INTERACTIVE M-FILE ALGORITHM FOR ESTIMATING NUMBER OF PLATES AT TOTAL REFLUX IN A DISTILLATION COLUMN
Publication Date : 31/01/2017
This paper presents an interactive M-file algorithm capable of running in a MATLAB environment, which can estimate the number of theoretical plates a distillation column ought to contain at total reflux to efficiently separate a multicomponent mixture into their individual components. Fenske’s model was used to achieve the estimation at total reflux, and six feed variations for the multicomponent mixture of propane, iso-butane, n-butane, iso-pentane and n-pentane were used as case studies. The first three feed variation have iso-butane and n-butane as the light and heavy key respectively while the last three feed variation have iso-pentane and n-pentane as the light and heavy key respectively. 2.324, 2.321, 2.321, 2.775, 2.718 and 2.691 average relative volatilities, condenser temperatures of 324K, 325K, 325K, 357K, 359K and 360K, reboiler temperatures of 369K, 371K, 372K, 387K, 387K and 387K obtained for the six feed variations respectively when applied in Fenske’s model, gave a minimum of 6.62, 6.66, 6.63, 6.57, 6.72 and 6.77 plates as the number of theoretical plates required by the column for optimum separation of the components in each feed variation. This method is simple, robust and saves time.
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