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EP426

Chemical Process Design and Optimization


Chapter 3b - Separation train synthesis.
Development of a separation process

Common Industrial Separation Methods


Separation
Method

Phase of
the feed

Separation
agent

Developed or
added phase

Separation
principle

Equilibrium
flash

L and/or V

Pressure
reduction or
heat transfer

V or L

difference
in volatility

Distillation

L and/or V

Heat transfer
or shaft work

V or L

difference
in volatility

Gas
Absorption

Liquid
absorbent

difference
in volatility

Stripping

Vapor stripping
agent

difference
in volatility

Extractive
Distillation

L and/or V

Liquid solvent
and heat
transfer

V and L

difference
in volatility

Azeotropic
Distillation

L and/or V

Liquid
entrainer and
heat transfer

V and L

difference
in volatility

Development of a separation process


It requires the selection of:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Methods & Equipment


Separation Factor (Energy or Mass Agent )
Optimal arrangement (Sequencing)
Operating parameters (Temp. & Pressure)

1. Selection of separation method &


equipment
Largely depends of feed condition:
Vapor: partial condensation, distillation,
absorption, adsorption, gas permeation
(membranes)
Liquid: distillation, stripping, LL extraction,
supercritical extraction, crystallization, adsorption,
and dialysis or reverse osmosis (membranes)
Solid: if wet drying, if dry leaching

2. Separation factor (Energy or Mass)


The separation factor, SF, defines the degree of
separation achievable between two key components
of the feed.
This factor, for the separation of component 1 from
component 2 between phases A and B, for a single
stage of contacting, is defined as:
1 /2
=
1 /2

C = Composition variable
Phases rich in components 1 and 2.

Note: SF is selected according to their ease of recovery for recycle and to achieve relatively large values.

2. Separation factor (Energy or Mass)


SF is generally limited by thermodynamic equilibrium, ESA.
For example, in the case of distillation,
Let:
Mole fractions as the composition variable;
Phase A be the vapour and phase B be the liquid;
The limiting value of SF is given in terms of vapour-liquid
equilibrium ratios (K-values) as:
P1 s

SF

1,2 s for ideal L and V


P

y2 / x2 K2
2

y1 / x1

K1

2. Separation factor (Energy or Mass)


For vapor-liquid separation
distillation) that use an MSA

SF 1,2

operations

(extractive

1L P1 s

2L P2s

For Liquid-liquid extraction, the SF is referred to as the


relative selectivity, b , where:

SF b1,2

1II / 2II
1I / 2I

Note: Both case is when the MSA is used to create liquid phases which MSA will causes the
formation of a non-ideal liquid solution )

3. Sequencing of OD Columns
Use a sequence of ordinary distillation (OD) columns provided:
in each column is > 1.05.
The reboiler duty is not excessive.
The pressure does not cause the mixture to approach the TC
Column pressure drop is tolerable.
The overhead vapor can be at least partially condensed at the column
pressure to provide reflux without excessive refrigeration
requirements.
The bottoms temperature is not high that chemical decomposition.
Azeotropes do not prevent the desired separation.

3. Sequencing of OD Columns
Number of Sequences for Ordinary Distillation, Ns is
determined by
Ns

[2(P 1)]!
P ! (P 1)!

# of Product, P

# of Separators

Ns

14

42

132

429

3. Sequencing of OD Columns
Example 2 : Sequences for 4-component separation

3. Sequencing of OD Columns
Example 2 : Sequences for 4-component separation

3. Sequencing of OD Columns
Example 2 : Sequences for 4-component separation

Identifying the Best Sequences


Objective: to reduce the number of OD sequences.
What to-do?: List out the guidelines to meet the objective:

1. Remove thermally unstable, corrosive, or chemically reactive components


early in the sequence.
2. Remove final products one-by-one as distillates (the direct sequence).
3. Sequence separation points to remove, early in the sequence, those
components of greatest molar percentage in the feed.

4. Sequence separation points in the order of decreasing relative volatility so


that the most difficult splits are made in the absence of other components.
5. Sequence separation points to leave last those separations that give the
highest purity products.
6. Sequence separation points that favor near equimolar amounts of distillate
and bottoms in each column. The reboiler duty is not excessive.

4. Pressure & Temperature operating


condition

Exercise 1
Q. Ordinary distillation is to be used to separate the
ordered mixture of C2, C2=,C3,1-C4=,nC4. Determine
number of possible sequence.

Exercise 2
Q. Consider the separation as below. Use heuristics
to determine a good sequence of ordinary distillation
units.

Exercise 3
Q. Design best possible sequence of ordinary
distillation columns to meet the given specifications.

End