Methodology for

Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution

Determine all of the information stated in the problem including:

Configuration of the column





Operating Pressure
Total, partial or no condenser
Total,, partial
p
or no reboiler
Location of feed stream(s)
Location of side stream(s)
Location of product stream(s)





Distillate
Bottoms
Feed
Reflux
Boilup





Distillate, xD and D
Distillate
Bottoms, xB and B
Feed, zF and F
Reflux, L/V or L/D
Boilup, L/V or V/B

Condition of streams (saturated, superheated or subcooled)

Flow rates and composition of streams

1

Methodology for
Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution
 Determine equilibrium relationship
 Use convenient equilibrium equation – e.g.,
given relative volatility, α
 Curve fit equilibrium data at Pcol – y vs x
 Setup operating line equations and equilibrium
curves in proper format for stepping down or
stepping up the column…

2

Methodology for
Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution

Assume CMO when applicable
pp

Determine Top Operating Line

Determine Bottom Operating Line

Choose convenient TOL equation or derive
Utilize total and/or component mass balances to determine required variables –
e.g., L, V, L/V, L/D – in TOL if not given

Choose convenient BOL equation or derive
Utilize total and/or component mass balances to determine required variables –
e g L,
e.g.,
L V,
V L/V,
L/V V/B – in BOL if not given

Determine Feed Line



Choose convenient feed line equation or derive
Utilize total and/or component mass balances to determine required variables –
e g F or zF, – for feed if not given
e.g.,
Utilize total and/or component mass balances to determine required variables –
e.g., L, V, L, V, LF, VF, – for feed if not given
Use feed-stage relationships to determine q or f at feed conditions

3

Methodology for
Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution
 Stepping Up the Column from the Reboiler

Equilibrium Curve
yEq = yEq((xEq) – as normally
y expressed
p

Operating Line
xOL = xOL(yOL) – solve operating line for x

 Stepping Down the Column from the Condenser

Equilibrium Curve
xEq = xEq(yEq) – solve equilibrium relationship for x

Operating Line
yOL = yOL(xOL) – as normally expressed
4

Methodology for
Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution
 Determine intersection of operating lines
and/or feed line to determine when to switch
from the TOL to the BOL by:
 Solving simultaneous TOL, BOL, and/or feed line
equations using Mathcad’s “Minerr” function or
 Solving TOL, BOL, and/or feed line equations
algebraically

5

which from the simultaneous solution of TOL and the BOL equations. (5-38) Intersection of OL’s yI  L  L x I  1   x D V  V (Eq.Intersection of OL’s and Feed Line intersection. alternatively. from the simultaneous solution of the Feed Line and the TOL:  L   q  1 1   x D  z F  V xI  L  q  1    q V Intersection of TOL and FL x zF  D q L/D yI  Eq. B) or alternatively or. yields: L   L  1   x D    1 x B  V V  xI  L L  V V Eq. (5-38) q 1 L/D 6 .

Methodology for Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution  Plot the equilibrium curve. and feed line  Check the equations and plot by verifying th t the: that th     TOL intersects y = x at xD BOL intersects y = x at xB Feed line intersects y = x at zF OL’s and feed line all intersect at xI and yI 7 . BOL. TOL.

number of stages above reboiler. liquid and/or vapor compositions for a given stage.Methodology for Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution  Implement McCabe McCabe-Thiele Thiele algorithm and plot stages  Determine total number of equilibrium stages  Determine optimum feed stage  Determine any fractional stages  Answer specific questions.. etc. e.g.  Keep in mind that a partial condenser and/or partial reboiler are each counted as an equilibrium stage outside the column! 8 . condenser.

y j ) y j 1 x j ∙ ∙ ∙ Stage j (x 3 . y 4 ) (x j . y j 1 ) 9 .Stage Compositions – Total Condenser QC Total Condenser Equilibrium Curve y1 xD Operating Line (x 0  x D  y1 . y1  x D ) x0 Stage 1 (x 1 . y 2 ) y3 (x 2 . y 2 ) x1 Stage 2 (x 2 . y1 ) y2 (x 1 . y 3 ) y 31 x3 (x j . y 3 ) x2 Stage 3 (x 3 .

y4) Feed Line (x5. y5) (xB. y3) (x4. y2) y (x3. yI) (x2. y4) Top Operating Line (x3. y0) (xI. xB) xB = xN Bottom Operating Line x xD = y1 = y0 = x0 10 .Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution Total Condenser Equilibrium Curve (x1. y1) (x0. y3) (x2. y5) (x4. y2) (x1.

y N ) Stage N (x N .Stage Compositions – Total Reboiler Equilibrium Curve Operating Line Stage N. y N 1 ) (x y N 1 x N  2 Stage N-1 (x N 1 . y N 3 ) y N  2 x N 3 (x N  3 . x N ) xN Total Reboiler QR xB 11 . y N 1 ) yN x N 1 (x N 1 . y N ) xN (x N . y N  2 ) ( N  2 . y N  2 ) Stage N-2 (x N  2 . y N  n ) Stage g N-3 (x N 3 .n (x N  n . y N  n ) ∙ y N  n x N n 1 ∙ ∙ (x N  n 1 .

yNN-33) (xN-4. yN-1) Feed Line (xN. xD) (xI. yN-2) y (xN-1. yN-4) (xD. yN) (xN. yN-3) (xN-2. yN) (xN-1. yI) ((xNN-33.Complete McCabe-Thiele Solution Total Reboiler Equilibrium q Curve (xN-4. yN) xB = xN Bottom Operating Line x xD 12 . yN-2) Top Operating Line (xN-2. yN-1) (xN-3.

curve to operating line y Eq  y OL 13 .Fractional Stage at Top of Column y Eqq Equilibrium E ilib i Curve x D  y OL xD x D  y OL y OL Operating Line Fractional Stage  xD distance from y at x D (y  x D ) to operating line x D  y OL  distance from equil.

Fractional Stage at Bottom of Column Equilibrium Curve Operating Line x Eq  x OL x Eq x OL x B  x OL Fractional Stage  xB distance from x at x B (x  x B ) to operating line x B  x OL  distance from equil. curve to operating line x Eq  x OL 14 .

Optimal Feed Stage Location 15 .

Summary of McCabe McCabe-Thiele Thiele Method 16 .

the operating 17 .McCabe & Thiele Method (1925) Graphical method based on Lewis Lewis’s s method and the fact that operating lines are straight lines on the y y-x diagram g Solve the equilibrium relationship from the y y-x x equilibrium curve and the mass balance from p g lines.

Top operating line Straight line with L/V as slope and (1-L/V) xD as yiintercept t t 18 .

Top of the column = total condenser y1=xD=x0 Equilibrium curve x1 Operating line y2 19 .

20 .

Knowing y2 one can proceed down the column We step off stages We can continue as long l as we are in the h rectifying f section 21 .

The above p procedure is called the McCabe & Thiele method It produces a staircase construction In the stripping section. one has to use a different operating line l slope y-intercept Applies to passing streams in the stripping t i i section ti 22 .

Start with liquid leaving the reboiler xB=xN+1 Use equilibrium curve yN+1 Use operating line xN We can continue this alternating process between equilibrium curve and operating line as long as we are in the stripping section 23 .

24 .

At feed stage one has to switch between top operating line and bottom operating line 25 .

How to compute slope of bottom operating line Obtain D and B from mass balances around entire column 26 .

U f l for Useful f computer t calculations l l ti 27 .

Feed line 28 .

y=z) z.D t i f d quality lit Determine feed Get slope of feed line Feed line goes through point (x (x=z.y z) 29 .

Intersection of two operating p g lines (x ( I.yI) 30 .

CMO assumption: flow rates will be constant in each section Value of q (feed quality) determine changes in flow rates at feed stage Summary END 31 .

32 .

etc. 33 . L/D = 2(L/D)min. L/V = 1.  There are two limiting conditions with respect to the reflux ratio. L/D.  One will often see an external reflux specification as a multiple of the minimum reflux ratio. L/D. and L/D  ∞  Minimum reflux ratio. D = 0. that one obtains:  Total reflux ratio. is often a parameter that is specified for column operation since it is perhaps the easiest to change under column operation and changing L/D often has a substantial effect on the overall column behavior and separation. for example.Limiting Conditions – Reflux Ratios  The external reflux ratio. (L/D)min.

and for testing column efficiency.  This is a limiting condition which provides one with the minimum number of equilibrium stages that can be obtained for a given column.Total Reflux and Boilup – Limiting Condition  A column which has total reflux and boilup has no feed – the distillate. bottoms. 34 . and feed flow rates are zero. total reflux and boilup p are used for starting g up a column. column  While one would not typically operate under such conditions. for operating the column off-line when other unit operations are off-line..

become the y = x auxiliary line.Limiting Conditions – Total Reflux  At total reflux: R  L/D   L/V  1. TOL and BOL.0  Both operating lines. 35 .  Operating a column under total reflux yields the minimum number of equilibrium stages for a particular column.0 LV L/ V  1.

Total Reflux 36 .

Total Reflux – Mi i Minimum N Number b off E Equilibrium ilib i St Stages 37 .

 The point on the equilibrium curve that this occurs is called a “pinch” point. is defined as the external reflux ratio at which the specified separation could just be obtained with an infinite number of stages. R min  (L/D) min (L/V) min  1  (L/V) min  We obtain an infinite number of stages if our operating lines touch the equilibrium curve. reflux Rmin i or (L/D)min i .Limiting Conditions – Minimum Reflux  Minimum reflux. 38 .

 One should always look at a system to determine if a non-ideal pinch point occurs…Just don’t blindly assume it will be at the intersection of the feed line and equilibrium curve. 39 .Two Types of Pinch Points  For many systems. the pinch point will occur where the feed line crosses the equilibrium curve.  A second type of pinch point can occur in “non-ideal” system where the operating line touches the equilibrium curve before the intersection of the feed line and the equilibrium curve.

Minimum Reflux – I fi it Number Infinite N b off E Equilibrium ilib i St Stages 40 .

Limiting Conditions – Minimum Boilup  A minimum boilup ratio. 41 . V/B. l L/V L/V. ratio (V/B)min. to the boilup ratio. can be similarly defined as the boilup ratio at which the specified separation could just be obtained with an infinite number of stages. stages (V/B) min 1  (L/ V) max  1  B Because off this hi relationship l i hi off the h BOL’s BOL’ slope. V/B. we have a maximum L/V at minimum boilup.

Possible Reflux Operating Conditions 42 .

the optimum reflux ratio lies between 1.25 (L/D)min. while too high of an L/D increases the reboiler duty as well as the required diameter of the column.Rule of Thumb  The best operating condition lies between minimum and total reflux.  Too low of an L/D results in a large number of equilibrium stages. 43 .05 and 1.  As a rule of thumb.

the flow profiles are flat in each section of the column.Profiles for Binary Distillation Ethanol water column Ethanol-water As expected.  temperature decreases rapidly for the first few contacts above the reboiler but is almost constant t t ffor th the last l t eight i ht stages. Profiles for Example 4-3 44 . t This Thi occurs mainly because of the shape of the temperaturecomposition diagram for ethanol-water  Since we assumed CMO. Since the stages are discrete. Since stage 2 is the feed stage. L>V and V > L. the profiles are not smooth curves. while the ethanol concentration increases. stage L2 is in the stripping section while V2 is in the enriching section Figure 4-14. the water concentration in both liquid and vapor streams decreases monotonically as we go up the column column. As expected.

then a partial condenser will be very convenient 45 . M.B on the more volatile component Vy = Lx + DyD Figure 4-20. (B) top operating line If a vapor distillate is desired. Partial condenser.Other Distillation Column Situations -Partial Condensers A partial condenser condenses only part of the overhead stream and returns this as reflux. (A) balance envelope.B: V = L + D M.

Note: The major difference between this case and that for a total condenser is that the partial condenser serves as the first equilibrium contact.B th more volatile l til componentt V = Lx Vy L + Dy D D Removing D and solving for y. 46 .Other Distillation Column Situations -Partial Condensers M B on the M. we obtain the operating equation This is essentially the same as the equation for a top operating li line with ith a total t t l condenser d exceptt that th t yD has h replaced l d xD The top operating line will intersect the y = x line at y = x= yD.

Other Distillation Column Situations . 4 21 Total reboiler 47 .Total Reboilers A ttotal t l reboiler b il vaporizes i the th entire ti stream t sentt to t it. thus. Figure 4-21. the vapor composition is the same as the liquid composition The mass balance and the bottom operating equation with a total reboiler are exactly the same as with a partial reboiler Note: partial reboiler is an equilibrium contact where as the total reboiler is not an equilibrium contact and appears on the McCabe-Thiele diagram as the single point y = x = xB.

S. a vapor or liquid side stream may be withdrawn Three additional variables such as flow rate. Liquid side stream (A) column. ifi d Figure 4-22. and location or composition xS or yS.Side Streams or Withdrawal Lines If a product of intermediate composition is required. (B) McCabe-Thiele diagram 48 . mustt be b specified. type of side draw (liquid or vapor).

L’ = D+S Equation 4-51 For the situation shown in Figure 4-22A.  A saturated liquid withdrawal is equivalent to a negative feed of concentration xS. and xD are known  A second point can be found where the side stream is withdrawn. the middle operating line equation is The y = x intercept is Equation 4-52 This point can be plotted if S.B V’ = L’ V L + D+S V’. 49 .  Thus there must be a vertical feed line at x = xS. The top and d middle ddl operating llines must intersect at this h ffeed d lline. D.M. xS.

For a liquid withdrawal. A balance on vapor p flow rates g gives Eq. a balance on the liquid gives Eq. The top operating line is adjusted (change L/D) until a stage ends exactly at xS or yS.4-53 while vapor flow rates are unchanged.4-54 while liquid flow rates are unchanged. where D can be found from external balances once xS is known. L′/V′. F a vapor side For id stream The feed line is horizontal at y = yS. V = V′ Thus slope. 50 . Again L′/V′ can be calculated if L and V are known If a specified value of xS (or yS) is desired. L and V can be determined from L/D and D. of the middle operating line can be determined if L and V are known. the problem is trial and error.

l (B) M McCabe-Thiele C b Thi l di diagram 51 . j the vapor p into and reinjects the column.Intermediate Reboilers and Intermediate Condensers four operating lines  The Th intermediate i t di t reboiler b il removes a liquid side stream from the column. (A) b l balance envelopes. Intermediate reboiler. and reinjects it into the column Figure 4-23.  An intermediate condenser removes a vapor side stream. vaporizes it. condenses it.

xB. xD.Intermediate Reboilers and Intermediate Condensers  An energy balance around the column will show that QR without an intermediate reboiler is equal to QR + QI with the intermediate reboiler (F. L/D constant). and a cheaper heat source can be used 52 . i d Since xS > xB.  Wh Whatt changes h is i the th temperature t t att which hi h it is i required. q. z. p. the temperature of the intermediate reboiler is lower than that of the reboiler.  Thus the amount of energy required is unchanged.

and the distillate can be very pure but the bottoms will not be very pure. respectively. the feed must be a subcooled or saturated liquid. respectively is not needed 53 Figure 4-24.Stripping and Enriching Columns St i i Stripping column l E i hi Enriching column l McCabe-Thiele diagram for stripping column  When Wh only l a stripping t i i section ti i is used. Note: Striping columns and enriching columns are used when a pure distillate or a pure bottoms bottoms. A very y pure p bottoms product can be obtained but the vapor distillate will not be pure  In the enriching or rectifying column. the feed is a superheated vapor or a saturated vapor. Stripping and enriching columns . on the other hand. No reflux is used.

ti  Then the top operating line is y = yD. Analysis of stripping and enriching columns is similar. The bottom operating line can be derived as  This is equation for a bottom operating equation with a partial reboiler. the feed line can be plotted and then the bottom operating line can be obtained from its intersection at y = x = xB and its intersection with the feed line at yD. q. 54 . reboiler Top and bottom operating lines intersect at the feed line. z. xB. similar  The stripping column shown in Figure 4-24A can be thought of as a complete distillation column with zero li id fl liquid flow rate t in i the th enriching i hi section. and yD.  If the specified variables are F. p.

 Many different measures of efficiency have been defined.Efficiencies  We have always assumed that the stages are equilibrium stages. we use a measure of efficiency. Eo  Partial condensers and partial reboilers are not included in either the actual or equilibrium number of stages.  Overall efficiency. since they will not have the same efficiency as the stages in the column. 55 .  To compare the performance of an actual stage to an equilibrium stage. Two that are in common use are the overall efficiency and the Murphree efficiency.

 The mass transfer f rate. which is affected ff by the diffusivity. will in turn affect efficiency.  The column size can also have an effect. 56 .What variables would we expect p to affect column efficiency?  The hydrodynamic flow properties such as y and gas g flow rate would affect the viscosity flow regime and efficiency.

4-57 M Murphree h vapor efficiency ffi i is i Eq. (B) McCabe-Thiele diagram for EMV 57 .  The Murphree vapor efficiency is defined as Eq. (A) stage nomenclature. Murphree efficiency. 4-58 where yj* is vapor mole fraction in equilibrium with actual liquid mole fraction xj Figure 4-27. The most commonly used stage efficiencies for binary distillation are the Murphree vapor and liquid efficiencies.

Note that EML ≠ EMV 58 . 4-59 which is the actual change in mole fraction divided by the change g for an equilibrium q stage. A Murphree M h liquid li id efficiency ffi i can b be d defined fi d as Eq. g  The Murphree liquid efficiency is similar to the Murphree vapor efficiency except that it uses horizontal distances.