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Experimental and Theoretical Study of Multicomponent Batch Distillation

Housam Binous
Organization: KFUPM
Department: Chemical Engineering
URL: http://sites.google.com/site/homepageofdrhousambinous/
Mamdouh A Al-Harthi
Ahmed Bellagi
Journal / Anthology

Computer Applications in Engineering Education
Year: 2015
Volume: 23
Issue: 6
Page range: 813-823

We present in this pedagogical paper several important aspects of multi-component batch distillation. These later include: (1) Experimental implementation and results of a simple multi-component batch distillation; (2) Theoretical prediction of temperature and composition evolution with time; and (3) Liquid-vapor equilibrium calculations of ternary mixtures, including residue curves computations. Such study material can be easily introduced in undergraduate chemical engineering laboratory including the senior-level laboratory, called CHE 409 at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM). The selected multi-component mixture is composed of chloroform, acetone, and methanol. This mixture is particularly interesting because it has several distillation boundaries and up to four azeotropes. During the simple batch distillation experiment, temperature of the vapor phase is measured and both the initial and final compositions are determined using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). These experimental results are then compared to the theoretical calculations based on two approaches: (i) mass and energy balance approach (i.e, MESH equations) and (ii) residue curve. The authors share at the final section of the paper their experience teaching the senior-level chemical engineering laboratory at KFUPM.