Distillation is the oldest separation process and the most widely used unit operation in industry. It involves the separation of a mixture based on the difference in the boiling point (or volatility) of its components. The reason for the wide acceptance of distillation is that, from both kinetic and thermodynamic points of view, distillation offers advantages over other existing processes for the separation of fluid mixtures:

1. Distillation has the potential for high mass transfer rates because, in general, in distillation there are no inert materials or solids present.

2. The thermodynamic efficiency for distillation is higher than the efficiency of most other available processes in the chemical industry.

Designing a distillation column involves: (1) selecting the type of column, mostly based on heuristics; (2) obtaining the vapour-liquid equilibrium data using thermodynamics; and (3) finding the design variables such as number of equilibrium stages and operating conditions required to obtain the desired separation based on mass and energy balances.

When the mixture to be separated contains two components, the design of a column can be accomplished by using graphical methods. However, for multicomponent systems the design methods are more difficult and are the focus of this article.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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