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CHE 415 Unit Operations II

Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University

S. Kuha (Kukawathanie)
Role: Leader

Pre-Lab: Rectification

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of the pilot-scale
distillation column by investigating the boil up rate, capacity limitations due








The application of distillation has been a commonly used practice for
chemical industries. This method allows for separation of components
without the need of introducing a new component for the next phase. Hence,
the components from the original solution produce a new phase by either
vaporization or condensation. In order for separation to take place, the
volatility of the components must be different. The distillation column
comprises of the rectifying section and the stripping section. The rectifying
section can be observed from stage 1 to just above the feed, while the
stripping section can be observed from below the feed to the bottom stage.
The rectification section of the distillation column will be of interest, which
will evaluate different specifications required. The boil up rate is the flow rate
of vapor in the system at steady state. The boil up rate is expressed by the
following equation:


distillate v distilate

B = boil up rate (g/s)
V = volume (mL)
= density (g/mL)
t = time (seconds)
The operation of the trayed tower can be limited due to entrainment which
occurs when gas velocities are so high that it can carry the small liquid
droplets to the trays above. As a result, this decreases the efficiency of the

CHE 415 Unit Operations II

Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University

S. Kuha (Kukawathanie)
Role: Leader

column as the desired product may be carried by the gas reducing the
amount of desired product retrieved. The capacity entrainment limitations
can be determined by the following correlations:
LV =



( )( )

LV = Kinetic energy ratio (dimensionless)
L = mass velocity in the liquid phase (g/s)
V = mass velocity in the gas phase (g/s)
L = Molecular weight of liquid (g/mol)
V = Molecular weight of gas (g/mol)
V = Density of gas (g/ml)
L = Density of liquid (g/ml)
To prevent entrainment flooding, the maximum flooding gas velocity can be determined by the
following equation:

U f =C f max


( )(

L v


U f = flooding velocity (cm/s)
max = maximum liquid surface tension (dyne/cm)
= Density of liquid (g/ml)
v = Density of gas (g/ml)
C f = correction factor (ft/s)
To identify if the column design is efficient, an overall stage efficiency can be
used to evaluate the design by the following expression:
Eo = fractional overall stage efficiency
N t = calculated number of equilibrium stages
N a = actual number of trays
Eo =

The thermal efficiency of the column is expressed as:

CHE 415 Unit Operations II

Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University

S. Kuha (Kukawathanie)
Role: Leader

Energy Output
x 100
Energy Input

= Thermal efficiency
Energy Output = J/s
Energy Input = J/s
Design Methodology:
A 36% Methanol-Water solution will be used to determine the performance of
the pilot-scale distillation column. A reflux ratio of 1.36 will be used for this
lab experiment. The distillation column that will be used in this lab consists
of six trays. The solution will be boiled in the reboiler until a steady state is
achieved (i.e. no temperature change). During this time, the temperature will
be recorded at time intervals of every 5 minutes. After steady state is
achieved, the distillate will be collected from the column. The volume and
weight of the distillate will be measured and recorded.
Roles & tasks to be performed during experiment:

Leader (Kuha Sivakumar) The leader will be responsible for the following

Weighing of the pycnometer

Weighing of the pycnometer and solution

Measuring the density of the methanol

water solution

Measure the weight and volume of the


Turning on/off of the power, cold water

and heating unit


Data Recorder (Vanessa Takim-Ndifon) The data recorder will have the
responsibility of recording the temperature at the four locations of the
thermocouple every 5 minutes. They will also fill all data tables that will
record weight, volume, density, concentration and time.

CHE 415 Unit Operations II

Chemical Engineering, Ryerson University


S. Kuha (Kukawathanie)
Role: Leader

Safety Officer (Aisha Iftikhar) The safety officer will ensure that all
group members are dressed appropriately for the lab. This includes assuring
that lab members are wearing their lab coats, safety glasses and hard hat.
They will also be responsible for calculating the concentration of methanol to
water. If the desired concentration is not achieved, they will add methanol to
increase the concentration.

1. Turcotte.G., CHE425 Unit Operations II Laboratory Manual, Ryerson
University, Fall 2015.
2. Seader, J. D., Ernest J. Henley, and Keith D. Roper. Separation Process
Principles: Chemical and Biochemical Operations. 3rdition. ed. John
Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2011.
3. Benitez, Jaime. Principles and Modern Applications of Mass Transfer
Operations. 2nd ed. Wiley, 2009.
4. Treybal, Robert Ewald. Mass-Transfer Operations. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill,