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The driving force for any mass transfer operation depends on the
distance between the equilibrium line and the operating line. When the
two lines touch there is no driving force and the mass transfer stops.

GAS – LIQUID ABSORPTION: solute is absorbed by a solvent (liquid)

from gas stream. Liquid solvent should be rich in solute after

The number of stages required depends on the solvent flow rate.

Higher flow rate requires less number of stages.

STRIPPING: gas strips the solute from the liquid. It is opposite of


For same components, same T and P, same gas, same liquid and same
solute, both the stripping and absorption will have the same equilibrium

Reference page numbers: treybal (page 275 to page 333).

LIQUID-LIQUID EXTRACTION: countercurrent, crosscurrent or

concurrent type of contactors can be used. In case of single stage
operation the use of any type of contactors gives the same output
compositions but in case of multistage contactors the countercurrent
operation gives maximum efficiency.

In case of concurrent operation addition of another stage is

meaningless in ideal situations.

Multi stage countercurrent contactors result in greater degree of

separation at each stage. For a given solvent flow rate the number of
stages required for the separation is lowest in countercurrent mode of

Cremsers equation (please refer treybal for the equation) is used for
various calculations in the countercurrent mode of operation.

Absorption factor: Rs / mEs.

Reference page numbers: treybal (page 117 to page 134).

FLASH VAPOURISATION: the liquid feed is flash. Vapor is formed at the

expense of liquid.

Ψ = (V/F) (fraction of feed vaporized)

Zi = (1- Ψ) xi + Ψ yi

yi = Ki xi ( equilibrium relationship)

Ʃi=1c zi/(1+ Ψ(Ki-1)) = 1

The above summation can be solved using Newton raphson’s method.

DISTILLATION: this type of separation is used when the different
components to be separated have different volatilities.

Relative volatility (α AB) = (yA /xA)/(yB /xB).

α should either be greater than 1 or less than 1 for the components to

be separated using distillation. If α is one then distillation cannot be
applied for their separation.

DISTILLATION COLUMN: it consists of enrichment section and stripping


The top section of the column is enrichment section and the bottom
section is called stripping section.

Enrichment section: condensation of the heavier component takes place

and hence results in the enrichment of the lighter component.

Stripping section: evaporation of the lighter component takes place.

Even when two liquids of same latent heat flow in opposite direction,
mass transfer still takes place but the flow rate of the liquid stream and
the vapor stream remains unchanged.



 The column is thermally insulated i.e no heat is lost to the

surroundings or gained from the surroundings.

 Constant molar flow rates.

 Same latent heat of vaporization for the different components to

be separated.
Reflux ratio (R) = Lo/D

Where Lo is the reflux and D is the distillate.

Operating line for enriching section:

yn+1 = (R/R+1)xn + (xD/R+1).

Operating line for stripping section:

ym+1 =( L’/G’)xm – ( W/G’)xB .

where L’ = L + q*F

G’ = G + (1-q)*F

q line equation:

y=(q/q-1)x - (zf /q-1).

q = 1 for saturated liquid feed.

q < 0 for superheated vapor feed.

q >1 for sub cooled liquid feed.

0 <q<1 for a mixture of saturated vapor and saturated liquid feed.

q=0 for a saturated vapor feed.

Equilibrium stage: the two exiting streams are in equilibrium.

 Partial condensers: they also behave as an additional stage and
hence separation occurs. Flash condensation takes place in the

 Total condensers: no separation takes place in this type of

condenser only heat exchange takes place.


 Partial reboilers: they also behave as an additional stage and

hence separation occurs. Flash evaporation takes place in this
type of reboiler.

 Total reboilers: no separation takes place in this type of reboiler.

Total reflux condition: distillate (D) is zero and bottoms flow rate is (B)
is zero. The slopes of both enrichment section and stripping section
become equal to 1. This condition gives the minimum number of trays.

Fenske’s equation: can be used only in total reflux condition.

(xD /1-xD) = (αavg) np+1(xB /1-xB).

Where np+1 are the total number of stages.

Reference page numbers: treybal (page 367 to page 374 , page 382 to
page 388 and page 402 to page 426).
BATCH DISTILLATION: used for small scale operation, used for fine
chemicals of high purity, frequent changes in the feed to be handled
and product specifications.

Rayleigh’s equation:


 Vapor is always in equilibrium the liquid.

 Vapor leaves the batch still and condenses outside only.

 Vapor composition changes as the liquid composition changes.

 Vapor doesn’t entrain any liquid.


∫FB (dL/L) = ∫xFxB ( dx/y*- x).

If we need constant purity of the distillate then either the temperature

should be increased or reflux should be increased.

Reference page numbers: treybal ( pg 367 – pg 371)

AZEOTROPIC DISTILLATION: the relative volatility of the components is

very close to one in this case. Entrainer is used in this type of distillation.

Reference page numbers: treybal ( page 352 to page 353 and page 455
to page 460).

EXTRACTIVE DISTILLATION: used for separation when α is nearly equal

to one. When A and C (solute) are difficult to separate a solvent B is
added. The solvent selection is based on the hydrogen bonding
criterion and the polarity of the solvent.
Reference page numbers: treybal (page 477 to page 499)


DUAL SOLVENT EXTRACTION: the feed is a mixture of two solutes ( say

B and C) and let A and D be two immiscible solvents . the feed is
introduced onto the feed tray. The two immiscible solvents flow in
counter current direction. Solvent A dissolves B and solvent D dissolves
C. There are two operating lines and an equilibrium relation in this type
of extraction.

Reference page numbers: treybal (page 514 to page 518).


Adsorbent: solid.

Adsorbate: substance that gets adsorbed.

When pressure equals vapor pressure , liquid condenses and it is not

called adsorption.

Desired properties of adsorbents:

 It should have less pressure drop.

 It should have high surface area.

 It should be free flowing.

Physisorption: depends on vander waals forces , multi layer and


Chemisorption:it is highly selective in nature and it is irreversible.

DESORPTION: it is the reverse phenomenon of adsorption. Desorption
is assumed to be independent of pressure.

Adsorption and desorption are in equilibrium always.

Ɵ = (Kp /Kp+1)

Where Ɵ is the fraction of sites occupied on the adsorbent.

p is the pressure.

K= ( Ka / Kd ).

For Langmuir adsorption model please refer treybal.

Reference page numbers: treybal (page 565 to page 612).