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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Comment on “Correlation and Prediction of the Viscosity of Pure Hydrocarbons”, A. K.


Mehrotra, Can. J. Chem. Eng. 72,554-557 (1994)
In this paper and in his previous work (Mehrotra, 100
1991a,b), Mehrotra suggests that his single parameter corre-
lation, log (p + 0.8) = 100 (0.01qb,can be applied to a wide
variety of hydrocarbons with an average deviation of 5%
from the literature data. The author has pointed out that his
correlation is not recommended for p below 0.3 m P a s due to
a divergence of the log (p + 0.8) term (Mehrotra, 1991b). This
corresponds generally to reduced temperature T,. (= T/T‘)
greater than 0.6. It should be pointed out, however, that the
correlation should be limited M e r to T,.2 0.45. As shown 1c
in Figure 1, example data for two systems, heptane and
1-burene, demonstrate that the viscosities predicted using
Equations (2) and ( 5 ) in the paper by Mehrotra (1994) devi-
:
n
ate greatly from experimental data (API, 1978) for T, less E
than 0.45. s
.-w
In summary, the proposed correlation is valid only for a v)
0
narrow reduced temperature range, 0.45 S T, 2 0.6, irre- u
.-v)
spective of whether the parameter b is correlated with molar >
mass, inverse of normal boiling point, critical temperature,
acentric factor or effective carbon number. 1
B.D. Chen
Department of Chemical Engineering,
The University of Manchester Institute of Science and
Technology,
PO Box 88,
Manchester M60 lQD, UK
T, =0.45
Reply to Chen
0.1
150 200 250 300 350
Dr. Chen’s comments are concerned with the use of
Equation (1) by Mehrotra (1994) for correlating parameter b Temperature, K
with the effective carbon number (EClV)values reported by Figure 1 - Comparison of experimental viscosities of n-heptane
Allan and Teja (1991). and I-butene with predictions using Equations (2) and (5) of
Mehrotra (1 994). Experimental: *, heptane; A,1 -butene.
log (p + 0.8) = 100 (0.01 ZJb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) - Predictions using Equations (2) and (5).

In Equation (l), p denotes the liquid phase viscosity (at In view of the above, it should not be surprising that
atmospheric pressure) in mPa.s and T is the absolute tem- Equation (1) does not provide satisfactory results, as in
perature in kelvin. Equation (1) is a one-parameter viscosity- Figure 1 of Dr. Chen, at low temperatures for light hydro-
temperature correlation (Mehrotra, 199la), which was based carbons, such as 1-butene (with Th = 266.9 K).
on the observed linear cross-correlationin the two parameters To address the comments of Dr. Chen concerning the
of Walther’s (193 1) equation for >270 heavy hydrocarbons temperature range for the applicability of Equation (l), cal-
in API (1966). Walther’s equation in an antilogarithmic culations were made for a few n-alkanes, from n-CgH18 to n-
form is: C,,H,,, with the results presented in Table 1. In Column (A)
of Table 1, the absolute and the reduced liquid-phase tem-
perature ranges identify the region between the freezing
log (p + 0.8) = lobtpz ....................... (2) point and boiling point temperatures at 101.3 kPa (or 1 am).
In Column (B), approximate temperature ranges, over which
Mehrotra (1991b) reported a similar cross-correlation the calculated viscosities from Equation (1) are within 10%
between parameters b, and b, for approximately 90 light of the experimental values, are given for each n-alkane.
and medium hydrocarbons. Instead of a unique linear rela- Note that these temperature ranges actually cover a span of
tionship between b, and b, for each family of compounds, 100 to 2OO0C, and larger. Column (C) reports the ratio of the
the use of Equation (1) with the generalized constants was temperature differences in Columns (B) and (A), and the
extended to light and medium hydrocarbons. However, values indicate the fraction of the liquid-phase temperature
Mehrotra (1 99 1b) cautioned that Equation (1) be not used region which is correlated adequately by Equation (1).
for viscosity calculation of light hydrocarbons: It should be noted that Equation (1) is most useful for
(i) at temperatures where p c 0.3 mPa.s, and medium and heavy hydrocarbons whose reduced triple point
(ii) at (very) low temperatures. is 2 0.4. In terms of the reduced temperature, the region of

558 THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, VOLUME 74, AUGUST, 1996
TABLE1
Temperature Range for the Applicability of Equation ( I ) with Selected n-Alkanes from n-C8H,, to n-CZ0H,,
Column (A) Column (B) Column (Cl
Temperature range for existence Approximate temperature range
of liquid phase at 101.3 kPa (liquid phase) for applicability
(freezing point to boiling point) of Equation ( I )
In absolute In reduced In absolute In reduced Fraction of temperature
Tc temperature temperature temperature temperature range for liquid phase
n-al kane (K) (K) (K) correlated by Equation ( 1 )
n-C8H I8 568.8 2 16.4-398.8 0.38-0.70 250-360 0.44-0.63 0.60
n-C,oH22 617.6 2435447.3 0.39472 27-10 0.44-0.67 0.70
n-C I ZH26 658.3 263.6-489.5 0.40-0.74 280-440 0.42-0.67 0.74
n-C14H30 693.0 279.CL526.7 0.40-0.76 27H70 0.40-0.68 0.78
n-C16H34 720.6 29 1 .O-560.0 0.40-0.78 291-500 0.40-0.69 0.76
n-C18H38 748.2 30 1.3-589.5 0.40-0.79 30 1-520 0.40-0.70 0.77
n-C20H4Z 767.0 310.M17.0 0.4GO.80 3 10-540 0.40-0.70 0.75

applicability for most n-alkanes in Table 1 is approximately

l0I
0.4 < T, < 0.7, which covers about 75% of the liquid-phase A 1-butene
temperature range, i.e. from the freezing point to the tem- 0 n-heptane
perature where p < 0.3 mF‘a.s. Furthermore, the temperature v I-dodecene
region for the applicability of Equation (1) is indeed the o n-hexadecane
range of interest for most design calculations.
For calculating the viscosity of light hydrocarbons at low
temperatures, as in Figure 1, it is recommended that
Equation (2), instead of Equation (l), be used by utilizing
the empirical values of parameters b, and b, given in
Mehrotra (199 1b). As shown in Figure 1, the calculated vis-
cosities of 1-butene, n-heptane, 1-dodecene and n-hexadecane
from Equation (2) are in good agreement with the data used
in Mehrotra (1991b). For the latter two hydrocarbons,
Equations (1) and (2) yield essentially the same results.
0
However, parameters b, and b, in Equation (2) -unlike the 0
single parameter b in Equation (1) - cannot be predicted
with any reasonable accuracy from molar mass, inverse of
normal boiling point, critical temperature, acentric factor, or 0.1
~ . ‘ -
I

200
I

300
I

400
I

500 600
the effective carbon number (ECN).
Anil K. Mehrotra Temperature, K
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Figure 2 -Experimental and calculated viscosities of 1 -butene, n-
The University of Calgary, heptane, 1 -dodecene and n-hexadecane.
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

References
Allan, J. M. and A. S. Teja, “Correlation and Prediction of the Mehrotra, A. K., “A Generalized Viscosity Equation for Pure
Viscosity of Defined and Undefined Hydrocarbon Liquids”, Heavy Hydrocarbons”, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 30, 42-27
Can. J. Chem. Eng. 69,986991 (1991). ( I 991 a).
API, “Properties of Hydrocarbons of High Molecular Weights”, Mehrotra, A. K., “Generalized One-Parameter Viscosity Equation
API Research Project 42, American Petroleum Institute, for Light and Medium Liquid Hydrocarbons”, Ind. Eng. Chem.
Washington, DC (1 966). Res. 30, 1367-1 372 (1 99 1 b).
API, “Selected Values of Properties of Hydrocarbons and Related Mehrotra, A. K., “Correlation and Prediction of the Viscosity of
Compounds”, American Petroleum Institute, Research Project Pure Hydrocarbons”, Can. J. Chem. Eng. 72, 554-557 ( 1 994).
44,Thermodynamics Research Centre, Texas A&M University, Walther, C., “The Evaluation of Viscosity Data”, Erdol Teer 7,382
College Station, TX ( I 978). (1931).

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