 6) 4: Click Next 3: Select tray type Tray Spacing indicated here 2: Select Ending Tray (ie 7) After the simulator converges. Simply select a starting tray (ie 6) and an ending tray. Click the folder. double click the distillation column. Also input the tray type. click Next to converge the PFD. 16 . This section also indicates the spacing between the trays. On the new screen.
simply designate the stream a water stream at the desired temperature by double clicking the stream and filling in the appropriate information. The column diameter is listed on this menu. 17 . click the results tab. Use this type rather than starting with a shortcut exchanger). without using heat integration. The HeatX exchanger requires both the shell side and tube side streams. for example. click on the Heat Exchanger Tab and place the desired heat exchanger on the screen (HeatX is the rigorous exchanger.1: Double click distillation column 2: Click Tray Sizing (now blue) 3: Click Results Available 4: Click Edit On the new screen. 1: Click Results Tab 2: Record Column Diameter Heat Exchangers To insert a heat exchanger. If cooling.
then close the box 4: Close the box 1: Enter Temperature 2: Enter Pressure 3: Enter species and total flowrate Double click the heat exchanger to specify the parameters. 18 . A shortcut calculation should suffice. When finished at this screen. hot stream outlet temperature. Specify the stream conditions (ie. just enter the desired temperatures and flowrates. select pressure drop.1: Select Heat Exchangers Tab 4: Double click unspecified Stream 2: Place Heat X (rotate if desired) 3: Connect Material Streams For the unspecified stream. cold stream outlet temperature). and ensure that the minimum approach temperature is AT LEAST 10K.
etc. condensing gas. liquid/gas.1: Enter Specification 3: Click Pressure Drop 2: Ensure minimum approach temperature at least 10K Specify the pressure drop that occurs in both the hot and the cold side of the exchanger. 19 . 1: Designate Hot or Cold side 3: Click U Methods 2: Specify outlet pressure Select and appropriate U term for the system (depending on if the species are both liquids.) Click next to converge PFD. Click U Methods.
Make sure to save often when making changes under new file names because it’s easier to make changes to a working diagram than it is to fix and make changes to one that doesn’t work. and other info 5: Check actual streams to ensure appropriate conditions You should now have enough of the basic tools to design a chemical system using ASPEN. 1: Double Click Heat Exchanger 3: Click Exchanger Details 2: Click Thermal Results 4: Note Duty. Make sure to check the streams leaving and entering the exchanger to ensure appropriate conditions. Good luck! 20 .2: click Next 1: Select Appropriate U (watch units!) Double click the Heat Exchanger. Several other unit operations are available and can be placed and used similarly. and click Exchanger Details to find the heat duty and exchanger area. U. Area. Click the Thermal Results listing on the Outline.
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