Breaking Azeotropes with Hybrid Separation Systems

Initializing live version
Download to Desktop

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

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 (March 2011)
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and École nationale d'ingénieurs de Monastir
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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

Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.