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Coursework/CHEGlab/DBLEftevap Fenton/Coughlin/Zhu, Fall ‘06

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY CHEG 237W Operation of a Double-Effect Evaporator Objective: The objective of this lab is to give students an opportunity to operate large-scale equipment and to develop skills in evaluating process operation via a simple process model. The goal is to obtain heat transfer coefficients, steam efficiencies, and capacities for both effects, and study the effect of different operating conditions, including but not limited to, flow rates, forward vs. backward feed, natural vs. forced convection, and vacuum level in the second effect. Theory: See Perry (1997), Bennett and Myers (1982), McCabe et al. (2001), or Geankoplis (1993) for a discussion of evaporation. The Swenson double-effect evaporator is in the bay area in the laboratory. A blueprint of the evaporator is provided on the laboratory wall directly across from the evaporator.


SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: • There are several process and steam valves that discharge directly into the room. Do not touch a valve until you know what you are doing! The tagged valves are particularly dangerous. Steam burns can be very serious. If you overfeed the evaporator above the top view port, turn off the main steam immediately. There is a header valve on the steam next to the east wall (near the laboratory door). When opening valves on the second floor, be careful that liquid is not discharged onto persons below. Always wear hard hats when working in the bay area. Be sure that the condenser coolant is turned on before the steam and that coolant is not turned off until after boiling has stopped. The pump seals are supposed to drip slowly. This lubricates the packing.

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Preliminary Preparations: Examine the evaporator and determine the functions of all transfer lines. Prepare a written start-up procedure and have it reviewed by an assistant or faculty before beginning the experiment.


Fill the first effect to the center of the middle observation port and begin heating this effect. C. Transport Processes and Unit Operations. and Harriott. your results (including balances. NY (1982). Perry. heat transfer coefficients and error analysis). Compare these with available theory and correlations. W. 3rd Ed. explain trends using physical principles and relate your results to theory or published values. E. O. Inc. You are to observe the effect of varying operating conditions on heat transfer and evaporator performance (capacity.. start introducing feed water to this effect and the overflow hot water into the second effect. propagation of error in calculations involving measured values.. Provide thoughtful and quantitative discussion of results.. P.J. Chapters 4 and 6. Turn on the steam jet to produce a vacuum in the second effect.. Express any discrepancies between observed and predicted results in terms of quantified experimental uncertainties or model limitations. For all runs check the mass and energy balances and calculate the overall heat-transfer coefficient for each effect.. New York. steam economy). As the water approaches 170o F in the first effect. NY (1997). Chemical Engineer’s Handbook. McCabe. and your process model. Geankoplis. J.. Smith. The feed steam pressure will be fixed for this experiment and can be read on the gauge after the reducing regulator.. New York. Prentice Hall. J. NY.doc Procedure: Turn on the cooling water. New Jersey. Report: References: Bennett. Develop an empirical process model for this evaporator (see attachment). and (if possible) the error between repeat runs. L. Heat.08/29/06. Z:\teaching_activity\CHEG237W\fall2006\evaporat fall06. 7th Ed. McGrawHill. 3rd Ed. Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering. (1993). McGraw-Hill. (2001). 2 . and Myers. H. J. and Mass Transfer. the precautions you took to gather valid data. C.. C. The following is a list of possible operating conditions that you might choose to investigate: • • • • Feed rate Vacuum level Backward/forward feed Natural/forced convection on first effect Determine the precision of your measurements and the reproducibility of your runs by making repeat measurements and performing repeat runs. New York. Describe the design of your experiment. Momentum. Analysis: Estimate experimental error in individual measurements. McGraw-Hill.

Study the trend of the data by plotting the values and performing regression analysis with respect to time. take measurements often and record them as a function of time. ANALYSIS OF DATA You should compute heat transfer coefficients. Do not wait until later. GIVE COMPLETE INFORMATION Label your diagrams. or at a steady state. 3 . Raw data and computed results should be analyzed statistically. To determine where you are operating with respect to steady state. thermal capacities and economies for different flows and flow configurations. Thus you must do your utmost to insure your experimental data are measured under steady state conditions. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS Repeat experiments several times. how closely do values of slope and intercept agree when you plot data as a straight line? Analyze the reproducibility of the experiments by testing the values of slopes and intercept statistically. graphs and tables.doc TIPS FOR PLANNING AND ANALYZING DATA FROM EVAPORATOR EXPERIMENTS STEADY STATE Analyzing your data is easiest using steady state mass and energy balances. The details should be included as part of the figure caption when it is not logical or convenient to put them on the graph or table.08/29/06. Interpret your data to decide whether you are approaching steady state. do it while you are in the lab and conducting the experiments. Are the results reproducible? For an experiment done several times under identical conditions. You can enter data into a spreadsheet or polymath. Z:\teaching_activity\CHEG237W\fall2006\evaporat fall06. in order to learn how long you have to wait until steady state is reached. and to repeat your experiments. graphs and tables carefully and include full details that another person would need to understand your diagrams. You could find you never reached steady state and thus have no data that can be analyzed by simple mass and energy balances. and for the effects operating in combination. Use other suitable and appropriate analysis and plotting of your data if you cannot find straight-line behavior. departing from a steady state. Do this for the individual evaporator effects. Be sure to take sufficient steady state data to permit statistical analysis of confidence limits and reproducibility.

Do not discard a set simply because an independent variable is not quite at the planned value. one value of Y and one value each of X1. this set can be used.g. i. Ideally an operator can control these variables. Note that the values of all Xi must be recorded for each run. To develop the model. • • • X1 = vacuum level in mm Hg X2 = feed rate in gpm X3 = 1 if forward feed.). 4 . Polymath) that can handle over-determined problems (called "regression. it is very appropriate to keep fitting the model as the data come in. Other algebraic forms may be preferred. For example.e. If the run is a difficult one to control. Y vs." etc. then more data are needed.. Z:\teaching_activity\CHEG237W\fall2006\evaporat fall06." Also only one set (i.doc A Simple Process Model for the Evaporator The objective of a model is to correlate and predict the performance of a system over a limited range of process variables. Over-determined means that you have more data than constants. Better yet. and ai are constants to be found by using the data. even if these are nominally held "constant. then use only the average in the model. Xi.e. especially if suggested by theory or dimensional analysis." "fitting... then the corresponding term should be removed from the model and the problem solved again. one should get more data that has lower error! As a measure of how well your experiment is going. steam economy. 0 if backward The simplest model for this example would then be Y = a 0 + a1 X 1 + a 2 X 2 + a3 X 3 (1) where Y could be the observed capacity of the evaporator. Most packages will also give you a measure of the significance of the constants.08/29/06. one first names all the controllable independent variables for which information is available. or ones that feature seriously misread values of any variable. Sets that should be discarded include those resulting from grossly transient operation. If the significance of a constant is low. X2 and X3) can be used from each independent run. take multiple sets of readings during the run. if this is not the case. and average these. etc. To solve for the constants ai use any equation solver (e.

Use walkie-talkies for communication. Subsequent days are used to study variables. Important: do not open any valves that will cause a violent rush of fluid to pin the meters. as it cannot be easily maintained with time. 60-psi steam is reduced to around 8 psi. Do not run at maximum obtainable vacuum. There is also a small line with a valve to drain condensate from the steam feed section. Strange drops in flow can occur when valves are turned on or off at different experiments.0 GPM. purge air from the system through the vents to prevent problems with blockage of the condensate. The second day this run should be reproduced and sufficient data obtained to demonstrate mass and heat balances for each part and for the total system before you leave lab. For heating the evaporator.08/29/06. Remember that steam.doc Notes on Operation of the Evaporator The double effect evaporator is used to remove water from a feed stream. water and air are shared with other experiments. Let the cooling water run for 30 min after the evaporator is turned off. High-pressure steam at 125 psi is used to create a vacuum in the venturi near the condenser. Condensate flow is controlled manually by valves such that the liquid levels in the sight glasses are constant. The operation is a continuous-feed-in. and derives its efficiency by using the heat content of the steam from the first effect to heat water in the second effect. The first day is spent learning the system and trying to achieve a forward-feed steady-state operation. Open the valve slowly. rust. Drain the system when you are finished. Maintain the liquid level in both effects at the center of the lower sight glass of each. Note several pumps shown in the wall diagram are no longer attached to the system. unless you plan to use it on the next lab period. labeled Effect #1. Z:\teaching_activity\CHEG237W\fall2006\evaporat fall06. All flow meters need calibration. etc. Blow down the steam before opening the valve to the evaporator in order to remove water. Available are stopwatches. product-out system. Always feed to the left (west) effect. etc. 5 . use the one on the right. On startup. as the area can get noisy. Drain incoming water downstairs on startup to eliminate rust. the steam is controlled manually using a condensate trap with a sight glass. Also note there are three feed flowmeters. This gives better heat transfer and more rapid evaporation than with higher water levels. from the line. Note that we do not use automatic steam traps on the system. Set the feed between 0. and a light for looking into the ports of the apparatus. Of course your notebooks will have a complete diagram of the system for all cases. helmets. Do not try optimizing one effect and later adding the other. thermometers.5 and 1. Keep the barrel downstairs filled to the center overflow tube.

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