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A. Introduction There are many separations operations used in chemical processing where the objective is to have two phases form in a unit, come to equilibrium, and leave the unit as two separate streams. These two phases may be formed from a single inlet stream, or, they may be formed by mixing two inlet streams. In either case, we refer to such a process as an “equilibrium stage”. To achieve better separations of components than can be achieved in a single stage, chemical engineers use towers or extraction trains containing many individual “stages” where streams can be contacted and brought to near equilibrium conditions. Product Overhead Raffinate Feed Feed Solvent Steam One or More Equilibrium Stages Product Bottoms Extract A flash vaporization unit is a process unit where a single inlet stream is brought to conditions such that a liquid phase and a vapor phase will develop and approach equilibrium in a vessel, which is commonly called a flash drum or a separator. The vapor and liquid phases are taken off as separate exit streams. The purpose is to separate morevolatile components from less-volatile components. In an ideal separator, equilibrium will be achieved. In practice, this will not occur, however, if properly designed, a flash unit may produce streams that are close to equilibrium compositions. In some cases, a single inlet stream may result in three phases formed and separated, such as in a crude oil separator that you might see next to an oil well in an oil field. In such a three-phase separator, light hydrocarbon gases form a gas phase, heavy hydrocarbon liquids form an oil phase, and water drops out and is separated as a second liquid phase. A mixer/settler unit is an example of a process unit where two inlet streams are contacted so that some components are exchanged between them. The two phases are brought to equilibrium, and then separated as two separate exit streams. This type of unit can be

used in liquid-liquid extraction, solid-liquid extraction, distillation, gas absorption, steam stripping and other operations. Calculational methods for these “multistage operations” are always based on the assumption of equilibrium in every stage. Stage efficiencies are then used to relate real operations to the ideal calculations based on equilibrium. These efficiencies depend on the fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and mass transfer in the real processes, and methods used in the estimation of stage efficiencies are beyond the scope of this class. B. Processes with a Single Inlet Stream (Two-Phase Separators) In these processes, we will consider that a single feed stream enters a unit, where it is allowed to come to equilibrium, forming two phases, which are removed as an overhead product and a bottoms product. The feed stream may be a single phase, or may already be in two-phase flow before entering the unit. The exit streams can be any two phases that can be separated: vapor and liquid, liquid and liquid, liquid and solid, etc. We will focus on a separator (flash vaporization unit), where a liquid (or sometimes mixed liquid and vapor) feed is separated into an overhead vapor product and a bottoms liquid product, the two product streams assumed to be in equilibrium with each other. This is usually accomplished by suddenly lowering the pressure on the feed stream just as it enters the flash drum. In practice, this is done by use of a valve to throttle the inlet stream. A diagram is shown below, although the valve is not explicitly shown. Overhead (Vapor) P Vapor Feed

F , xiF , TF , PF , H F V , y i , TV , P , H V V

T Bottoms (Liquid) Q

B, x i , TB , PB , H B

In the variable list for each stream, the first symbol represents the molar (or mass) flow rate, the second represents the mole (or mass) fractions of the various components (some could be zero), and the last three represent temperature, pressure, and molar enthalpy. If there are n components in the system, and there are no chemical reactions, then there are n+3 variables for each of the three streams: 1 molar flow rate (F, V, or L), n-1 independent mole fractions (remember mole fractions must add up to unity), and 3 other stream properties (temperature, pressure, and enthalpy). We have to include temperature and pressure, because they are needed to define the thermodynamic state of the stream. Also, the phase equilibrium relations depend on these variables, in addition to

compositions of the phases. We include enthalpies, not because they are needed to specify the state of a stream, but because they will appear explicitly in the energy balance equation. Q is the duty for the flash vaporization unit, that is, the heat rate term in the energy balance. Q can be positive (energy added), negative (energy removed), or zero (adiabatic). Many separators operate close to adiabatic conditions. The total number of variables is 3(n+3) + 3, where the last three are Q, T, and P: Total No. Variables = 3n+12 Now, lets write all of the equations that we can to provide relations between these variables. We can write materials balances, an energy balance, equilibrium relations, and enthalpy property relations. We will assume steady-state operation of the flash vaporization unit. The system will be the contents of the flash drum, with the throttling valve outside the system boundary where the feed stream enters. Material balances: Total:

F =V + L

(i = 1 to n-1)

**Components: Fx iF = Vy i + Lx i Energy balance:
**

Q + FH F = VHV + LH L

Note: The valve on the feed stream does not affect the energy balance, because the process of steady-state flow across a valve is considered an isenthalpic process (constant enthalpy). Equilibrium relations: Thermal: Mechanical: Species:

TV = TL = T PV = PL = P

ˆ ˆ f i V (T , P, y i ' s ) = f i L (T , P, x i ' s )

(i = 1 to n)

Note: To use the species equilibrium relations, we will have to provide specific equations, such as Raoult’s law, a modified Raoult’s law with activity coefficients, or fugacity relations from an equation of state.

Enthalpy property relations:

0 oC and 1.. Thus. because they may come from a table or chart in a reference book (e. Example Type I Problem. Flash Vaporization for a Benzene + Toluene Stream Problem: A stream containing 35. more likely. Eqns. Total No.No. b) a graphical method using an enthalpyconcentration diagram. PV . steam tables or an enthalpyconcentration diagram). and what is the duty for this flash unit? Prepare solutions by a) hand calculations assuming Raoult’s law. the degrees of freedom must be zero. and c) HYSYS simulation. an “isothermal” specification means T = TF.g. You should remember that not all sets of variables make valid sets of design variables. they will be taken from some calculational scheme in a process simulation software package. P.(2n+8) = n+4 .0 mol % benzene and 65. = (3n+12) . the number of equations must equal the number of unknowns. Var. xiF ' s ) H V = H V (TV . y iV ' s ) H L = H L ( TL . PL . Equations = 2n+8 To solve a real problem. Specifications = No. . What are the compositions and flow rates of the product streams. whereas. TF. we can calculate the number of variables that must be specified to allow a solution to be obtained: No. . PF . 100.0 mol % toluene is flowing at 100.0 mol/s.H F = H F ( TF . Thus. and 10 atm. because we have to be careful not to violate any of the equations by our specification of variables. that is.0 oC. It is flashed across a valve and into a flash drum held at 100. xi’s. xiL ' s ) Note: These relations are written in functional form.00 atm. The most common set of design variables to specify is as follows: F. PF. The total number of equations we have written is 2n+8 [n (material balances) + 1 (energy balance) + n+4 (equilibrium relations) + 3 (enthalpy relations)]. and (either Q or T) Note: An “adiabatic” specification for a separator means Q = 0. or. we must specify n+4 “design variables” before we can solve the above equations for the remaining unknown “state variables”.

a) analytical solution using Raoult’s law Since this is a binary system. the material balance equations can be solved. which can be estimated by the Watson method (p.. 131 of Smith et al.2 7 ) 0 5 5 5 V = 4 . and x2 by 1-x1. we must find vapor pressures for each component at temperature T = 100.3 0 ) =V ( 0. component liquid and vapor enthalpies are needed. the following solution is obtained: y1 = 0.743 Now.7 m l / s 6 o L =5 . These could be taken from reference books. Remember that Raoult’s law assumptions say that the fugacity in the vapor phase can be replaced by the partial pressure (Pyi).0 oC. This will make both HF and HL equal to zero for our problem.732 atm Smith et al. The component vapor enthalpies will then be closely approximated by the heats of vaporization at 100. 362 of .. we need to supply enthalpies for the streams.0( 0. we find: P1S = 1777 atm Replacing y2 by 1-y1.0 oC. and combining the two equilibrium relations.0 oC.456 x1 = 0. and that the fugacity in the liquid phase can be taken as the vapor pressure times the liquid mole fraction (PSxi): Py 1 = P1S x1 Py 2 = P2S x 2 To use these equations. critical temperatures and heats of . to calculate the mixture enthalpies. using normal boiling points.544 x 2 = 0. Because these components are very similar.4 6 ) + L ( 0.3 m l / s 3 o To solve the energy balance for the duty. or estimated as follows.. Using the Antoine equation parameters from p. 1 0 .257 y 2 = 0. the specifications of T and P in the separator are sufficient to allow direct solution of the equilibrium relations.0 =V + L 0 1 0 . 6th Ed. P2S = 0. Choose as a reference H = 0 for the pure liquids at 100. along with known mole fractions. because pressure has little effect on liquid-phase enthalpies.. 6th Ed. a good assumption is that heats of mixing are small for both liquid and vapor mixtures: H E =0 or H = ∑ i Hi x Thus.

y1 0.8 1 The above diagram was constructed using Raoult’s law.7( 3.456 (29600 ) + 0.20 x10 4 ) + 0 − 0 = 1.): 1 − 0. Another easy way to obtain such a plot is to use a flash separator in HYSYS.646 0.663 H1V = 30765 1 − 0. the liquid product is to the left on the bubble-point curve. The compositions and flow rates of the vapor and liquid products can be found.4 0. These calculations can be programmed in Excel using Antoine equations for the vapor pressures. having selected the “Antoine” thermodynamics package. or more complicated equilibrium relations.1 in Felder and Rousseau.2 0. but there are no enthalpies. . 3rd Ed.38 = 34100 J / mol HV = 0.628 = 33470 1 − 0.20 x10 4 J / mol Q = VH V + LH L − FH F = 46.350). Material balances can be solved on this diagram. can be used to construct a T-x-y diagram for benzene + toluene at 1 atm. and the vapor product is to the right on the dew-point curve.627 H 2V 1 − 0.544 (34100 ) = 3.6 x1. so we could not find the duty.vaporization at the normal boiling points from Table B. Where this intersects the 100 oC horizontal line (a “tie line”). T-x-y Diagram for Benzene + Toluene at 1 atm 120 Temperature (C) 110 100 Dew Points 90 Bubble Points 80 0 0.49 x10 6 J / s b) graphical solution using an H-x diagram Raoult’s law.38 = 29600 J / mol 0. The feed line is drawn at the feed composition (x1F = 0.

765 J/mol for benzene and 33.25 and y1 is about 0. Table B.470 = 35. Although we need only the location of a single tie line at 100 oC to solve the current problem. and 3) location of tie lines connecting equilibrium liquid and vapor compositions at various temperatures.800 J/mol HL = 0 HL = -3. the heats of vaporization for the two components (x1 = 1 and x1 = 0) are just the values at their normal boiling points (80. in agreement with our analytical solution.As can be seen.800 + 33.0 oC calculated in the analytical solution. Thus. 3rd Ed. The values are 30.0 oC point) Vapor enthalpies are found by adding the heats of vaporization to the liquid enthalpies that have just been calculated.6 oC. by visual inspection. p. Since the pressure is 1. we will construct the entire diagram.1). which agrees with the analytical results. We can calculate the enthalpy for other bubble-point mixtures by selecting a temperature (T). The results for three points are shown below.. but first we must construct one for this system. The amounts of vapor and liquid can be found using the lever rule. of Smith et al. reading the liquid composition from the bubble-point curve on the T-x-y diagram (or calculating the equilibrium compositions directly from Raoult’s law).. A complete graphical solution can be obtained by use of a H-x-y diagram. for clarification and for future reference when multi-stage processes are discussed. the enthalpy of the liquid mixture which has a bubble point at 100 oC will have HL = 0 (see the analytical solution above). which are sufficient to define the bubble-point enthalpy curve: at x1 = 0 at x1 = 0. and performing the calculation indicated below: H L = x1 H 1L + x 2 H 2 L T = x1 100 ∫ (C ) T P 1L dT + x 2 100 ∫ (C ) P 2L dT Heat capacity equations for the pure liquids can be found in Table C.470 J/mol for toluene (from Felder and Rousseau. We will retain the same reference conditions for enthalpy: HiL = 0 for both components at 100 oC. three points on the dew-point curve are given below. which are sufficient to define the nearly straight line that results: at y1 = 0 HV = 1. 6th Ed. respectively). Thus.0 and 110.658.000 (100. x1 is about 0.300 J/mol . Thus. the amounts of vapor and liquid product are roughly equal (50 mol/s each).00 atm. Three steps are needed to construct such a diagram: 1) location of the enthalpy line for vapors at their dew points.3. Also. including the point at 100. 2) location of the enthalpy line for liquids at their bubble points.45. we will continue to assume that the heats of mixing for liquid mixtures are small.257 at x1 = 1 HL = 1.

y1 1 HV 110.765 = 27.000 at y1 = 1 HV = -3.800 (100.9 x1.7 0.5 0.6 108 104 100 C 96 92 88 84 80 HL Of course. or read from the T-x-y diagram.and bubble-point compositions for any tie line (at any desired temperature) can be found by solving Raoult’s law.456 HV = 32. H-x-y Diagram for Benzene + Toluene at 1 atm 40000 30000 Enthalpy (J/mol) 20000 10000 0 -10000 0 0. .000 + 30.6 0.8 0. The completed H-x-y diagram is shown below.at y1 = 0. using the enthalpies from the chart: Q = VHV + LH L − FH F = 48(32.4 0. with the graphical solution to the current problem indicated. the compositions of the product streams had to be found from the equilibrium relations (Raoult’s law) to construct the graph in the first place.000) + 0 − 0 = 15x10 6 J / s . 0 mol / s =48 mol / s V L 3235 mm L= F −V =100−48=52 mol / s The duty is found from the energy balance.3 0.0 oC point) The dew. using measured distances (in mm) on the graph: V =F V 32 mm =100 . The vapor and liquid product flow rates come from the lever rule.1 0.2 0.

0 oC and 10 atm.340 J/mol HL = 33. two streams (different phases) enter the unit. c) solution from a HYSYS simulation Components selected: Thermodynamics package: Feed stream properties: Flash unit specifications: Results: benzene.9(72.446 x1 = 0.49x106 J/s). note that the enthalpy of the feed is taken as zero at 100.Again. Processes with Two Inlet Streams (Distillation Tower Tray.242 HV = 72. toluene Antoine (ideal gas. When the Antoine package is chosen. chemical engineers relied heavily on graphical methods. we use them only to illustrate the principles behind the computer calculations. C.35 T = 100 oC. P = 10 atm F = 100 mol/s.090) = 1. where analytical calculations by hand become tedious. when the analytical solution is so easy? The answer will become apparent when we consider multistage processes. What could account for the differences? How would you find out? Note that the enthalpies are relative to different reference conditions. are mixed and allowed to come to equilibrium. but not the major factor. ideal liquid solution) T = 100 oC.340) + 47.090 J/mol These results are not quite the same as the analytical solution given above.9 mol/s L = 47. Mixer/Settler) In these processes.1(33. Now.68x106 J/s Note that the enthalpy for the feed is slightly different from the enthalpy for the liquid product in the HYSYS simulation.FHF = 52. The results agree very well with the analytical solution. Why would a person use a graphical solution.260) . Before high-speed computers. and are then separated into two product Navy JP-5 Plume Cleanup Multiphase Extraction Unit . This is one reason for the difference between this result and the analytical result (1. these calculations in HYSYS should be the same as those we did by hand above. but the energy balance gives a reasonable result for Q: Q = VHV + LHL .68x106 J/s V = 52.100(37. P = 1 atm Duty = 1.260 J/mol HF = 37.1 mol/s y1 = 0. x1 = 0.

and separate streams V1 and L1 exit. PL0. L0. where streams L0 and V2 are mixed in the unit “Stage 1”. 3 enthalpy relations). TL0. of Specifications = No. HL0 for the liquid stream entering Stage 1). the phases could equally well be two liquids (liquid-liquid extraction). solid-liquid extraction or gas adsorption). Eqns.g. or stripping). A flow chart for such a unit is shown below. In addition. xi0(i = 1. of Equations = n+1+(n+4)+4 = 2n+9 Thus. the total number of variables for the entire unit will be given by Total No. PV2. n+4 equilibrium relations. PL0. For each stream. Var. P V1 Stage 1 L0 Q The unit name and the numbering of the streams are chosen as indicated. TL0. the unit pressure and either the unit temperature or duty: Common Specifications: L0.….No.. . so that we can later treat countercurrent multistage processes without changing the notation. TV2. and Q. xi0’s. P. Thus. = (4n+15) .n-1). and (Q or T) L1 T V2 . the number of specifications (design variables) to make a real problem solvable (force the degrees of freedom to zero) is given by No.(2n+9) = 2n+6 The most common set of variables that would be specified when considering a single stage are the properties of the two feed streams.g.. gas absorption. V2. 1 energy balance. except that now one additional enthalpy relation can be written for the specific enthalpy of the fourth stream (in terms of its temperature. we need to count the unit variables T. pressure and composition): Total No. of Variables = 4(n+3) + 3 = 4n + 15 Now. there will be a set of n+3 stream variables (e.streams (different phases). Although L (liquid) and V (vapor) are used to represent stream flow rates (as would be most appropriate in distillation. or one a fluid and the other a solid (e. brought to equilibrium. yi2’s. the number of equations that can be written for this unit is the same as for Type 1 processes (n material balances. if there are n components in the system. P.

This does not have to be the list specified.0 kmol/h and 105. graphical results. and a HYSYS simulation. Thus.0 kmol/h T = 100. we have a binary system (benzene(1) + toluene(2)) which comes to phase equilibrium at 100.0 oC and 1.0 oC x10 = 0. the duty comes from an energy balance .260 TV2 = 105. a) analytical calculation Lets first make a list of all the variables that are specified: L0 = 38.257 Next.0 oC. we have specified 2n+6 = 10 variables. The mixer/separator operates at 100.0 oC. which is flowing at 62.0 kmol/h V2 = 62.00 atm. The pressure is constant throughout this system at 1. What are the flow rates and compositions of the product vapor and liquid streams? What is the duty for this mixer/separator? Compare analytical calculations. The first subscript refers to the component and the second subscript refers to the stream (numbered by the stage from which the stream originates).530 TL0 = 91.00 atm. some sets may be more-easily accommodated in process simulation packages.0 oC y12 = 0.0 kmol/h and 91. Example Type 2 Single-Stage Problem. y’s are mole fractions in vapor streams. and we should be able to solve for the rest. and x’s are mole fractions in liquid streams. Finally. From the Raoult’s law solution for the Example Type 1 Problem given above y11 = 0. Benzene + Toluene Equilibrium A liquid stream L0 contains 53.0 oC PL0 = PV2 = P = 1. V1 = 531 kmol / h . Once again. as any 2n+6 variables will suffice to allow a solution. This stream is mixed with a vapor stream V2 containing 26. we must solve the material balance equations Total: Component 1: L0 + V2 = L1 + V1 L0 x10 + V2 y12 = L1 x11 + V1 y11 Substituting the known values in these equations and solving gives L1 = 469 kmol / h .0 mol % benzene and the rest toluene.0 oC.00 atm In this notation.0 mol % benzene.456 x11 = 0. It is flowing at 38. However. remembering that none of the equations can be violated by the specifications.

9 1 . the actual mixture point in the unit can be found. The flow rates (L0 = 38. Again.8 0.0 kmol/h and V2 = 62.200 kJ/kmol is H-x-y for required to bring aDiagram at of this composition to the proper temperature. an enthalpy change of -3. taking the references to be HL = 0 at 100. y1 0. The actual mixture in the unit must be at this same composition.000 HV 2 = 33.5 0.100 kJ/kmol.36. or the liquid greatly subcooled. but at 100.32 x10 6 kJ / h b) graphical solution First.500 Then. the enthalpy of stream L1 will be zero.500 kJ / kmol HV 1 = 32 . and an enthalpy of 20. a composition of 0.0 kmol/h.4 0. and they are found to lie on the saturated liquid and vapor curves. so. With these references. the enthalpies for all four streams can be read from the H-x-y chart constructed earlier (assuming pressure effects are small): H L1 = 0 H L 0 = −1.0 kmol/h) specify a feed mixture point (by the lever rule).0 oC tie line.0 oC. then we would need enthalpy lines on the graph for these regions to be able to locate the feed points. the duty becomes Q = −0.3 0.Q + L0 H L 0 + V2 HV 2 = L1 H L1 + V1 HV 1 To solve this for Q requires us to estimate the four stream enthalpies. which is at a flow rate of 100.1 0.7 x1. mixture 1Benzene + Toluene atm 40000 V2 V1 30000 Enthalpy (J/mol) 20000 10000 0 -10000 HV 96 92 88 84 110. By reading the difference in enthalpy between these two points.6 0. If the vapor was significantly superheated. and assuming negligible heats of mixing. coming straight down from the feed mixture point to the 100. a temperature near 101 oC.6 108 104 100 C 80 HL L1 L0 0 0.0 oC for both components.2 0. the feed points are located on the H-x-y diagram. The method of solution presented below would be exactly the same.

This could be a train of mixer/settlers. One common arrangement is to have countercurrent flow through a series of stages.46 By use of the lever rule on the 100. Stripping) To obtain good separations in processes such as liquid-liquid extraction. or a series of plates in a vertical tower. the duty for this unit can be calculated from the total amount of mixture and the required change in enthalpy: Q = (100.1 kmol/h y11 = 0. The vapor pressure of benzene is different in HYSYS from that predicted by Antoine equations from the ChE 201 and 301 texts. Countercurrent Multistage Operations (Extraction.0 kmol/h)(-3.200 kJ/kmol) = -0. these results are not in perfect agreement with those above.0 oC tie line tell us the compositions of the equilibrium streams leaving the unit: x11 = 0.26 y11 = 0.32x106 kJ/h The end points for the 100. gas absorption. Gas Absorption.Thus. multiple stages are often used in practice.9 kmol/h x11 = 0. Which is right? Does it matter? D.25x106 kJ/h Again. both L1 and V1 can be found: L1 = 47 kmol/hV1 = 53 kmol/h c) HYSYS simulation results L1 = 40. Steam Stripper . and stripping.0 oC tie line. for the same reason as in the previous example problem.446 Q = -0.242 V1 = 59.

Vm+1. Specs. We need to specify the flow rates. one possible set of specifications would be the specification of all properties for the two feed streams. m. For example. Pm and Qm. TL0. and streams Lm and Vm+1 being the most dilute. Needed = 2n+2m+4 There are two common problems that the chemical engineer faces. In the first. . Tm. then pressure drop through the stages is being neglected. not an uncommon assumption in practice. the degree of separation is specified. PL0. xi0’s. The former might involve determining what separation could be achieved with existing equipment. which are not shown on the figure. yim+1’s. If P is taken to be a constant throughout the entire process. PVm+1. and the number of stages needed is to be calculated. In the second. V1 1 L0 V2 2 L1 V3 Vm-1 m-1 L2 Lm-2 Vm m Lm-1 Vm+1 Lm By counting variables and equations. then all of the stages are adiabatic. The latter might involve design of new equipment to achieve a desired separation. The advantage of this arrangement is that the driving force for mass transfer is more nearly constant throughout this system. Equations = Matl Bal + Ener Bal + Eqlm Rel + H Rel = mn + m + m(n+4) + (2m+2) = 2mn+7m+2 No. which would be termed the isothermal assumption.A simple flowchart for such a process with m stages is shown below. and Q. P for all m stages This is still a rather simple result. is that all stages operate at the same temperature. Variables = Stm Var + Unit Var = (2m+2)(n+3) + 3m = 2mn+9m+2n+6 No. which is employed in some types of equipment. we obtain No. compositions. along with the pressure and duty for each stage (assuming that the number of stages. There are three unit variables of importance. plus two specifications for each stage. the streams L0 and V1 being the richest in transferable component(s). and the separation is to be calculated (how the compositions of the exit streams compare with the entering streams). If Q = 0 is taken for each stage. is given): L0. the number of stages is known. An alternate assumption. and conditions (T and P) of the two feed streams to the overall process. TVm+1.

we could calculate stage 1. stagewise processes to converge. then the compositions are mass fractions. specifying variables for stream V1) to allow stage-to-stage calculations to be made for stages 1. because we cannot predict the combined effect of all the equilibria for the m stages. 2. Although modern computers can do these stage-to-stage calculations very rapidly.g.. etc. With the specifications indicated above. with the specifications indicated above. to converge on the correct answers for stream Vm+1 (at the other end of the process). or other acceleration schemes are used. j in the flowchart shown above.The analytical solution is now more complicated than for a single stage. if we had specified streams L0 and V1. even when the Wegstein method. If not. 3. m. where stage j is some arbitrary stage number. …. and conditions of two streams for any single stage. We can write a total material balance. we do not know values for the flow rate. the analytical problem is trial and error. compositions. These equations can be rearranged to give the equations of net flow between any two stages: ∆ = L j −V j +1 = L0 −V1 ∆ i = L j xij −V j +1 y ij +1 = L0 xi 0 −V1 y i1 x ∆ = L j H Lj −V j +1 H Vj +1 = L0 H L 0 −V1 H V 1 H . because. the convergence problem is a difficult one. to see if the known properties of stream Vm+1 are duplicated. which would be needed to get the calculations started. n-1 component material balances. When we finished calculations for stage m.. 2. Note that we cannot solve for the exit streams Lm and V1 by overall material balances. Chemical engineers are often frustrated because it is difficult to get computer simulation packages for multicomponent. and an energy balance around this system: L0 +V j +1 = L j +V1 L0 xi 0 +V j +1 y ij +1 = L j xij +V1 y i1 L0 H L 0 +V j +1 H Vj +1 = L j H Lj +V1 H V 1 Note: Flow rates can be per mole or per unit mass. in that assumptions have to be made about stage 1 (e. then proceed to stage 2. This is because there are no simple. and a new set of stage-to-stage calculations performed. …. Then. a check has to be made. On the other hand.. rather than mole fractions. foolproof ways to adjust the assumptions about stage 1. If the latter is used. we would know all unknown stream and unit variables. The Concepts of Net Flow and the Delta Point Consider material balances for a system including stages 1. This needs to be repeated until convergence is achieved (hopefully). then the assumptions for stage 1 need to be modified.

wt % aqueous solution. This is a requirement for a fixed delta point on an H-x diagram. The feed streams are at 68 oF and 1 atm. by combining the above net flow equations. the energy balance was written based on the assumption that all of the stages are adiabatic. then this is not a problem. and the stages are all assumed to be isothermal and isobaric. then the delta point will incrementally change position for each stage. or energy) between any two stages is a constant. we can conclude from these net flow equations that the net flow to the right (of total mass. independent of where we are in the series of stages. What percentage of the acetic acid is extracted? . thus. Example Countercurrent Multistage Problem. the flow rates and properties of streams L0 and V1 are not changing. These will be the definitions of the ∆ point. using both analytical and graphical solutions. Estimate the flow rates and concentrations of the extract and raffinate streams leaving this extraction train. which will be used in graphical solutions to multistage processes: x i∆ = H∆ = L j xij −V j +1 y ij +1 L j −V j +1 L j H Lj −V j +1 H Vj +1 L j −V j +1 These equations may be used on phase diagrams to locate ∆ -points. In the derivation above. and a fictitious enthalpy. which are constant for a series of stages. If heat effects are small and energy balances are being ignored.Since we are assuming steady-state operation. For example. A three-stage mixer-settler system is to be used to extract acetic acid from 100. Delta points (relating streams passing between stages) and tie lines (relating equilibrium streams leaving any stage) are all that are needed to step from stage-to-stage on a phase diagram. making a graphical construction more difficult. depending on whether the L or V streams carry more material (or energy). the composition points at the other end of the series of stages. mass of component i. lb/h of a 50. such as in the example below. and also on a straight line through xm and ym+1. and provide the relationship between streams that are passing between stages. lb/h of pure isopropyl ether. the composition of component i for the ∆ -point (xi∆ ) lies on a straight line through x0 and y1. We can define a fictitious concentration for component i. Note that net flows may be positive or negative. as will be shown in the example below. Extraction of acetic acid from water with isopropyl ether. If there are significant heat losses for each stage. with the solvent being 200.

compositions for component 2 (isopropyl ether) are plotted versus compositions for component 1 (acetic acid). medium-weight lines. pure acetic acid is at the lower right corner of the triangle.4 0. On this diagram.6 0.00 y34 = 0. lb/h y4: y14 = 0. Thus.6 0.4 x0 0. pure isopropyl ether is at the top corner. Three tie lines are shown as solid.2 1 0. Any stream flowing from a unit must lie on either the .8 0.50 L1 V2 2 L2 V3 3 L3 V4 = 200. y1 Equilibrium data: Refer to the triangular phase diagram reproduced above. Compositions are in mass fractions.00 Phase Diagram at 20 C and 1 atm for Acetic Acie(1) + Isopropyl Ether(2) + Water(3) 1.2 Feed Solvent y4 y1 zF x2. y2 0 x3 0.00 y24 = 1.00 x30 = 0.8 1 x1.2 0 -0.2 0. lb/h x0: x10 = 0.50 x20 = 0.Acetic Acid (1) + Isopropyl Ether (2) + Water (3) V1 1 L0 = 100.4 Delta Point 1. The heavy curve represents the equilibrium data. and pure water is at the lower left corner (at the origin). These lines connect equilibrium points in the two partially miscible phases.

we will assume a flow rate and composition for stream V1 (remember that the compositions for this stream must lie on the upper part of the equilibrium curve. There should be 2n+2m+4 = 16 specifications. because it flows out of stage 1): V1 = 243 lb/h.98 −1. this relation is nearly a straight line (up to y1 of 0. plus the temperature and pressure for these two feed streams. y12. In addition. because it is for a stream leaving stage 2.33. y31 = 0. a) analytical solution First. Thus. L1. Because we know the temperature and pressure in each stage. using the tie lines on the handout phase diagram to determine x1 from the y1 point assumed: x1: x11 = 0. They could be used to find the Q for each stage. so we will ignore the energy balances.05 We can then solve the material balances for stage 1. x31 = 0. lets see if the problem is well posed. y22) . we know T = 68 oF (20 oC) and P = 1 atm for each stage.18. We know six flow rates and compositions. but this is not part of the problem statement.05. We will use the other construction lines in the graphical solution described below. y12 and y22 must be related. To start the calculations. we must remember that the point y2 must also lie on the upper part of the equilibrium curve. and each stage will be nearly adiabatic.05 y12 The analytical solution of the above equations for stage 1 results in .2): y 22 = 0.77. x21 = 0.62 Three material balance equations can be written for stage 1: L0 +V2 = L1 +V1 L0 x10 +V2 y12 = L1 x11 +V1 y11 L0 x 20 +V2 y 22 = L1 x 21 +V1 y 21 Although it looks like there are four unknowns (V2. y1: y11 = 0. If the heats of mixing are small. the energy balance equations do not have to be solved to find the equilibrium conditions for each stage. From the phase diagram. there are 16 specifications. Thus. then the Q values will be small as well.upper or lower part of this equilibrium curve. y21 = 0.

50 x20 = 0.77 y31 = 0. y4: y14 = 0. x33 = 0. V3 = 199 lb/h. y32 = 0. x32 = 0. lb/h x0: x10 = 0.078.031.00 x30 = 0.50 V4 = 188 lb/h y4: y14 = 0.05 acetic acid extracted = (0. y23 = 0.75 L2 = 55 lb/h.898.50x100) = 87 % b) graphical solution Since this problem does not involve energy balances.00 L3 = 44 lb/h x3: x13 = 0.86 V1 = 243 lb/h y1: y11 = 0. but not in perfect agreement with. Assuming the above values are close enough. x3: x13 = 0. with mass fraction acetic acid on the horizontal axis and mass fraction isopropyl ether on the vertical axis.18x243)x100%/(0.03.00 y24 = 1.11. as the equilibrium data are initially available in graphical form.03 x33 = 0. Refer to the above diagram.947. and the solution can be constructed on the triangular composition diagram. V4 = 188 lb/h. x22 = 0. for stage 3 (with y24 = 1. for stage 2.11 x23 = 0. .022 Finally.00 y34 = 0. we do not have to use enthalpies. the results are as follows: Feed: Solvent: Raffinate: Extract: L0 = 100. y2: y12 = 0. x23 = 0.18 y21 = 0. y22 = 0.L1 = 69 lb/h. y33 = 0. since the point for V4 does not have to lie on the equilibrium curve).22.006 These results are close to.024 Similarly.025. y3: y13 = 0. we could choose slightly different values for V1 and y11 and repeat the stage-to-stage calculations. the known values for stream V4 (see the flowchart above). we use a tie line and then solve the balance equations: x2: x12 = 0. If better agreement is desired. We will find this solution relatively easy to construct.865 L3 = 44 lb/h. V2 = 212 lb/h.

For example. Feed Streams.11. and V1 = 258 lb/h are found from the diagram. with a medium weight. which is pretty close.10. solid line connecting y1 and x3 and passing through zF. this zF mixture point must also lie on a line connecting the composition points for the two exit streams: x3 and y1. By the lever rule.10. The plates are stepped off by starting at point y1. the flow rates L3 and V1 can be found.18 is assumed. and the mixture point representing the combination of these two streams. it would almost look like a distillation tower with m trays inside. the ∆ -point is found by the intersection of two lines representing streams passing each other: the x0-y1 line and the x3-y4 line. probably as close as we can read this diagram. immediately defines the point x3 (on the lower phase boundary). This construction is shown on the figure above. If x3 = 0. the result is x3 ≈ 0. The feed point x0 is at 0.0. then following a tie line down to x2. E. then x13 = 0. solid line on the above diagram): L0/V4 = 100/200 By an overall material balance for the entire extraction train. L3 = 42 lb/h. The ∆ -point is the point that lets us graphically solve the material balances to relate streams passing each other between extraction units. by overall material balance. Side Draws. These construction lines are all shown as dashed lines on the diagram above. they must add up to 300 lb/h (the sum of the two feed streams).0 and the solvent point y4 is at 1. In fact. where the feed and exit streams are all taken off at the top and bottom of the tower. In fact. then following a line toward the ∆ -point up to y2 (on the upper phase boundary). and the feed mixture point zF is located on this line by the lever rule using the feed and solvent rates (see the medium weight. These are the values shown on the diagram. it could be a tray-type gas absorber or steam stripper. Reflux. . and Reboil (Distillation Towers) If we tipped the m stages in the above figure so they ran vertically down the page. if y11 = 0. A line is drawn between these two points. Assuming a position for the point y1 (on the upper phase boundary). since. then we assumed the correct y1 starting point. Next.The first step is to locate the feed and solvent stream points. following a tie line to x1 (on the lower phase boundary). then a ∆ -point line up to y3. then a tie line to x3.5.

and. In that case. By tradition. is not a stage. What are the appropriate symbols for the flow rates of the streams entering and leaving the left side of tray 1? How about for tray m? The condenser is pictured as a total condenser. overhead product stream D. There may be many other complications in practice. This would not change the number of specifications that we shall determine below. In the flowchart. we will designate properties of the reboiler with a subscript R rather than m (QR. because there are not two streams leaving this unit in an equilibrium situation. and the product stream becomes a vapor stream. is an equilibrium stage. or Qj = 0 for j = 1. as such. etc.A distillation tower is usually operated in a different arrangement. In some situations. and PR). we have assumed the feed a liquid. Condenser V2 C QC D. Often.m-1. The feed is usually introduced somewhere in the middle. and all of the other stages will be assumed adiabatic. or part into the Vf stream and part into the Lf-1 stream. then the simple graphical methods we will use to analyze a distillation tower are not applicable. We have not counted the condenser in the m stages shown. TR. and. A good process simulation package can handle . rather than a portion of the liquid condensed. such as multiple side-draw product streams. xiD 1 L1 Lf-2 F. The reboiler is pictured as a partial reboiler. In practice. xiF Vf-1 f-1 f Lf Lm-2 QR B. and the left side is really the top. Below is a flowchart for a distillation process with the minimum number of liquid streams: feed F. and the condenser may be employed as a partial condenser. as such. We have counted the reboiler in the m stages shown. it should be numbered as a stage. and bottoms product stream B. even when it is not an equilibrium stage. or a mixture of liquid and vapor. If this is not a good assumption. a tower operating at temperatures well removed from the temperature of its environment will be well insulated. Note that some computer simulation packages may number this unit. in which case it should join the Vf stream. pump-arounds where fluid is taken from a tray and passed through a heat exchange and returned to the tower.…. it may be very difficult to condense all of the overhead vapors. The duties of the condenser (QC) and reboiler (QR) are shown. The feed plate (plate number = f) is taken to be the plate just below the point at which the feed is introduced. xiB Vf+1 Vm-1 m-1 m Reboiler Remember that the right side is really the bottom of the tower. and product streams come off each end through the use of reflux and reboil. the feed could equally well be a vapor.

PC. Pj (j=1. it is possible to find the number of equilibrium stages needed to obtain a specified separation of a key component in the feed. PC. Equations = (m+1)(n+1) + m(n+4) + 2 + (2m+5) + (2n+3) + (n+2) = 2mn + 7m + 4n + 13 No. the calculation is stopped. TF. however. TF.heat losses from the trays in the tower. Two typical lists of specifications are as follows: 1) F. which can be used to convert the number of equilibrium stages into the number of actual stages required for a given . D. PF. Instead. not because they are used often by modern engineers in design. and then changed by trial and error until the desired separation is obtained. Lets once again count variables and equations. adjustments are made. and Qj. with initial assumptions made for some specified stage. because there is not enough information known initially for any stage to allow calculations to proceed from one end of the tower to the other. Stage-to-stage calculations for a distillation tower are iterative. Pj (j=1. QR. as the condenser equilibrium relations (2). taking the feed into account at the appropriate point. as another option. TC(exit). R. but because they illustrate the principles involved in the analysis of distillation towers. Tray efficiencies are defined (see Perry’s Handbook). so that m can be treated as an unknown to be solved for. PF. followed by stage-to-stage calculations through the tower. a trial and error approach must be taken. L0 is the flow rate of liquid back to the top tray (tray number 1). then one additional specification must be made.…. so that we can define how many specifications are needed to form a well-posed distillation tower problem: No. xiF’s. Two simplified graphical methods are discussed below. R = L0/D is called the reflux ratio. QC. Remember. If all the specifications are satisfied. Specifications = 2m + n + 5 The difficulty in preparing the above list is counting the equations.m-1) In the second list. and the stage-to-stage calculations repeated.…. the number of stages must be specified. TC(exit). PR. In counting variables below. In others. which is called the reflux. feed stream mixer relations (2n+3) and distillate take-off point splitter relations (n+2) require special consideration to get the number of equations right. If not.m-1) 2) F. Variables = (2m+5)(n+3) + 3(m+1) = 2mn + 9m + 5n + 18 No. if m is not known. PR. xiF’s. It is assumed in our analysis that the number of components (n) and the number of stages (m) are known. and Qj. it will be assumed that there is an arbitrary duty for each stage. Some simulation packages will allow this to be done directly. Both assume equilibrium is achieved on each stage (tower tray).

and a graphical solution is possible on an enthalpy-concentration diagram. analytical calculations are simplified for binary systems. the vapor stream is being enriched in the more-volatile component(s) by removal of the heavier component(s). Thus. energy effects are significant. the enthalpy of the bottoms product stream.separation. The tray efficiency depends on fluid mechanics and mass transfer considerations. and is beyond the scope of a thermodynamics course. then the other delta-point can be . so actual tray efficiencies are ≤ 1. energy balances cannot be neglected. A tray efficiency of unity means that equilibrium was achieved. QR will be positive. The Ponchon-Savarit Method for Binary Systems In distillation. The net flow equations become Enriching Section: ∆ = L0 −V1 = L j −V j +1 = −D Stripping Section: ∆ ′ = Lm = L j − V j +1 = B The coordinates of the two delta-points become Enriching Section: Stripping Section: x∆ = x D . As is often the case in chemical processing. the enthalpy of the overhead product stream. as materials are being vaporized and condensed. The second form for H∆ is useful when the reflux ratio (R = L0/D) is given. so the delta-point in the enriching section will be above HD. the morevolatile component(s) is being stripped out of the liquid stream. so the delta-point in the stripping section will be below HB. is that the net flows are different in the sections of the tower above and below the feed location. H ∆ = H D − x ∆′ = x B . Thus. The only real difference from the countercurrent multistage solutions. In the lower section. H ∆′ QC = H D + ( R + 1)( H V 1 − H D ) D Q = HB − R B Note: QC will be negative. In the upper section. so. but it is only correct for a total condenser. two delta-points will be needed to allow stages to be stepped off throughout the tower. and the lower section (below the feed) is called the stripping section. if one delta-point and the feed point are known. Note: The two delta-points and the feed point zF must lie on a straight line. given in the preceding section. The upper section of a distillation tower (above the feed) is called the enriching (or rectifying) section.

The heats of mixing. or calculated directly from the phase equilibrium relations. and constant at different values (L’ and V’) throughout the stripping section. The equilibrium curve on the y-x diagram can be found from experimental data. For this to be valid. and sensible heat effects due to temperature gradients are all negligible.g. representing the relative compositions of streams passing each other between trays. Once the two delta-points have been located. However. taken from a calculated T-y-x diagram. visual check of what is happening in the simulation. This Ponchon-Savarit method will be illustrated in the example problem below. as the intersection of this straight line with a vertical line at xB).located on the enthalpy-concentration diagram (e. a number of assumptions have to hold: Assumptions: 1. starting at the overhead point and using the upper delta-point and the tie lines in the enriching section. Of course. heat losses. operating lines are straight lines. Then. By tradition.. the lower delta-point and the tie lines are used to step off stages in the stripping section. To finish the construction of this graphical solution. The assumption of “constant molal overflow” is not usually made in modern simulation packages. The molar heats of vaporization of all mixtures are equal (distance between the bubble-point and dew-point curves on the H-x-y diagram everywhere the same). In this approximate method. This assumption “constant molal overflow” allows temperatures and enthalpies to be ignored. the stages can be stepped off. What this means is that L and V (as molar flow rates) remain constant throughout the rectifying section of a tower. in many cases this is a reasonable approximation. This will be discussed further below. It has the advantage of producing a visual picture of the operating and equilibrium lines. and the McCabeThiele method is sometimes used as a quick hand calculation to give a quick. 2. if there is an azeotrope. we have to locate “operating lines” on the y-x diagram. so that the y-x equilibrium is usually above the 45o line (where y = x). The Approximate McCabe-Thiele Method A simplified procedure for binary distillation can be used under the assumption of “constant molal overflow”. the more volatile component is chosen as component 1. allowing the user to identify situations that may be close to a pinch point. . then the equilibrium curve will cross the 45o line at the azeotrope composition. and stages to be stepped off on a y-x diagram for the binary system at the pressure of the tower (assumed constant). once the feed point zF has been passed.

xD and still make the construction. then the operating line for the stripping section is used to step off stages to the bottom of the tower. refer to Perry’s Handbook or a Unit Operations text for details on construction of the feed line. the feed line will angle slightly to the right of vertical. By material balances around the top end of the column. For conditions other than saturated liquid for the feed stream. L’ = L + F and V’ = V Since. The construction can also be made starting at the bottom of the tower. then y3 vertically on the operating line. D. xB rather than D. Separation of Benzene and Toluene. . then x2 horizontally on the equilibrium curve. by material balances. Starting at the top of the tower. xD. for the stripping section the operating line becomes y= Bx B L′ x− V′ V′ These two operating lines cross on the feed line. with L and V constant. We could know B. Example Distillation Problem. This procedure is followed until the feed line is passed. and R=L/D are known. xF. For a saturated liquid feed at rate F. etc. where y1 = xD (on the 45o line). Similarly. then y2 by moving vertically down to the operating line. the feed line will angle to the left of vertical. being somewhere between vertical (all liquid) and horizontal (all vapor). For a feed with is a mixture of liquid and vapor.Thus. we can find x1 by moving horizontally to the left to the equilibrium curve. operating lines take the place of the delta points used above in the Ponchon-Savarit method. an equation can be easily derived for the straight operating line for the enriching section y = Dx L x + D V V where y and x are mole-fraction compositions for any two streams passing between stages. For subcooled liquid feed. This McCabe-Thiele construction will be illustrated in the example problem below. which is a vertical line at x = xF for a saturated liquid feed stream. V = L +D F = D +B Fx F = Dx D + Bx B we can locate both operating lines if F.

The pressure and duty are specified for each stage except the reboiler (2(m-1) specs). to accommodate delta points) Location of ∆ -point: H∆ = HD +(R+1)(HV1-HD) = (-3. These add up to 2m +8. Is this problem well posed? The number of specifications should be 2m + n + 6. PD.2x106 kJ/h Location of feed point: zF = xF = 0.D = 50.95 (Mole fractions are for the more volatile component – benzene. a) graphical solution (Ponchon-Savarit) Given: D = 50.0)/50.0)/50. F and xF are specified for the feed (4). A total condenser (with no subcooling of the liquid).0 kmol/h and contain at least 95 % of the benzene fed to the tower.0 kmol/h xD = 0.) Equilibrium and enthalpy data: H-x-y phase diagram at 1 atm (given above and reproduced below on a much larger vertical scale. and its bubble-point temperature.0 = 0. TF.50)(100. PF. Note that the distillate product temperature is fixed by the specification that there is no subcooling of the exit stream from the condenser. TD.95 Note: QC can be obtained from the alternate equation given for H∆ : QC = D(HD-H∆ ) = 50.000) + 4[28.0 kmol/h.000 kJ/kmol (from graph) . It is to be separated into two liquid streams by use of a distillation tower.0 = 0. and a partial reboiler are to be used. a reflux ratio of 3. In addition.An equimolar benzene (1) + toluene (2) liquid stream is flowing at 100. D and xD are specified for the overhead stream (4). 1 atm. and no heat losses from the column. the reflux ratio R is specified (1).0 kmol/h xB = 0.0(-3000-121000) = -6. and the pressure of the reboiler PR is specified (1).50)(100.95(0. The overhead product stream is to be 50. which is the required number for a binary distillation.50 HF = HL = -1000 kJ/kmol (bubble point liquid) Location of ∆ ’-point: (straight line through ∆ -point and feed point zF to xB) B = F .000)] = 121.00.05 H∆ ’ = -124. where the number of stages in not known.000 kJ/kmol x∆ = xD = 0. since the number of stages is unknown. What is the minimum number of trays required? What are the duties of the condenser and reboiler? Assume negligible pressure drop.05(0.000-(-3. Use both graphical solution methods indicated above and compare with a HYSYS simulation.

8 0.3x106)/50.0 = -124.FHF .7 0.6 0.5 0.000 kJ/kmol H-x-y Diagram for Benzene + Toluene at 1 atm 150000 100000 Enthalpy (J/mol) 50000 0 -50000 -100000 -150000 0 ∆' xB Tie Lines 108 C 104 ∆ HV 100 96 y5 x3 zF 92 y4 88 84 y3 y2 y1 HL x4 xF x2 x1 x0 xD 0. then the ∆ ’-point is used to relate passing streams between stages in the stripping section.2x106) = 6.0)(2000)-(100.2 0. See the dotted lines on the figure. and then using the equation given above for H∆ ’ QR = DHD + BHB .3x106 kJ/h H∆ ’ = HB-QR/B = 2000-(6.Note: This point could also be obtained analytically using an energy balance around the entire tower to obtain QR.3 0. y (Benzene) 1 Stepping off stages: Remembering that the composition of stream V1 is the same as stream L0.QC = (50.9 x.1 0. etc. and follow down a tie line to x1 (the composition for stream L1). This construction is continued on the above graph until the feed point is passed (on tray 4). and then a line back toward the ∆ -point to y2. You should complete the construction until the desired bottoms composition is passed.4 0.0)(-3000)+(50.0)(-1000) -(-6. then down a tie line to x2. we start at y1. .

2 9 R 0 0 xB 0..0 = 0.8 Equilibrium Curve 4 5 y (Benzene) 0. overhead.8 1 x (Benzene) xF Enriching Operating Line Feed Line 1 xD 0.2 0. in Excel). The feed line is drawn vertically at xF = 0. xD = 0.0/4. In this problem.05 (mole fractions of benzene). from the 45o line upward (for saturated liquid feed).6 Tray Numbers 6 7 8 0.g. The enriching operating line is drawn from its upper end at y1 = x0 = xD (on the 45o line). nine equilibrium stages (or equilibrium trays) are required to surpass a bottoms composition of 0. .50. they are xF = 0.05 mole fraction.75. with a slope L/V = R/(R+1) = 3.50. b) simplified graphical solution (McCabe-Thiele) The first step is to construct a y-x diagram for the benzene + toluene system at 1 atm pressure.95. This can be obtained from the T-y-x diagram discussed above. Another way is to use separator calculations in HYSYS to produce data points that can be used to generate the required y-x plot (e. meaning that equilibrium is not achieved on each tray. terminating on the feed line. then the number of actual stages required will be greater than nine. y-x Diagram for Benzene + Toluene at 1 atm 1 2 3 0. A diagram is shown below with the graphical solution to this example. If the tray efficiencies are less than unity.4 0. and xB = 0. and bottoms compositions are found (by material balances if necessary).If you continue the construction. This is the minimum number required.4 Stripping Operating Line The feed.6 0.

This is one more tray than we found using the PonchonSararit method. where the extended operating line would intersect the equilibrium curve. down to the bottoms point on the 45o line (at xB). when comparing two graphical methods. From this diagram.The operating line for the stripping section is drawn from where the operating line for the enriching section terminates on the feed line. Remember. switching over to the stripping section operation line once the feed line is passed. a tower with 9 equilibrium trays plus a partial reboiler is called for. either above or below the feed line. A distillation tower was selected and placed on the flowchart. If the feed is placed on a tray higher or lower in the tower. thus. and a tower with more than 9 trays would be required. but the agreement is pretty good. There is a minimum reflux ratio. In reality. Thus. ideal gas thermodynamic system “Antoine”. Remember. between the operating line and equilibrium curve. A McCabe-Thiele diagram will indicate if a near pinch-point condition exists in a tower. the operating lines and the feed line meet on the equilibrium curve. The dotted lines indicate the step-wise solution up to tray 3. which may be difficult to detect from a simulation output. where a pinch point is encountered at the feed line. with the switchover occurring at the indicated feed tray. the 10 trays includes the reboiler. Stages are stepped off from the top of the tower. not an equilibrium stage. to make sure you understand how this is done. A pinch point could be encountered. Again. it is concluded that 10 equilibrium trays are needed to achieve the desired separation. and. resulting in infinite trays being required. one of the operating lines would have to be extended. this is the minimum number of trays required to achieve this separation under the specified conditions. then more equilibrium trays will be needed to carry out the same separation. 9 trays were chosen for the computer simulation. If a tower design is too near a pinch point. labeled R on the diagram. then it may be risky to try to implement that design. What is the minimum reflux ratio for the problem at hand? c) HYSYS simulation The components benzene and toluene were chosen. Based on the Ponchon-Savarit solution. All trays are located as points on the equilibrium curve. That is. Thus. It should be noted that the optimum feed location would be “on tray 5” (feed introduced through the tower wall above tray 5). as was the ideal solution. the tray efficiency will be less than unity. HYSYS does not count the condenser as a tray. Care must be taken in practice to avoid pinch points in the operation of distillation towers. You should complete the construction on your copy of the notes. the simulation was for a . if it is a total condenser. For a misplaced feed location.

. The feed stream rate (100. the type “total” was selected. If we had not done the Ponchon-Savarit method.2 oC TD = 79.045 TF = 91. a partial reboiler (a 9th equilibrium stage).00 atm. Second.50) . For the tower.7 oC TB = 108. an overhead liquid product stream. as the overhead and bottoms compositions are slightly outside the required separation. the overhead rate was set at 50. and then modify the number of trays to get the desired separation. Since we set the number of trays. the feed was set on tray 4.0 kmol/h xD = 0. we could not set the overhead composition as a specification. and the pressure set at 1 atm. we would need to guess a number of trays. and a bottoms stream were placed on the flowchart.0 kmol/h.5 oC These results satisfy the specifications of the problem. and conditions (P = 1.0 kmol/h xB = 0. The duties and temperatures agree reasonably well with the Ponchon-Savarit solution above. Note that these can be done on the column menu during setup. A partial reboiler was selected. For the condenser. perform the simulation.955 B = 50. and these were checked but not changed.000 as default values in HYSYS. bubble point) were set.19x106 kJ/h QR = 6. the reflux ratio was set at 3.0 kmol/h). A feed stream.tower with 8 trays. composition (x1 = x2 = 0. Two tower specifications were written. First. Results: QC = -6.00 on a mole basis. and a total condenser. which is the default location in the simulator for this problem. and the pressure set at 1 atm.27x106 D = 50. All tray efficiencies were set to 1.

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