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THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

CHEM ENG 2010: PRINCIPLES OF PROCESS ENGINEERING


Mid-Semester Test
SOLUTION

Tuesday 07 April 2015 (4:10 to 5:50 pm)


TIME: 100 Minutes (100 Marks)

CLOSED BOOK

Instructions to Students
• Answer all FOUR questions.
• Full marks will be awarded for obtaining 100 marks of a potential 110 marks.
• Begin each answer on a new page in the answer book.
• Use one side of each page.
• Box your answers.
• Show all calculations and assumptions in the answer book.
• The marks for each question are indicated. These should be used as a guide to the time to be
spent on each question and the content of your answer.

Mark Summary

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Bonus Question Total


(10 marks) (30 marks) (30 marks) (30 marks) (10 marks)

10 30 30 30 10 110

Page 1 of 11
QUESTION 1: (10 marks)
Based upon the written description which follows, prepare a block flow diagram. All unit operations,
including any splitters and mixers, should be labelled. Indicate the direction of flow of all streams and
number each stream. Indicate the species present in each of the streams.
An aqueous solution of nitric acid contains a small amount of Fe(NO3)2 as an impurity. This stream is fed
into a mixer together with a makeup stream containing Mg(NO3)2 and a recycle stream containing Mg(NO3)2,
Fe(NO3)2 and 20.0 % H2O. The resultant mixture is fed to the first of three distillation columns. The
overheads stream from this first column is fed directly to a second distillation column. This second column
produces two product streams, a stream of concentrated nitric acid (99.0 % HNO3, balance water) which is
the bottoms stream and an overheads stream containing pure water. The bottoms stream from the first
distillation column is fed to the third distillation column. The overheads stream produced by this third column
contains pure water while the bottoms product stream contains Mg(NO3)2, Fe(NO3)2 and 20.0 % H2O. To
prevent unwanted accumulation of the impurity Fe(NO3)2 a portion of the bottoms stream is split off and
purged while the remainder is the recycle stream mentioned above.
SOLUTION: 11 streams x 0.5 = 5.5 marks. 4.5 marks for 4 units and label clearly. (Total = 10 marks)

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QUESTION 2: (30 marks)
The analysis of a coal indicates 75 wt% C, 17% H, 2% S, and the balance noncombustible ash. The coal is
burned at a rate of 6000 kg/h, and the feed rate of air to the furnace is 850 mol/s. All of the ash and 8% of
the carbon in the fuel leave the furnace as a molten slag; the remainder of the carbon leaves in the stack
gas as CO and CO2; the hydrogen in the coal is oxidized to water, and the sulfur emerges as SO2. The
selectivity of CO2 to CO production is 10:1. Calculate:
a) the theoretical air required; [14 marks]
b) the percent excess air fed to the reactor; [2 marks]
c) the mole fractions of the gaseous pollutants CO and SO2 in the stack gas; [10 marks]
d) the yield of carbon dioxide; [2 marks]
e) the ratio of water to dry flue gas. [2 marks]

SOLUTION
a) Basis: 6000 kg coal/h; 850 mol air/s = 3060 kmol/h 5 marks for proper block diagram
6000 kg kg
5000 coal/h
coal / h

0.75 kg C / kg
n1 (kmol O2 / h)
0.17 kg H / kg
n2 (kmol N2 / h)
0.02 kg S / kg
C + 02 --> CO2 n3 (kmol CO2 / h)
0.06 kg ash / kg
2H + 1/2 O2 -->H2O 0.1 n3 (kmol CO / h)
S + O2 --> SO2 n4 (kmol SO2 / h)
850 mol./s
3000 kmol air / h C + 1/2 O2 --> CO n5 (kmol H2O / h)

0.21 kmol O2 / kmol


0.79 kmol N2 / kmol
mo kg slag / h

Theoretical O2 :
0.75 ( 6000 ) kg C 1 kmol C 1 kmol O2
C:
h 12.01 kg C 1 kmol C
=374.64 kmol O2 h
374.64 kmol 1000 mol h
=
h 1 kmol 3600s
=104.07 mol/s
2 marks

0.17 ( 6000 ) kg H 1 kmol H 1 kmol H 2O 1 kmol O2


H:
h 1.01 kg H 2 kmol H 2 kmol H 2O
= 252.5 kmol O2 h = 70.14 mol/s 2 marks

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0.02 ( 6000 ) kg S 1 kmol S 1 kmol O2
S: = 3.7 kmol O2/h = 1.028 mol /s 2 marks
h 32.06 kg S 1 kmol S
Total = (374.64 + 252.54 + 3.7) kmol O2/h = 630.88 kmol O 2 h = 175.2 mol/s 2 marks
Total (air) = 630.88 / 0.21 = 3004.2 kmol/h = 175.2 / 0.21 = 834.5 mol/s 1 marks

b) O 2 fed = 0.21(3060 ) = 642.6 kmol O2 h = 178.5 mol/s

850 − 834.5
Excess air: ×100% = 1.86% excess air 2 marks
834.5

c) Balances:

C:
(0.92)(0.75)(6000) kg C react 1 kmol C
= n3 + 0.1n3
h 12.01 kg C

⇒ n3 = 313.63 kmol CO 2 h , 0.1n3 = 31.4 kmol CO h 2 marks

( 0.17 )( 6000) kg H 1 kmol H 1 kmol H 2O


H: = n5 ⇒ n5 = 505 kmol H2O h
h 1.01 kg H 2 kmol H
1 mark

3.72 kmol O 2 1 kmol SO 2


S: (from part a) = n4
h 1 kmol O 2

⇒ n4 = 3.72 kmol SO 2 h 1 mark

N2 (0.79)(3060) kmol N 2
h = n2
⇒ n2 = 2417.4 kmol N 2 h 1 mark

O: (0.21) (3060) (2) = 2n + 2 (313.64) + 1(314) + 2 (3.72) + (1)(505)


1

⇒ n1 = 57 kmol O 2 / h 2 marks

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Stack gas total
FLUE GAS (kmol/h) FLUE GAS (mol/s)
COMPONENT
S
CO2 313.64 87.12
CO 31.4 8.72
SO2 3.72 1.033
N2 2417.4 671.5
O2 57 15.84
H2O 505 140.28
TOTAL 3328.15 1 mark 924.5

Mole fractions:
31.4
xCO = = 9.4 ×10−3 mol CO mol 1 mark
3328
3.72
xSO = = 1.12 ×10−4 mol SO 2 mol 1 mark
2
3328

d) yield of carbon dioxide


313.63
x100% = 83.7% 2 marks
374.64

e) the ratio of water to dry flue gas


505 505 1 kg H 2O
= = 2 marks
3328 − 505 2823 5.6 kg dry flue gas

Page 5 of 11
QUESTION 3: (30 marks)
In the production of bean oil, beans containing 13 wt% oil and 87% solids are ground and fed to a stirred
tank (the extractor) along with a recycled stream of liquid n-hexane. The feed ratio to the extractor is 3 kg
hexane per kg beans. The ground beans are suspended in the liquid, and essentially all of the oil in the
beans is extracted into the hexane. The extractor effluent passes to a filter. The filter cake contains 75 wt%
bean solids and the balance bean oil and hexane, the latter two in the same ratio in which they emerge from
the extractor. The filter cake is discarded and the liquid filtrate is fed to a heated evaporator in which the
hexane is vaporized and the oil remains as a liquid. The oil is stored in drums and shipped. The hexane
vapour is subsequently cooled and condensed, and the liquid hexane condensate is recycled to the
extractor.

a) A process flowchart and a somewhat oversimplified description of what happens in the process is
shown in attachment 1 (page 9). Use this flowchart to label all the streams variables entering and
leaving each process unit. Make sure you provide the appropriate name for each stream and don’t
forget to insert this attachment into your answer book. [10 marks]
b) Choose a basis of calculation for this process and perform the degree-of-freedom analysis for EACH
process unit (indicate clearly the unknown stream variables for each stream). [10 marks]
c) Calculate the yield of bean oil product (kg oil/kg beans fed), the required fresh hexane feed (kg
C6H14/kg beans fed), and the recycled to fresh feed ratio (kg hexane recycled/kg fresh feed). [10
marks]

Solution:
a) Basis: 100 kg beans fed 1 mark for Streams 1, 2, 3, 5, 7,8 and 2 marks for streams 4, and 6

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b) Overall: 4 unknowns ( m1 , m3 , m6 , y3 ) Extractor: 3 unknowns ( m2 , x2 , y2 )
– 3 balances – 3 balances
1 DF 0 DF

Mixing Pt: 2 unknowns ( m1 , m5 ) Evaporator: 4 unknowns ( m4 , m5 , m6 , y4 )


– 1 balance – 2 balances
1 DF 2 DF
Filter: 7 unknowns ( m2 , m3 , m4 , x2 , y2 , y3 , y4 )
– 3 balances
– 1 oil/hexane ratio
3 DF
2 marks for each unit; total = 2 x 5 = 10 marks

c) Start with extractor (0 degrees of freedom)


Extractor mass balance: 300 + 87 + 13 = m2
Extractor S balance: 87 kg solid
Extractor oil balance: 13 kg oil
Filter S balance: 87 kg S = 0.75 m6
m6 = 116 kg 1 mark
13 / 400 y6
= ⇒ y 6 = 0.0104
300 / 400 0.25 − y 6

1 mark
Mass of oil in filter cake = 0.0104 x 116 = 1.204kg
Mass of hexane in filter cake = 116 – 87 – 1.204 = 27.8 kg = 28 kg 2 marks
Mass of hexane in stream 7 = 300 – 27.8 = 272.2 kg
Mass of oil in stream 7 = 13 – 1.204 = 11.8 kg
Mass of oil in product stream (stream 6) = mass of oil in stream 7 = 11.8 kg 1 mark
Mass of hexane in fresh feed stream = mass of hexane in filter cake (stream 3) = 27.8 kg
m6 11.8 kg oil
Yield = = = 0.118 (kg oil/kg beans fed ) 1 mark
100 100 kg beans fed
m1 28 kg C6H14
Freshhexane feed = = = 0.28 (kg C6H14 / kg beans fed )
100 100 kg beans fed 2 marks
m5 272 kg C6H14 recycled
Recycleratio = = = 9.71( kg C6H14 recycled/kg C6H14 fed )
m1 28 kg C6H14 fed 2 marks

Page 7 of 11
QUESTION 4: (30 marks)
Formaldehyde (H2CO) is produced by partial oxidation of methanol (CH3OH). Several side reactions also
occur, producing formic acid (H2COO), CO, CO2, and H2O.
You are the process engineer at a formaldehyde plant. In this plant, 333 kmol/h air is mixed with 100 kmol/h
fresh methanol plus additional recycled methanol and fed to a reactor. Your job is to evaluate how well the
process is working. You take samples at several points in the process and find that (1) the reactor inlet
streams is 35 mol% CH3OH, (2) the recycled methanol is pure, (3) the offgas contains 10.9 mol% H2, 6.0
mol% CO2, 0.3 mol% CO, 81.9 mol% N2, and 0.9 mol% O2, and (4) the liquid product stream contains
H2CO, H2COO and H2O. A block diagram for the entire process is provided below.
a) Calculate the single-pass and overall fractional conversion of methanol. [10 marks]
b) Calculate the production rate of formaldehyde and formic acid (kmol/hr). [15 marks]
c) Calculate the selectivity of formaldehyde production relative to formic acid production. [5 marks]

Separator

Separator
Mixer Reactor

Recycled methanol

SOLUTION
Basic : 1 hour of operation

a) Calculate the single-pass and overall fractional conversion of methanol.


Stream 1 = S1 = 100 kmol of CH3OH
Stream 2 = S2 = 333 mol of air
Mole of N2 = 0.79 x 333 = 263.07 kmol
Mole of O2 = 0.21 x 333 = 69.93 kmol

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Given that mole fraction of methanol in stream 4 = 0.35

100 + S3
0.35 =
100 + S3 + 333 4 marks
0.35 (100 + S3 + 333 ) = (100 ) + S3
S3 = 79.31 kmol
mole (CH3OH) in S 4 − mole (CH3OH) in S 5
single pass conversion= x100% !
mole (CH3OH) in S 4

single pass conversion of CH3OH=


(100+79.31) − 79.31 x100% = 55.77%
179.31

over conversion of CH3OH=


(100 ) − ( 0 ) x100% = 100%
(100 )
4 marks for single pass and 2 marks for overall conversions
b) Calculate the production rate of formaldehyde and formic acid (kmol/hr).
Nitrogen is inert, perform overall balance on nitrogen
Nitrogen in stream 2 = Nitrogen in stream 7
263.07 = (0.819)S7
S7 = 321.21 kmol 3 marks
Balance on atomic species
Let X = amount of H2CO in stream 8;
Y = amount of H2COO in stream 8;
Z = amount of H2O in stream 8

C: 100 = (0.06+0.003)(321.21) + X + Y
X + Y = 79.76 3 marks

H2: 2x100 = (0.109)(321.21) + X + Y + Z


200 = 35.01 + 79.76 + Z
Z = 85. 23 kmol (H2CO) 4 marks

O: 100 + 69.93 x 2 = (0.06x2x321.21) + (0.003x321.21) + (2x0.009x321.21) + X + 2Y + Z


194.57 = X + 2Y + Z
194.57 = (79.76-Y) + 2Y + (85.23)
Y = 29.8 kmol (H2COO)
X = 50.2 kmol (H2O) 5 marks
Production rate of formaldehyde(H2CO) = 50.2 kmol/hr and formic acid (H2COO) = 29.8
kmol/hr

c) Calculate the selectivity (5 marks)


50.2 mole of formaldehyde mole of formaldehyde
Selectivity = = 1.68 !
29.8 mole of formic acid mole of formic acid

Page 9 of 11
BONUS QUESTION: (10 marks)
A batch of a mixed solvent has been prepared in a blending plant from three pure liquids: acetone,
nitrobenzene and glycerol. The batch was dispatched to a customer before all the mass and analytical
information was recorded and the only information available from the plant and laboratory is:
i) 24 L of nitrobenzene was used
ii) the batch of mixed solvent contains 33 % w/w of glycerol
iii) the batch of mixed solvent contains 1.3 mole of acetone per mole of glycerol.
Calculate:
a) Total mass of the batch (kg)
b) Total volume of the batch (L)
It may be assumed that the compounds are completely miscible and that there is no volume change on mixing.
Data:
Mol. Wt. Spec. Grav. 20°/4°

Acetone 58.08 0.792


Glycerol 92.09 0.998
Nitrobenzene 123.11 1.205
Solution:

G Mixer
M
33% G

N = 24L

Basic: 100 kg of the solvent mixture.


Mass of glycerol = 0.33 × 100 kg = 33 kg 1 mark
∴ Number of moles of glycerol = (33×103)/(92.09)= 358 mol 1 mark
∴ Number of moles of acetone = 1.3 × 358 = 465 mol 1 mark
⎛ 58.08 g ⎞ ⎛ 1 kg ⎞
Mass of acetone = 465 mol ⎜ = 27.0 kg 1 mark
⎝ 1 mol ⎟⎠ ⎜⎝ 1000 g ⎟⎠
Mass of nitrobenzene = 100 kg - 33 kg - 27.0 kg = 40 kg
% weight: 33% Glycerol; 27% Acetone; 40% Nitrobezene 1 mark

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From the information supplied we know that the actual volume of nitrobenzene in the mixture is 24 L. The
specific gravity of nitrobenzene is 1.205 20°/4°.
So, actual mass of nitrobenzene = (1.205 kg/L ) × ( 24 L ) = 28.9 kg 1 mark
a) Total mass of batch = (28.9) / (0.4) = = 72.3 kg 1 mark
b) Assuming no volume change on mixing,
⎛ Total Volume ⎞ ⎛ Volume of ⎞ ⎛ Volume of ⎞ ⎛ Volume of ⎞
⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ = ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ + ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ + ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟
⎝ of Solution ⎠ ⎝ Nitrobenzene ⎠ ⎝ Glycerol ⎠ ⎝ Acetone ⎠
The volume of nitrobenzene is known to be 24 L.
⎛ Volume of ⎞
⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ =
(Mass of Glycerol) = 23.9 kg = 23.9 L
⎝ Glycerol ⎠ (Density of Glcerol) 0.998 kg/L
1 mark
⎛ Volume of ⎞
⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ =
(Mass of Acetone) = 19.5 kg = 24.6 L
⎝ Acetone ⎠ (Density of Acetone) 0.792 kg/L
1 mark
So, Total Volume of Solution = 24 L + 23.9 L + 24.6 L = 72.5 L 1 mark

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