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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: ENG3155 Module Title: SEPARATION PROCESSES 2
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: ENG3155
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: MILLINGTON CA Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Class Tests




Essay (1500 words)




Unseen examination




Qualifying Condition(s) 


A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module



Module Overview

Multi-component separation by distillation is the most commonly industrially used separation process and a sound understanding of the fundamental principles (material/energy balances, vapour-liquid equilibrium and the efficiency and the hydraulics of distillation columns) defining the operation of such equipment is essential to the graduate engineer.  This module extends a students knowledge and understanding of distillation to include multicomponent systems and complex distillation.




Successful completion of level HE2 of the Chemical and Bio-systems Engineering or Chemical Engineering programmes or equivalent (specifically ENG1056/ENG2023 Separation Processes 1)



Module Aims

To provide a student with:



·         a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the importance of distillation to the process industry



·         an understanding of the characteristics of the separation of both ideal and non-ideal multicomponent systems



·         a comprehensive understand of the inter-relationships of the operation parameters of distillation columns handling such systems



·         a knowledge of the design methodologies of distillation columns



·         an understanding of the effects of hydraulic malfunction on separation efficiency and the ability to propose feasible scenarios of malfunction based on operating data





Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:



·         propose suitable models to explain the complexity of multicomponent equilibria and methods of quantification



·         confidently evaluate the equilibrium K values for both ideal and non-ideal systems and accurately carry out both adiabatic and isenthalpic flash calculations



·         explain the operating characteristics of multicomponent distillation columns and their inter-relationship



·         confidently rough out a column design using a short-cut method so that a process simulator may be set up to carry out a design simulation



·         understand and interpret the fundamentals of complex, extractive and azeotropic distillation





Module Content

Review of binary distillation           McCabe-Thiele



                                                            Effect of operating variables on separation



Multicomponent equilibrium           Ideal systems



                                                            Dew/bubble point calculation methods



                                                            Non-ideal systems



                                                            Cubic equations of state



                                                            Fugacity and compressibility



                                                            Activity and Gibbs-Duhem equation



                                                            Activity models and Group contribution methods



                                                            Phase equilibria and enthalpy departure function



Ideal flash separation                      Adiabatic flash calculations



                                                            Isenthalpic flash calculations



Multicomponent multistage separation     
                                                            Flow rate, concentration and temperature profiles



                                                            Pinches, Nmin and Rmin



                                                            Short cut design methods      
                                                            Fenske equation


                                                            Underwood equation



                                                            Gilliland equation



                                                            Kirkbride equation



                                                            Plate to plate design               
                                                            Review of methods



                                                            Inside out and rigorous



Tray & column hydraulics                Efficiency and pressure drop



                                                            Tray and column hydraulics - design process



                                                            Column malfunction



Complex fractionation                     TBP curves



                                                            Pseudo components



                                                            Pumparounds, side streams, multiple products



                                                            Control of complex fractionation



                                                            Extractive and azeotropic separations





Methods of Teaching/Learning

35 hours of lectures/tutorials, 3 hours of class tests, a 2 hour examination and 60 hours of independent learning.



Total student learning time 100 hours





No pre-printed notes are distributed; students are expected to write their own notes during lectures.





Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading :   None




Required Reading :


Coulson JM, Richardson JF with Backhurst JR and Harker  JH, Chemical Engineering vol2 4th edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996 (ISBN 0 7506 2942 8)



Van Winkle M, Distillation, McGraw-Hill, 1967.  (ISBN 07067 1958)



King CJ, Separation Processes, McGraw-Hill, 1971.  (ISBN 07034 6100)



Books available in the Library





Recommended Reading :     None





Last Updated
5 October 2010