Simulation of a Steady-State Ternary Distillation Column

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Consider a steady-state ternary mixture of benzene (), toluene (), and -xylene () at . This mixture, with a thermal quality equal to 1.0 (i.e. saturated liquid), is fed to a 19-stage column with a total condenser and partial reboiler. The feed is at stage 10. The feed flow rate is set to . You can set the values of the reflux and reboil ratios ( and , respectively). This Demonstration computes the temperature and composition profiles using a rigorous approach, which includes both the energy and mass balances. The blue, magenta, and brown curves, shown in the composition profile, correspond to benzene, toluene, and -xylene compositions, respectively. For and , the results found in the present Demonstration show good agreement with those given by HYSYS ( HYSYS data is shown with colored dots. The calculation of enthalpies can be improved by taking temperature-dependent heat capacity, for example.

Contributed by: Housam Binous (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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

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