Chapter: 5
Approximate methods for multicomponent multistage separation
5.1 Design methods and simulation methods for multistage
contactor
In multi component distillation one usually comes across two kinds of problems:
a) Design problems: In this method, based on known values of feed flow rate, feed
temperature, pressure etc, the total number of plates is found out to bring about a
given desired separation of components.
b) Simulation or Rating problems: Such problems deal with calculating the flow
rates of distillate and residue with the product composition i.e. concentration
profile, as well as temperature profile as a function of the plate number along the
length of the column.
Thus from the nature of problems we see that the calculations for simulation methods
needs to be much more rigorous. The design methods are thus approximate methods
giving the initial parameter values that are to be checked further by the simulation
methods.
In design problem, the product split is specified and feed rate, feed composition, pressure
and feed temperature is also specified. The objective of the method is to find out the
reflux ratio, number of ideal plates and feed tray location.
For the specification of product split only two split can be specified and that will be
sufficient. This can be proved by the phase rule using degrees of freedom. If more than
two component split is specified, then the problem is over specified. Suppose that there
are five components in the mixture and it is specified that the second and the fourth
component should be present in the distillate by an amount equal to 90% of the feed and
5% of the feed respectively. Then the split for the second component is 0.90 and for the
fourth will be 0.05.
Design method is valid only for simple distillation column i.e. in case of only one feed
stream and distillate and bottom stream only. If there are more than one feed stream and
multiple side streams then the column is complex and there is no design method for this
type of column. Also it has to be noted that the design methods yield approximate results
and to get more accurate results, one has to ratify the results obtained from the design
methods by using much more rigorous simulation methods.
FenskeUnderwoodGilliland (FUG) [ ] method is one design method where minimum
number of trays is found by Fenske method. Minimum reflux ratio is found by
2
Underwood method and the operating number of trays by Gilliland correlation of tray and
reflux.
Another wellknown design method is the LewisMatheson method [ ] which is more
accurate than FUG method but due to substantial amount of computation effort and
inherent instability in the convergence, this method is not so much in use nowadays. It is
recommended to use FUG method to obtain the initial estimate, which are then further
ratified or corrected as needed, using some rigorous simulation methods.
In simulation problem the specified variables are:
 Number of equilibrium stages
 Number of components
 All feed and side stream locations
 All feed rates
 All feed compositions and temperatures
 Reflux ratio
 Top product rate
 Heat input to any stage and the corresponding stage number
 Type of condenser
 Column pressure
So this method assumes that a column exist which can be simple as well as complex and
then calculates the temperature profile in each tray, composition in liquid and vapor for
each component in each tray, liquid and vapor flow rate at each tray so that it matches the
requirement. This method is also rigorous method and much more accurate than design
methods.
5.2 Fenske Underwood Gilliland (FUG) method for
distillation
The FUG method utilizes Fenske equation to make an estimate of the number of
theoretical plates at total reflux; Underwoods method to roughly compute the minimum
reflux ratio and Gillilands method for approximately getting the operating number of
plates at operating reflux which is 1.21.5 times the minimum reflux. Kirkebride method
is used to locate the feed plate.
In this method splits of two components are specified in one of the product stream say in
the distillate. Let it be desired that distillate contain Pn% of the n
th
component of the feed
and Pm% of the m
th
component of the feed.
It is also conventional to define a light key and a heavy key component. A heavy
key component is one that is present in the distillate at important concentration while
component heavier than it are present in negligible amount. If all components are present
in the distillate in appreciable amount then the least volatile component will be the heavy
key. Similarly, a light key component is present in the residue at important concentration
3
while components lighter than it are present in very small amounts. If all components are
present in the residue at important concentrations then the most volatile component will
be the light key.
5.2.1 Estimation of key components by Shiras, Hanson and
Gibson equation
Let split of n
th
and m
th
component be P
n
and P
m
respectively.
Then P
n
= d
n
/f
n
where dn and fn is the n
th
component molar flow rate in the distillate and in the feed
respectively.
SHG equation gives for the ith component split
P
i
= d
i
/f
i
= ((
i
1)/(
lk
1)) (d
lk
/f
lk
) + ((
lk

i
)/(
lk
1)) (d
hk
/f
hk
)
where
i
is the relative volatility of the i
th
component
lk is the light key, hk is the heavy key
Substituting i=n and i=m we get
P
n
= d
n
/f
n
= ((
n
1)/(
lk
1))x(d
lk
/f
lk
) + ((
lk

n
)/(
lk
1))x(d
hk
/f
hk
)
P
m
= d
m
/f
m
= ((
m
1)/(
lk
1))x(d
lk
/f
lk
) + ((
lk

m
)/(
lk
1))x(d
hk
/f
hk
)
Let these two equations be written like this:
P
n
=A
1
d
lk
+ B
1
d
hk
P
m
= A
2
d
lk
+ B
2
d
hk
Solving for d
lk
and d
hk
we get
d
hk
=(P
n
A
2
P
m
A
1
)/(A
2
B
1
A
1
B
2
)
d
lk
= (P
n
B
1
d
hk
)/A
1
Then knowing d
lk
, d
hk
, f
lk
, f
hk
and all the relative volatilities one can calculate
P
i
= d
i
/f
i
= ((
i
1)/(
lk
1)) (d
lk
/f
lk
) + ((
lk

i
)/(
lk
1)) (d
hk
/f
hk
)
Then it is required to test that
P
i
>= 1 for all i<lk
0<P
i
<1 for all lk<=i<=hk
P
i
<=0 for all i>hk
4
If all constrains are satisfied then the choice of key components are correct, else they are
to be re chosen.
In this context one needs to remember that the relative volatility is defined as
i
= K
i
/ K
hk
where K
i
and K
hk
are the equilibrium constant of the i
th
component and heavy key
respectively. Another thing this is important is that the components are to be ordered in
order of decreasing relative volatility. To do this one first need to check which K value is
the least and then relative volatility is calculated for all the components based on the least
K value and then ordered in decreasing order. This is done because FUG method
supposes that the components are input in order of decreasing relative volatility but user
may not be aware of the order and may input the components haphazardly.
5
a
b
c
d
e
f
lk
hk
Distillate
Bottoms
Distributed
Components
a
b
c
d
e
f
lk
hk
Distillate
Bottoms
Distributed
Components
4 1 3
o u o s s
4 1 3
o u o s s
and
a
b
c
d
e
f
Component o
i
d
i
f
i
lk
hk
o
1
o
2
o
3
o
4
o
5
o
6
u
1
u
2
d
1
= f
1
d
2
= f
2
d
3
d
4
d
5
0
f
1
f
2
f
3
f
4
f
5
f
6
b
i
0
0
b
3
b
4
b
5
b
6
= f
6
D d
c
i
i
=
=1
B b
c
i
i
=
=1
In general
1 1 +
s s
lk lk
o u o
2 2 1 + +
s s
lk lk
o u o
and i lk i i lk + +
s s o u o
1
4 1 3
o u o s s
4 1 3
o u o s s
and 4 1 3
o u o s s
4 1 3
o u o s s
and
a
b
c
d
e
f
Component o
i
d
i
f
i
lk
hk
o
1
o
2
o
3
o
4
o
5
o
6
u
1
u
2
d
1
= f
1
d
2
= f
2
d
3
d
4
d
5
0
f
1
f
2
f
3
f
4
f
5
f
6
b
i
0
0
b
3
b
4
b
5
b
6
= f
6
D d
c
i
i
=
=1
B b
c
i
i
=
=1
In general
1 1 +
s s
lk lk
o u o
2 2 1 + +
s s
lk lk
o u o
and i lk i i lk + +
s s o u o
1
a
b
c
d
e
f
Component o
i
d
i
f
i
lk
hk
o
1
o
2
o
3
o
4
o
5
o
6
u
1
u
2
d
1
= f
1
d
2
= f
2
d
3
d
4
d
5
0
f
1
f
2
f
3
f
4
f
5
f
6
b
i
0
0
b
3
b
4
b
5
b
6
= f
6
D d
c
i
i
=
=1
B b
c
i
i
=
=1
a
b
c
d
e
f
Component o
i
d
i
f
i
lk
hk
o
1
o
2
o
3
o
4
o
5
o
6
u
1
u
2
d
1
= f
1
d
2
= f
2
d
3
d
4
d
5
0
f
1
f
2
f
3
f
4
f
5
f
6
b
i
0
0
b
3
b
4
b
5
b
6
= f
6
Component o
i
d
i
f
i
lk
hk
o
1
o
2
o
3
o
4
o
5
o
6
u
1
u
2
d
1
= f
1
d
2
= f
2
d
3
d
4
d
5
0
f
1
f
2
f
3
f
4
f
5
f
6
b
i
0
0
b
3
b
4
b
5
b
6
= f
6
D d
c
i
i
=
=1
B b
c
i
i
=
=1
In general
1 1 +
s s
lk lk
o u o
2 2 1 + +
s s
lk lk
o u o
and i lk i i lk + +
s s o u o
1
6
5.2.2 Calculation of minimum reflux by Underwood equation
After calculating the right key components Underwood method is used for finding out the
minimum reflux ratio.
There are two equations of Underwood.
1. (
i
fi)/(
i
)=F(1q)
2. (
i
di)/(
i
)=D(Rm+1)
where the terms have their usual meanings and q is the fraction of the feed going into the
liquid state which can be determined from isothermal flash calculation discussed earlier.
Rm is the minimum reflux.
So in the first equation the unknown variable is . From the equation we also can see that
there will be C number of roots where C is the number of components. What we are
intending is to use these values in the second equation to get simultaneous equations to
get the unknown variables di and Rm. But we know two di values d
lk
and d
hk
from SHG
equation. Also as per definition of light and heavy key and di for i<lk will be equal to the
feed component flow rate fi and di for i>lk will be zero. So after all we have to find out
hklk1 number of di values and one Rm value i.e. total hklk unknowns.
One can also see that if heavy and light key are two adjacent components then hklk1
equals to zero. In that case there will be only one unknown Rm and only one equation, so
it can be directly obtained. But for non adjacent keys we have to solve the simultaneous
equations by any suitable numerical method. GaussJordan method was used in the
program.
only has mathematical significance. And any i lies between
lk+i1
and
lk+i
where i
lies between lk and hk.
Bisection or RegulaFalsi method can be used to solve the nonlinear equation of . As
initial guesses for i,
lk+i1
and
lk+i
values are supplied. So by invoking hklk times this
routine and incrementing i from 1 to hklk one can get all values needed.
Once all the values are calculated, second Underwood equation is used two get Rm and
the unknown di values. Since total distillate flow rate D is not known before knowing all
component distillate flow rate di so D(Rm+1) as a whole is taken as one variable. After
getting all di values D is calculated by summing up all di and then Rm is obtained.
After calculating di and Rm distillate composition can be calculated from
Z
Di
=di/D i=1, 2 C
and bottom composition using the following equation
X
Bi
= (fidi)/(FD) i=1,2C
7
The relative volatilities in the two equations can be calculated as usual but a closer look
will give that relative volatility is temperature dependent, but the dependency is not so
pronounced as the equilibrium constant. Nevertheless, since the relative volatility values
have been taken as constant throughout the column for each component a rational
approach is to calculate it at the average temperature of the column top and bottom
temperature. But column top temperature can be calculated from the dew point
temperature of the distillate and bottom temperature from the bubble point temperature of
the bottom mixture. In order to do that one needs to know the compositions. So as a first
trial Tavg is taken equal to the feed temperature and then two Underwood equations are
solved and the compositions of both the streams are obtained. Then the respective dew
point and bubble point temperatures are calculated. Then average temperature is
calculated as (Ttop+Tbot)/2. Then this temperature is checked with the earlier
assumption. If the difference is tolerable then calculated di values and Rm is correct
otherwise one needs to replace the previous average with the new average and
recalculate.
5.2.3 Calculation of minimum number of plates by Fenskes
equation
Fenske method is used to calculate the minimum number of trays at the total reflux.
When the column operates at total reflux no feed is introduce and no distillate and bottom
is taken out. So in this case a column is charged with the feed and then the feed flow is
stopped, distillate and bottom outlets are closed. The entire condenser outlet is returned to
the top tray. Eventually the column comes to steady state shown by no fluctuation in the
tray temperatures. Then the column is said to operate at total reflux.
Fenske equation at total reflux is given by:
di/d
hk
=(
i
)
Nm
(bi/b
hk
)
where di is the i
th
component distillate flow rate and bi is the i
th
component bottom flow
rate.
Replacing i with lk one gets
d
lk
/d
hk
=(
lk
)
Nm
(b
l k
/b
hk
)
For the first trial temperature is assumed equal to that comes out from the Underwood
method and at this temperature relative volatility of the light key is calculated. And the
flow rates are taken from the Underwood method. Though the flow rates are not at total
reflux but as an initial guess it is quite handy.
Then Nm is calculated from the second equation. Once Nm is calculated then all bi
values can be calculated by the equation
8
bi=fi/(1+(dhk/bhk)(
i
)
Nm
)
The equation is obtained by substituting di=fibi in the first form of the Fenske equation.
After calculating all bi values all di values are obtained using di=fibi. Then distillate and
bottom compositions are calculated using
Z
di
=di/D
X
Bi
=bi/B i=1, 2C
Then the distillates dew point and bottoms bubble point temperature is calculated and
the average temperature is obtained. If this average temperature is not quite different than
the previous temperature then convergence is achieved otherwise the entire calculation is
repeated.
5.2.4 Determination of equilibrium number of plates by
Gilliland correlation
Gilliland correlation is used to calculate the number of ideal trays at operating reflux.
Nonlinear regression technique is used to correlate operating reflux with the operating
number of trays.
The equation is:
(NNm)/(N+1)= 1exp[{(1+54.4K)/(11+117.2K)}{(K1)/sqrt(K)}]
where N is the number of theoretical plates at operating reflux and
K=(RRm)/(R+1)
R=1.22.0 times the minimum reflux (Rm).
If (NNm)/(N+1) be plotted against K in loglog scale then the curve will look like the
following:
9
Distillate and bottom compositions at operating reflux can be calculated by linear
interpolation.
(di
op
di
tot
)/(di
m
di
tot
)=(R/(R+1)1)/(Rm/(Rm+1)1) i=1, 2C
where di
op
, di
tot
, di
m
is i
th
component distillate flow rate at operating reflux, total reflux
and minimum reflux respectively.
After calculating di
op
we have to calculate the following:
di
op
=fi di
op
D= di
op
B=FD
Z
di
=di/D
X
bi
=bi/B i=1, 2C
Column top and bottom temperatures are calculated from the distillate dew point and
bottoms bubble point temperature using compositions calculated.
5.2.5 Feed plate location by Kirkbride correlation
Kirtebride correlation is used to determine the feed tray location.
log(N
R
/N
s
)=0.206log[(B/D)(Z
Fhk
/Z
Flk
)(X
Blk
/Z
Dhk
)
2
]
where N
R
is the number of trays in the rectifying section
10
N
s
is the number of trays in the stripping section
B,D are bottom and distillate flow rate respectively
Z
Fhk
, Z
Flk
, Z
Dhk
, X
Blk
are compositions of the key components in the feed or
distillate or bottom
From the equation N
R
/N
s
can be obtained.
Also N
R
+N
s
=N total number of trays
So from the two equations N
R
and N
s
can be separately calculated. So the feed tray
location will be the N
R
th
plate from the top.
The following code finds out the feed tray location:
5.2.6 Complete algorithm of the FUG method
1. Light key and heavy key component are specified
2. Relative volatilities of all the components are calculated based on the heavy key
take Tavg = Tfeed for the first trial
3. d
lk
and d
hk
are computed from SHG equation
4. Substituting d
lk
and d
hk
in the SHG equation all Pi values are calculated
5. The required constrain is checked:
Pi>=1 for i<lk
0<Pi<1 for lk<=i<=hk
Pi<=0 for i>hk
6. If all the constrains are true then choice of key component is correct else key
components are re chosen and calculations repeated from step 2
7. Find q by solving the flash equation
8. Solve the first Underwood equation for hklk values of by calling hklk times
the routine of bisection or regulafalsi
9. Solve the second Underwood equation by writing it for all values by Gauss
Jordan method to find hklk1 values of di and D(Rm+1)
10. Find D,B,Z
Di
,X
Bi
and Rm
11. Find distillate dew point and bottom bubble point temperature and calculate
Tavg=(Td+Tb)/2
12. If this Tavg is not closely equal to the previous Tavg then repeat from step1 using
the latest Tavg until convergence is achieved
13. Starting with the latest values of Tb,Td and Tavg find the relative volatilities and
then apply Fenskes equation to calculate Nm
14. Find the non key product distribution (bi and di) at total reflux
15. Find D,B,Z
Di
and X
Bi
at total reflux
16. Find distillate dew point and bottom bubble point temperature and calculate
Tavg=(Td+Tb)/2
11
17. If this Tavg is not closely equal to the previous Tavg then repeat from step13
using the latest Tavg until convergence is achieved
18. After convergence D,B,Z
Di
,X
Bi
are all defined at total reflux
19. Select operating reflux ratio
20. Find product distribution at operating reflux ratio by linear interpolation
21. Find D,B,Z
Di
,X
Bi
at operating reflux
22. Find distillate dew point and bottom bubble point temperature. Then Td will be
column top temperature and Tb will be bottom temperature at operating reflux
23. Use Gilliland correlation to find out number of theoretical plates at operating
reflux
24. Use Kirtebride correlation to find out the feed tray location
Question:
The feed mixture having the following composition enters a
distillation column at a flow rate 100 k mole/hr with feed temperature 107.2
deg C. The pressure inside the distillation column may be taken as 1.72
Mpa. Use ideal mixture assumption & Antoines constants to evaluate K
values.
i Component Composition (Zi)
1 C2 0.03
2 C3 0.20
3 nC4 0.37
4 nC5 0.35
5 nC6 0.05
It is specified that 90% of C3 and nC4 is required in the distillate. It has been proposed
that 2
nd
and 3
rd
component may be assumed as lk and hk.
i) Use ShirasHansonGibson (SHG) equation to check the validity of the proposition.
ii) Find minimum reflux ratio by Underwood method if q=0.88(given). Write any
assumptions that you have made in your solution.
Solution:
i) Given:
Flow rate: 100 K mole/ hr
Feed Temperature: 107.2 deg C
Pressure inside the distillation column: 1.72 Mpa
90% of C3: p2 = d2/f2=0.9 =split of lk
2% of nC4: p3 = d3/f3=0.02 =split of hk
12
Let us assume
2
nd
Component: Light key (lk)
3
rd
Component: Heavy key (hk)
Antoines Constants:
Sl no. Component A B C
1 C2 15.6637 1511.92 17.16
2 C3 15.7260 1872.49 25.16
3 nC4 15.6782 2154.90 34.42
4 nC5 15.8333 2477.07 39.94
5 nC5 15.8366 2697.55 48.78
Antoines Equation:
ln P
i
=A
i
B
i
/(C
i
+ T)
Now,
Ki= P
i
/P (P= 1.72Mpa)
and o=K
i
/K
hk
Sample Calculation:
ln P1 =15.6637 1511.42/(17.16+380.35)
or, P1 = 98931.87 mm of Hg = 13.1898 Mpa
therefore,
K1 =13.1898/1.72=7.67
o1= 7.67/0.98 = 7.83 (where K
hk
= 0.98)
ith component Component Composition (Zi) Pressure
Pi (Mpa)
Ki oi
1 C2 0.03 13.1898 7.67 7.83
2 C3 (lk) 0.20 4.6250 2.69 2.74
3 nC4(hk) 0.37 1.6920 0.98 1.0
4 nC5 0.35 0.6930 0.403 0.41
5 nC6 0.05 0.2950 0.17 0.17
Now,
13
Split, p
i
= d
i
/f
i
= [{(o
i
1)/(o
lk
1)} * {(d
lk
/f
lk
)} * {(o
lk
o
i
)/(o
lk
1)} * {(d
lk
/f
lk
)}]
putting the values of the terms from the table of the above equation, we get,
p
1
= 1.08
p
4
= 0.008
p
5
= 0.013
Conditions:
p
i
>1.0 for i<lh
p
i
<=0 for i>hk
The above condition are satisfied,
So the proposition is correct.
ii) Given q=0.88
Now,
) /( *
1
u o o
=
i i Z
c
i
= (1q)
Putting the values of the terms in the above equation, we get
u = 1.8539
Again,
a) d1=f1
d1/F=Z1
d1=Z1*F= 0.03 * 100 = 3 K mole/hr = 3000 mole/hr
b) d2/f2=0.9
d2/Z2*F=0.9
d2= 0.9*0.20*100*1000 mole/hr
14
d2= 18000 mole/hr
c) d3/f3=0.02
d3/Z3*F=0.02
d3=0.02*0.37*100*1000
d3=740 mole/hr
d) d4=0
e) d5=0
therefore,
D=3000+18000+740=21740
xd1=3000/21740=0.138
xd2=18000/21740=0.828
xd3=740/21740
Now,
=
hk
i
ai di i
1
) /( * u o = D * (Rm+1) (where, Rm= Minimum reflux ratio)
or,
=
hk
i
i xdi i
1
) /( * u o o = (Rm+1)
Putting the values of the above terms, we get
Minimum reflux ratio, Rm = 1.701
Assumptions:
1) The mixture is a ideal mixture.
2) Inlet temperature is equal to inside column temperature.
15
Question:
A ternary mixture containing 40% nC
4
, 25 % n C
5
and rest nC
6
are subjected to
distillation. The feed enters the column as saturated liquid at 100 kmols/s and the
pressure at the feed plate location may be assumed to be 1 atm. It is specified that the
split of nC
4
and n C
6
should be 90% and 5% respectively. Find the minimum reflux
ratio and products compositions at minimum reflux ratio using underwood method.
The values of the Antoines constant are as given below
Components A B C
nC
4
15.6782 2154.9 34.42
nC
5
15.8333 2477.07 39.94
nC
6
15.8366 2697.55 48.78
Let us take nC
4,
nC
5
, nC
6
as componets no. 1 ,2 and 3 respectively
From the given feed flow rate and splits of nC
4
and nC
6
we find the distillate flow rates
of 1 and 3 as 40 kmols/s and 35 kmols/s respectively using the equation
P
i
= d
i
/ f
i
Now from Antoines equation (like previous problem) we find the average normal boiling
points (NBP) of the given components as (T
nbp
)
avg
=308.02
Now we evaluate the K
i
values at this temperature
The K values are found as follows
K
i
= (1/P) exp(A
i
B
i
/ (C
i
+ T))
K
1
=3.21
K
2
= 0.96
K
3
= 0.3
Now assuming component 3 as the reference component we find out the relative
volatilities of the components as
o
i
= K
i
/ K
j
Thus the relative volatilities of the components are
o
1
= 10.7
o
2
= 3.2
o
3
= 1
16
Now we know that
o
i
x
i
= 1/ K
b
from this relation 1/K
b
is found to be equal to 5.43 where K
b
denotes the equilibrium
distribution coefficient for the base component.
Now
1/K
b
= (1/Pt) exp(A
3
(B
3
/(C
3
+ T))
from this relation T is found as T
BP
T
BP
= 407.65K
Now we calculate actual values o
1
,o
2,
o
3
For this we have to recalculate the values of K
i
s at T
BP
So
K
1
= 26.36
K
2
= 11.74
K3=5.4
o
1
= (K
1
/ K
3
) = 4.88
o
2
= (K
2
/ K
3
) = 2.17
o
3
= 1
Now we apply SHG equation to find out the hk and lk compounds.
Let us assume lk = component 1
hk = component 3
the SHG equation is given by
P
n
= A
1
d
lk
+ B
1
d
hk
..(1)
P
m
= A
2
d
lk
+ B
2
d
hk
.(2)
Where A1= (o
n
1)/( o
lk
1) (1/f
lk
) = (4.88 1) / (4.88 1) (1/ f
lk
) = 1 / f
lk
B1 = (o
lk 
o
n
)/ (o
lk
1)(1/ f
hk
) = (4.88 4.88)/(4.88 1) (1/ f
hk
) = 0
17
A
2
= (o
m
1)/( o
lk
1) (1/f
lk
) = (11)/ (4.88 1)(1/f
lk
) = 0
B2 = (o
lk 
o
m
)/ (o
lk
1)(1/ f
hk
) = (4.88 1) / (4.88 1) (1/ f
hk
) = 1/ f
hk
After substituting these values in the equations we have
P
n
= d
lk
/f
lk
P
m
= d
hk
/f
hk
The split of the distributed component is given by
P
2
= ((o
2
1)/( o
lk
1)) (d
lk
/f
lk
) + ((o
lk
 o
2
)/ ( o
lk
1))( d
hk
/f
hk
)
From this relation P
2
is found as 0.3068
So for lk<i<hk we have 0<P
2
<1 . so the condition is satisfied and this implies that our
choice of lk and hk has been correct.
From the first Underwood equation we have
o
i
f
i
/ (o
i
 u) = F (1 q)
here the liquid is saturated liquid so q=1 and this makes the right hand side of the first
underwood equation equal to zero. This leaves us with a quadratic equation of u
solving this equation we get u
1
= 2.86
u
2
= 1.3
we can see here that o
1
> u
1
> o
2
o
2
> u
2
> o
3
from the second underwood equation we have
o
i
d
i
/ (o
i
 u) = D (R
m
+ 1)
let us assume D (R
m
+ 1) = X and we know d
1
and d
3
. Thus we will obtain two
simultaneous equations in d
2
and X.
the equations obtained, are
3.14 d
2
+ X =86.03 (a)
 2.49 d
2
+ X = 43.24 .(b)
solving these equations we get d
2
= 7.72 kmols /s
18
Therefore the amount of distillate is D = d
1
+ d
2
+d
3
= 36 + 7.72 + 1.75 = 45.47
Putting the value of d
2
in (a) we get
R
m
= 0.35
So the minimum reflux ratio should be 0.35