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March 3, 2016

Series 1: Ideal Absorption Cascades and Kremser Equation

Exercise 1: Ideal Cascades

Acetic acid must be extracted from an aqueous solution (6 mole of acid per liter of water)

using chloroform at a temperature of 25 C, in order to separate the acetic acid (B) from the

water soluble impurities. Water (A) is completely insoluble in chloroform (C).

Calculate which is the percentage of acetic acid extracted when the acetic acid is extracted

from an aqueous solution (10 L/s of water) using a 10 L/s stream of chloroform under the

following conditions:

(i) The solvent is totally fed in a cross-current process with only 1 stage, see Figure 1.

C

C, cB,0

A

A, cB,0

A, cBA

C, cBC

(ii) The solvent is divided in 3 equal parts; each third of solvent is fed in a stage of a 3

stages cross-current process, as shown in Figure 2.

C

C/3, cB,0

A

A, cB,0

A

A, cB,1

C

C/3, cB,0

A

A, cB,2

C

C, cB,1

C

C, cB,2

C

C/3, cB,0

A

A, cB,3

C

C, cB,3

(iii) Use 5 L/s of solvent in the 1st stage, 3 L/s in the second stage and 2 L/s in the third

stage of a 3 stages cross-current process.

1

Prof. Dr. M. Mazzotti

March 3, 2016

(iv) Represent the cross-current separations of points (ii) and (iii) in the x-y plane (CCB -CAB

plane according to the notation of Figure 2), similarly to what was done in the class for

single stage absorption. Draw the equilibrium line, as well as the operating line for each

stage.

(v) Compare the cross-current absorption configurations (ii) and (iii). How must the total

solvent (chloroform) flow be split in order to yield a maximal absorption factor? Can

this result be generalized? (Optional)

Assume that the flow rates of both water and solvent are constant during the extraction

process. The partition coefficient during the extraction is constant and is equal to:

cC

B

= 2.8

cA

B

C

with

cB

K=

mole

Concentration of acetic acid in chloroform

liter chloroform

mole

A

and

cB

Concentration of acetic acid in water

liter water

Acetic Acid (25 C) = 1049 kg/m3

Hints:

(ii) The single stage method developed in the lecture can be applied in a sequential

manner in order to determine the concentrations CCB,j and CAB,j . Consider the

aqueous solution as the gas phase and the chloroform solution as the liquid

phase. Before doing the computation establish an equilibrium relationship in

the form of a Henrys law, i.e. of a linear relationship between the concentration

of Acetic acid in water and chloroform.

(v) The absorption factor expressed as a function of the different Aj must be

maximized under the constraint that the sum of the liquid flows to each stage

must be equal to the total liquid flow:

X

X

Lj = Ltot

Aj = Atot

Lj

for j = 1, . . . , N

mG

Such an optimization can be done with the Lagrange Method.

with

Aj =

maximizing its logarithm, as ln(x) is a strictly monotonous function.

Prof. Dr. M. Mazzotti

March 3, 2016

Determine the equation for the gas molar faction as a function of the stage number for a

counter-curent absorption cascade. Use the obtained equation to determine the absorption

factor . The obtained expression is known as the Kremser equation and contains 3 variables,

namely , A and N . Show that this equation can be solved fo any of these variables as function

of the other two.

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