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DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL AND PROCESS SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

PRODUCTION OF 1000KG/DAY POTASH FERTILIZER FROM BANANA WASTE

BY

GIFT MAPONGA H150065M

SUPERVISED

BY

MR A FUNGURA

THIS CAPSTONE PROJECT WAS SUBMITTED TO HARARE INSTITUTE OF


TECHNOLOGY IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY
(HONOURS) DEGREE IN CHEMICAL AND PROCESS SYSTEM ENGINEERING.

2018
Contents
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 1
1.0 Background ................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Problem statement ......................................................................................................................... 2
1.2 Aim ............................................................................................................................................... 2
1.3 Objectives ..................................................................................................................................... 2
1.4 Justification ................................................................................................................................... 2
1.5 Scope of study ............................................................................................................................... 2
Raw materials.................................................................................................................................. 3
Production ....................................................................................................................................... 3
Product finishing ............................................................................................................................. 3
CHAPTER 2.Literature Review ............................................................................................................. 4
2.0 Background ................................................................................................................................... 4
2.1 What is fertilizer? .......................................................................................................................... 4
2.2 Potassium fertilizer ....................................................................................................................... 4
2.2.1 Uses of potassium in plants .................................................................................................... 6
2.2.2 Symptoms potassium deficiency ............................................................................................ 6
2.3 How potassium is obtained ........................................................................................................... 7
CHAPTER 3.0 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY ....................................................... 10
3.1 Interviews and industrial visits ................................................................................................... 10
3.2 Desktop research ......................................................................................................................... 10
3.3 Experiments ................................................................................................................................ 10
3.3.1 Experiment 1 ........................................................................................................................ 11
3.3.2 Experiment 2 ........................................................................................................................ 11
3.3.3 Experiment 3 ........................................................................................................................ 11
3.3.4 Experiment 4 ........................................................................................................................ 12
3.3.5 Experiment 5 ........................................................................................................................ 12
3.3.6 Experiment 6 ........................................................................................................................ 13
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS ......................................................................................... 14
Experiment 1 ..................................................................................................................................... 14
Experiment 2 ..................................................................................................................................... 14
Experiment 3 ..................................................................................................................................... 14
Experiment 4 ..................................................................................................................................... 15
5. PROCESS DESIGN.......................................................................................................................... 16

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Process flow diagram ............................................................................................................................ 17
Mass balance ..................................................................................................................................... 18
Energy Balances.................................................................................................................................... 23
References ............................................................................................................................................. 27

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List of figures

Figure 1potash fertilizer .......................................................................................................................... 5


Figure 2potassium cycle .......................................................................................................................... 5
Figure 3 effects of lack of potash ............................................................................................................ 7
Figure 4 composition of banana waste ................................................................................................... 9

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.0 Background
Chemical engineers play a pivotal role in the management of waste globally by recycling or
reusing waste materials in their respective research projects. Waste poor disposal method has
risen to alarming levels in Zimbabwe which may eventually lead to pollution of our water
bodies. However, most of the waste can be turned into useful products. Annually, Zimbabwe
produces 45 775 tons per year of bananas of which only 19% is exported. The banana waste
contributes a significant amount of waste in our environment. These wastes can be harnessed
into useful products that can solve our day to day problems. Banana waste can be used to deter
aphids, fertilizer making, livestock feed and medicinal purposes. This paper is going to focus
on the manufacturing of potash fertilizer from banana wastes. Restrictions on fertilizer and
agro-chemical imports were relaxed in this country due to the struggle to meet the demands by
our local manufacturers. Various factors contributed to the fall in the production of fertilizer
which include shortage of foreign currency. Insufficient foreign exchange led to failure to
import equipment and machinery for maintaining production plants. According to the
chronicles Zimbabwe of January 3 2018 (ZFMA) Zimbabwe Fertilizer Manufacturers
Association has managed to produce 120 000 tons against a demand of 500 000 tons. This
shows that most of our fertilizer is being imported from South Africa and India. Our nation has
no deposits of potassium to date therefore all our potassium is imported which is about 100 000
tons annually. Production of potash locally is very key to reduce millions of dollars which are
being drained from our economy. Banana waste have proven to have a significant amount of
potassium which can be harnessed into fertilizer.

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1.1 Problem statement
Zimbabwe imports about one hundred thousand tons of potassium fertilizer every year due to
little or no deposits of potassium rocks in the nation. Banana waste have proven to contain a
significant amount of potassium which can be harnessed and used for potassium fertilizer
production.

1.2 Aim
To design an optimum process for the extraction of potassium from bananas for the
manufacturing of potash fertilizer

1.3 Objectives
- to collect the banana waste from respective industries that uses bananas as raw materials

- to investigate the composition of banana waste

- to determine the most economical process of extracting potassium from the waste

- to design main equipment i.e. drier

- produce quality straight fertilizer

- identify most ideal site for the location of the plant

1.4 Justification
- Reduces the deficit in the supply of potash fertilizer to farmers locally i.e. tobacco
farmers

- Potash recovery requires complex and expensive mining techniques.

- The potassium is extracted from readily available raw materials banana waste

- Relieve the environment from banana waste pollution

1.5 Scope of study


This project focuses on the design of a process that produces potash fertilizer from banana
waste. In order to achieve its objectives, the scope of this project will start from the point of
reception of the raw materials up to the final product dispatching phase. In general, the project
will emphasize on the following aspects:

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Raw materials
- Routine physical and chemical tests conducted for quality conformity

- Raw material storage

- Material safety data sheets (MSDS) of the raw materials

- Raw material preparation

Production
- Selection of the best process to be considered

- Selection of the most appropriate mode of production

- Design of crucial process equipment

- Routine quality tests conducted on the finished product

Product finishing
- This phase will involve selection of the most ideal packaging process of the final product
when ready to be released into the market.

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CHAPTER 2.Literature Review

2.0 Background
The literature survey has been done with an aim to obtain information concerning potassium
fertilizer and its production from number of sources. Such information sources include
chemical abstracts, journals, periodicals and books on bio-chemical technology, handbooks,
encyclopedias and internet websites. The literature survey presents the core principles of
potassium fertilizer relating to their properties, manufacturing, classification, standardization
aspects and environmental impacts. A brief review of information obtained from the literature
survey is presented hereafter.

2.1 What is fertilizer?


A fertilizer is any material applied to the soil or to plant tissues to supply one or more nutrients
essential to the growth of plant. Many sources of fertilizer are naturally and industrially
produced. A fertilizer can be natural or synthetic. Fertilizer enhances the growth of plants either
by providing nutrients or altering soil properties i.e. water retention and aeration is improved.
Fertilizer can be grouped into organic or in organic also.

2.2 Potassium fertilizer


Potassium is usually found

- natural deposits as potassium chloride,

- high potassium water content e.g. dead sea

- obtained through mining followed by crushing, purification and recrystallization

- by reacting acids on potassium chloride

Forms of potassium fertilizer

- Potassium chloride is the most common

- Potassium sulfate

- Potassium nitrate

- Potassium carbonate is used on chloride sensitive crops and high value crop

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Figure 1potash fertilizer
Potassium cycle

Figure 2potassium cycle

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Potassium is found in sea water or minerals deposited as salts. These minerals are then extracted
by mining i.e. shaft. These salts are then separated for use as fertilizer and applied directly to
soil. The potash is taken up by plants for growth and efficient water uptake. After being
absorbed by the plant they are consumed by humans and animals as food and then dispersed in
fecal matter. It is washed again into water bodies and the cycle continues.

2.2.1 Uses of potassium in plants


- Regulates water balance in cells

- Regulates water loss through transpiration

- Provides tolerance to pests and diseases

- Provides tolerance to frost

- Provides tolerance to drought

- takes up in production and transport of sugars

- takes part in enzyme activation

- involved in protein synthesis

- improves color, flavor, storability of fruits and vegetables

2.2.2 Symptoms potassium deficiency


- oldest leaves show symptoms

- plant growth is slow and plants tend to lodge because of weak stalk

- leaf develop scorching lines on the margin which grow to large patches

- crops use water less efficiently

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Figure 3 effects of lack of potash

2.3 How potassium is obtained


Potassium is obtained by shaft mining, solution mining and evaporation of brines. The largest
deposits are deep even one kilometer earth’s surface. Potash recovery requires complex and
expensive mining techniques. The depth of the ore may limit access to the potassium deposit.

Conventional shaft

Drilling

Firstly, the vertical shafts are drilled to the depth of potassium deposit followed by lifts that
installed to provide access for equipment, workers and to remove the ore.

Blasting

Blast methods or machine mining are used extract ore veins. These methods are specific to the
geologic formation. For instance, less uniform ore veins are mined using rotary borers whilst
other veins require blast methods.

Conveyor belt or shuttle car are used to convey broken ore to the skip. The ore can travel
several kilometers from the mine face to the skip. For further processing the ore is brought to
the surface by hoists.

Crushing and grinding

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This is followed by crushing and grinding to reduce the size of particles to less than 2mm. This
is prior to separating the potash minerals from the clay and the other salts.

Scrubbing and de-sliming

This involves the rinsing and agitation of the ore with a saturated salt solution to remove clay
and impurities.

Floatation

The next stage is floatation where amine reagents are used. These reagents coat potassium
chloride and not sodium chloride. Air bubbles cling to amine and float potassium chloride to
the surface and sodium chloride to the bottom. Potassium containing compounds rise to the top
and then skimmed off.

Final step

The last step is dewatering and sizing. A final rinse with saturated brine water followed by
removal of excess water, centrifuged and dried and shaped into required sizes.

Environmental concerns with potassium

- It has no significant impacts on the environment or surroundings

- It is required in adequate amount in order for the plant to use other essential nutrients. For
a healthy crop growth and efficient plant nutrient recovery a balanced nutrition

- Potassium should apply according to the soil type and plant tissue potassium content. The
potassium can be determined after a test.

- Mine tailings must be managed to avoid offsite movement of salts and water.

Banana wastes

Banana is one of the world’s abundant fruit. It is mostly planted in India, China and Nigeria.
In Zimbabwe this fruit is mainly planted in Honde Valley Mutare. It produces 45 775 tons of
bananas per year. Bananas are sold to food companies in Harare using a standard grading
system. These companies include Brands Fresh, Savco and Sunflash. Of the total number of
tons produced about 10- 20 percent are rejects meaning they are below the standard required
by these companies. This percent also includes the over ripe bananas.

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The banana waste encompasses of peels, leaves and fruit stalk. Banana farms produces a
significant amount of waste which can be used as raw materials for other industries. The waste
can be recycled into revenue generating projects which prevents loss of usable biomass to the
environment. Leaves of a banana plant die after it bears fruit to make way for suckers.

Composition of banana waste

Figure 4 composition of banana waste

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CHAPTER 3.0 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
The research methodology for the project will be mainly based on industrial visits, experiments,
interviews and literature review in text books and internet sources such as journals and review
articles.

3.1 Interviews and industrial visits


The project will be carried out by conducting interviews with banana farm managers and will
visit banana farms in Honde Valley or contact them through an email. The targeted information
to be obtained is how much waste is being generated per day per hectare and to collect banana
plantation waste, how are they disposing the waste and the challenges that are caused by to
these wastes. Knowledge about how much waste is produced will be used to determine the
appropriate method of treatment.

3.2 Desktop research


This research design project will use information from previous findings on techniques of
extracting potassium from banana wastes on the internet in journals and review articles.
Literature information about the nutritional composition of banana waste is obtained from
desktop research. This information helps in selecting the most economic and appropriate
equipment material for the extraction of potassium.

3.3 Experiments
The experiment will be based on:

 Collection of a sample of banana waste from fruit and vegetable markets and analyze
the moisture content

 Determination of composition of solid obtained from aqueous banana waste

 Isolation of high grade potassium carbonate from aqueous fiber ash (banana waste)

 Extracting potassium from a banana using hydrochloric acid

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3.3.1 Experiment 1
Title: Preparation of banana waste ash

Aim: to prepare 20g of ash

Procedure

- Firstly, collect the banana waste which composes of leaves, pseudo-stem peels and
banana peels.
- It is then dried by the sun for 5-7 days
- Weigh the dry mass of the waste
- Burn the waste in open air until ashes are obtained
- The ash is gray in color
- It is left to cool in a desiccator and collected in a plastic bag

3.3.2 Experiment 2
Title: Measurement of pH

Aim: to measure the pH of ash

Procedure

- Weighed 20g of ash


- Take 500ml distilled water in a 1000ml volume conical flask
- Mix the two and stir using a magnetic stirrer i.e. for 50mins to 1 hour
- Allow the insoluble mass to settle
- Filtered off the insoluble residue
- Used the standard pH meter to determine the pH
- Noted down the pH of the waste ashes

3.3.3 Experiment 3
Title: extraction of muriate of potash from banana waste

Aim: to determine the amount of potash in banana waste

Procedure

- 20g of ash was mixed with 500millilitres water


- 1 molar hydrochloric acid used to neutralize the solution
- To increase the likelihood of potassium chloride to precipitate more hydrochloric acid
is added until the solution pH is slightly below 7

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- The mixture was evaporated slowly in a 1000millilitres on an electric hot plate
- When the volume was between 45-50 milliliters the solution was transferred to a
100millilitres beaker
- Heated slowly until the solution was between 15 and 20 ml
- Then removed to cool until a white precipitate is observed
- Weighed the white substance on a filter paper

3.3.4 Experiment 4
Title: extraction of pearl ash from banana waste

Aim: to determine the amount of potash in banana waste

Procedure

- 20g of ash was mixed with 500millilitres water


- 1 molar hydrochloric acid used to neutralize the solution
- To increase the likelihood of potassium chloride to precipitate more hydrochloric acid
is added until the solution pH is slightly below 7
- The mixture was evaporated slowly in a 1000millilitres on an electric hot plate
- When the volume was between 45-50 milliliters the solution was transferred to a
100millilitres beaker
- Heated slowly until the solution was between 15 and 20 ml
- Then removed to cool until a white precipitate is observed
- Left to dry in a furnace
- Weighed the white substance on a filter paper

3.3.5 Experiment 5
Title: Identifying a carbonate in a solution

Aim: to determine a carbonate in solution

Procedure

- Added 35 drops of 5M HCL, 4-5 drops at a time


- Effervescence was observed as carbon dioxide is produced. The drops are added till no
effervescence is observed which means all the carbonate has reacted. The HCL is added
until all the carbonate has dissolved
- Hold the test tube with a tong and put it over a flame to remove excess water
- Expose all the sides of the test tube for five minutes until all liquid has evaporated

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- Allow the tube to cool and weigh the tube and chloride compound
- Calculate the amount formed using

K2CO3 + 2HCL 2KCL + H2O + CO2

3.3.6 Experiment 6
Determination of Moisture Content
Materials:

Moisture Analyzer, Petri dish, gypsum, spatula, weighing balance, hot air oven, aluminum
foil, crucible

Procedure

The sample was weighed using a balance and its mass was recorded as the mass of product
sample. The wet sample was placed in the hot air oven and was dried at a temperature of 1050
C. The sample was taken out of the oven and weighed at an interval of 30minutes until the
mass became constant. The sample was allowed to cool at room temperature. The cooled
sample was weighed and its mass was recorded as mass of dry sample.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
Experiment 1
Raw material Weight of material Dry weight Weight of weight
Banana waste 1200g 650g 80g

The weight of the raw material is reduced by 50% when most of the water is removed by sun
drying

About 12-15% of ash is obtained after burning

Experiment 2
The pH of the solution or filtrate is determined by the various soluble chemicals in water. These
chemicals cause the pH to the more alkaline in nature. The filtrate has a pale yellow color

The pH obtained is slightly alkaline with pH of 10.2

Experiment 3
Extraction at different temperature

Temp ℃ 25 30 35 40
Salt/g 11.3 13.2 16.5 16.6
Ash/g 8.7 6.8 3.5 3.4
Total /g 20 20 20 20

The salt extracted from the ash increased as the temperature increased because the reaction is
endothermic. The temperatures above 35 there was no significant change in the salt because of
a complete reaction.

A white colored crystal is observed after cooling for 30 minutes. This is because the ionic
product of potassium ions and chloride ions has surpassed their solubility product 0f 21.77.
Thus the potassium chloride is precipitated out. The crystallization of KCL was easy because
the HCL was now excess and the ionic product had crossed its ionic product.

The white crystals where removed by a spatula and placed on a filter paper and weighed after
pressing tare on the balance.

Extraction at different contact time in an agitator

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Time/min 20 40 60 80 100 120
Salt/g 2.4 8.3 11.4 14.5 16.5 16.55

The extraction was increased with time up to 100 mins beyond that was there was a slight
increase this is because the reaction might have reached equilibrium.

Experiment 4
After evaporating the filtrate slowly, the solution was left to cool for half an hour. A white solid
is observed after some time and was separated from the liquid using a spatula into a clean
crucible to be dried in an oven. After that the residue was placed on a filter paper to be weighed.

The solid mass was 15.4g

K2CO3 + 2HCL 2KCL + H2O + CO2

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5. PROCESS DESIGN
Block flow diagram

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Process flow diagram

Process flow description

0.8 molar of hydrochloric acid is pumped into the semi-batch reactor and banana plantation
ash is conveyed to the same reactor. These reactants will be continuously stirred to leach out
potassium as potassium chloride from the ash. The solution from the semi-batch reactor is
rich in potassium chloride there it is conveyed to the vacuum filter where it is separated from
the unreactive part of the ash. The unreactive part goes to the bin and the liquid is conveyed
to the crystallizer where the potassium chloride is precipitated. The potassium chloride is then
further dried in the rotary drier to obtain muriate of potash with 1% moisture and then cooled
indirectly in the rotary cooler then conveyed to the warehouse for packaging.

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Mass balance
A material balance was taken over the complete process to determine the quantities of raw
material required. The principle of the fundamental law of conservation of mass which states
that mass can neither be created nor lost was employed. The material balance is useful in
accounting all material movement within the process. The objective is to find the process
stream flow rates for the entire process and by so help in equipment sizing. The general
conservation equation for any process stream can be written as:

Mass out = mass in + mass generated – mass consumed – mass accumulated

For most of the streams it was assumed that there is no accumulation that occurs, thus the
more general equations will be:

Mass out = mass in + mass generated – mass consumed

And Mass in =mass out

Overall mass balance

Overall reaction

Ash + 2HCL 2KCL + H2O + CO2 + Residue

Mass of potassium chloride produced was 16.5, using the stoichiometric equation the other
masses can be determined

20g + 8.03 = 16.5g + 1.98 + 4.84 + 4.71

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Mass in = Mass out which is = 28.03

Basis 5tonnes per day

Scale up Factor

5000kg ash/day raw material

20g of ashes

5000𝑘𝑔
=250000
0.02𝑘𝑔

Amount of potassium carbonate in ash

0.01518 * 250000

3795kg

Amount of potash fertilizer produced

0.0165 * 250000

4125

Mass of water

0.00198 * 250000

495kg

Mass of CO2

0.00484 * 250000

1210kg

Mass of Residue

0.00471 * 250000

1205kg

Mass of HCL

0.00803 * 250000

2035kg

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Mass balance on the semi-batch reactor

K2CO3 + 2HCL 2KCL + H2O + CO2

Amount of potassium carbonate in ash

0.01518 * 250000

3795kg

Amount of potash fertilizer produced

0.0165 * 250000

4125kg

Mass of water

0.00198 * 250000

495kg

Mass of CO2

0.00484 * 250000

1210kg

Mass of HCL

0.00803 * 250000

2035kg

Mass balance on the vacuum filter


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Mass in = Mass out

5000kg + 2035kg = X + 5830kg

X = 1205kg which is the mass of the unreacted substances

Mass balance on the crystal evaporator

Mass in = Mass out

5830kg= 4168 + steam

Steam = 1662kg

Mass balance on drier

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5001kg = 4126kg + steam

Steam = 875kg

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Energy Balances
According to the first law of thermodynamics the following equation is used to describe
conservation of energy

Energy out= energy in + generation – consumption – accumulation

The following data shall be used in the energy balance calculations

Data to be used

Specific heat capacity (CPW) of water is 4.2kJ/kgK

Heat of formation of potassium carbonate -1151 kJ/kgK

Specific heat capacity of potassium carbonate is 1.09kJ/kgK

Heat of formation of HCL is -92.3

Specific heat capacity of HCL is 4.2kj/kgK

Heat of formation of potassium chloride is -436.7kj/kgK

Heat of formation of carbon dioxide is -393.5kj/kgK

Heat of formation of water is -285.830 kj/kgK

Energy balance over semi-batch reactor

QL

QF QP
Semi Batch Reactor
QG

QS

Definition of variables: -

● QF = the heat of the entering feed

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● Qs = the heat being added to the system

● QG =the heat being generated within the system

● QL = the heat being lost by the system

● QP = the heat of the product

Assumptions

 Perfect mixing

 Inefficiencies of rotating equipment are negligible

 Feed enters at room temperature and pressure

 There is no generation, accumulation and accumulation

Calculation:-

 QF = 0 because the feed is at 25oC

 QL = 0 because the system is adiabatic

Q = ΔHrxn

(nKCLΔHfKCL)+n(CO2ΔHf(CO2)+n(H2O)ΔHf(H2O)-
(nK2CO3.ΔHfK2CO3)nHCL.ΔHfHCL

(55.3(-436.7)) + (-285.830) (27.5) + 27.5(-393.5) – (27.5) (-1151) – 55.75(-92.3)

= 16301.485kJ

Energy balance on a drier

Inlet temperature of potash 25oC

Outlet temperature of dry potash 85oC

Outlet temperature of steam 110oC

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Specific heat capacity of H2O 4.187Kj/kg oC

Latent heat capacity of H2O is 2.250kj/kg

Mass of wet KCL 5000kg

Percentage moisture 20%

Mass of water 875kg

Q = nΔH

But ΔH = ΔH1 + ΔHv + ΔH3

Using ref state of H2O (1 atm, Tref 25oC)

ΔH1 = (t1 =22℃ to t2= 100 oC ) = ʃ100CpdT

= 5.665kj/mol

ΔHv= 2.257kj/mol

For ΔH3 (t2 = 100oC b= 100oC) tb = 100 t2 = 110oC

temperature ΔH
100 2.54
110 ΔH3
200 6.01

ΔH3 = 2.88332kj/mol

= 5.65530 kj/mol + 2.25740kj/mol + 2.88720kj/mol

10.799kj/mol

Q = n ΔH

N = m/Mr

= 8750/18

= 48611kj/mol

Q = 48611.11 * 10.79

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= 524 514 kj/mol

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