IPA and EtOH Spearation via Distilation Column

  • Thread starter ChEtobe14
  • Start date

So I am wondering if anyone would have any ideas on to how to maximize the most of my data collection efforts into characterizing a distillation column that we are using in my senior design course to separate a mixture of IPA and EtOH. The column contains sieve trays, with 5 of them residing in the enriching section and 10 of them in stripping section. I will be operating this column at total reflux. We are asked to find a design based on the experimental data obtained to design a system that will recover 90% of the EtOH with a purity level no less than 85%.

I spoke to my professor regarding what data I need to collect, however I am not sure as to how to go about doing this. He said I need to use the HTU-NTU method and find the mass transfer coefficients. Problem is, I never learned this in my separations course. Another problem is, I cannot access the trays to attempt to analyze the compositions at each stage. I only have access to the product exiting from the top of the column.

I have only two manipulated variables the condenser water flow rate and the power input into the reboiler. Here is what I am planning on doing:

1. Start analyzing, by gas chromatography, different mixtures of IPA and EtOH. Generate a calibration curve base don that. Calibrate the water flow meter since it is unit-less and relate it to the amount of water exiting the condenser over an interval of 2 minutes. 5 different trials will be performed.

2. I am stuck :/ . I am not sure how to proceed from here to gather the required data needed for full characterization.

If anyone could be so kind as to point me in the right direction, I would really really appreciate it!


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