Breaking Azeotropes with Hybrid Separation Systems

Consider a binary mixture of isopropanol and water at This mixture exhibits a positive azeotrope at isopropanol, which limits the separation that can be achieved using a single distillation column. One way to break the azeotrope is to add a membrane separator, shown by selecting "hybrid setup".
This Demonstration shows that you can obtain a product stream and a saturated liquid reflux stream with isopropanol. The column now can achieve a top vapor stream with a composition of isopropanol (because of the isopropanol-rich reflux stream). The recycle stream and the feed stream have compositions equal to and isopropanol, respectively. Feed, a saturated vapor, has a flow rate equal to . CMO (constant molal overflow) is assumed. You can set the value of the internal reflux ratio to display the corresponding McCabe and Thiele construction.
  • Contributed by: Housam Binous and Ahmed Bellagi
  • King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and École nationale d'ingénieurs de Monastir


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[1] P. C. Wankat, Separation Process Engineering, 2nd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.


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