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LECTURER: Mr. A F Bassa DATE:25/04/2017
MAX MARKS : 100 (120 minutes)

QUESTION 1 : 45 Marks

A mixture of ethyl alcohol and water with 0.55 mole fraction of alcohol is distilled to give a constant top
product composition of 0.75 mole fraction of alcohol. The column has three ideal plates (four stages)

Using The VLE diagram and equations provided:

a) Determine the initial Reflux ratio
b) Determine the final Reflux ratio if the operation is discontinued when the still has a content of 30
mole per cent alcohol.
c) Determine the final Reflux ratio if the operation is discontinued when 83 per cent of the alcohol
charged has been removed as distillate
HINT: Use three trial values of R = 2.75; 1.5; 0.875

QUESTION 2 : 20 Marks

Consider a multi-component butane-pentane separation process. Composition of the feed, in mole

fraction, is given below (the components are given in order of relative volatility)

Propane iso-Butane n-Butane iso-Pentane n-Pentane

C3 iC4 nC4 iC5 nC5
mol fr in feed 0.05 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.35

The objective of the process is to have 98% of iso-Butane (iC4) in the feed recovered in the
distillate and 95% of n-Butane (nC4) in the feed recovered in the bottoms product. The process
operates at P=8.3 bar. The feed is a saturated liquid.

a) Which component is the heavy key and which is the light key?
b) Identify the HNKs and the LNKs
c) Assuming sharp separation calculate compositions of the distillate and bottoms products

QUESTION 3 : 40 Marks

A vent gas stream in your chemical plant contains 10 mol% of a pollutant, the rest is air. The local
authorities want to reduce the pollutant concentration by absorbing 92 mol% of the pollutant

You have decided to build an absorption tower using water as the absorbent. The inlet water is
pure and the operation is essentially isothermal at 5oC, and isobaric at 10 atm. At 5C your
laboratory has found that the Henrys constant of the pollutant in water at 5oC is 876 atm/mole

Assume that air is not soluble in water and that water is non-volatile.

a) Find the minimum ratio of water to air (L /G)min on a solute-free basis

b) With (L/G) = 1.5 (L/G)min find the total number of equilibrium stages and the outlet liquid
HINT: For the graph use the coordinates Y (0 to 0.14) and X (0 to 0.0014)