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CBE 250 Midterm Fall 2014

October 24, 2014

Name:

Instructions
This exam has four (5) double-sided pages including this page.
Closed notes/closed books. Equations useful/needed to solve the problems are
included.
Calculators are permitted for arithmetic only (no graphing). By signing the
honor pledge you are signifying that you used a calculator for arithmetic only.
No headphones, cell phones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, laptops, or other
electronic devices are permitted. Do not use any device that can access the
internet.
Write all answers in exam book. For problems 1 and 4, write your answers on
the graphs provided. Use a ruler to draw lines on the graphs.
Show all work for maximum credit.
I will be in the hallway if there are questions.
Sign the honor pledge on your exam book.

1) (50 pts) A distillation column operating at a pressure of 1 kg/cm 2 is


separating ethanol and water. The flow to the column is 50 kg/hr of a
mixture of 40 wt % ethanol and 60 wt % water at 40 C. The reflux ratio of
the column is 2. We desire a distillate composition of 90 wt % ethanol and
a bottoms composition of 10 wt % ethanol. The column is equipped with a
total condenser and a partial reboiler.
a. (2 pts) Draw and label the process diagram showing all flow rates,
compositions, and enthalpies
b. (4 pts) Convert the weight fractions for the feed, distillate and
bottoms to mol fractions. The density of water is 1 g/cm 3 and
ethanol is 0.79 g/cm3. The molecular weight of water is 18 g/mol,
and ethanol is 46 g/mol.
c. (7 pts) Write the overall mass and energy balances for the system,
and write the mass balance on ethanol, the light key.
d. (6 pts) Solve for the mass flow rates of the bottoms and distillate.
e. (12 pts) Use the Ponchon-Savarit chart on the next page to
determine the enthalpies (kcal/hr) required by the reboiler and
condenser.
f. (3 pts) What is the approximate temperature of the reboiler?
g. (6 pts) What is the value of q for the feed? Plot the q-line on the
attached McCabe-Thiele diagram
h. (10 pts) Determine the number of equilibrium stages required for
the separation and determine the optimal feed stage.

1) continued, Ponchon-Savarit diagram

1) continued, draw answers for parts g and h on this graph

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6

y, vapor mol fraction

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

x, liquid mol fraction

1) continued, extra graph for scratch work

0.8

0.9

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6

y, vapor mol fraction

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

x, liquid mol fraction

2) (20 pts) One way to account for non-idealities in the gas phase is to use
the compressibility factor to modify the ideal gas law:

P=

ZRT
v

In your homework, you considered the van der Waals equation of state
P=

RT
a

v b v 2

And derived the values of a and b using the criticality conditions:


a=

9 R T C vC
v
, b= C
8
3

Where Tc and vc are the critical temperature and volume, respectively.


a. (10 pts) Determine the value of the compressibility factor at the
critical point, Zc. Show all work for full credit.
b. (10 pts) Given your solution to part a, express the constants a and
b in terms of the critical pressure and critical temperature. Your
final expression should not contain vc.
3) (12 pts) A liquid waste stream from a chemical plant is composed of
mostly water with a small amount of acetone. This stream is contacted
with air to remove the acetone. The process is being carried out at
atmospheric pressure and 317 K. The infinite dilution activity coefficient
for acetone in water at this temperature is 8.3. The vapor pressures of
water and acetone at this temperature are 68 mmHg and 488 mmHg,
respectively.
a. (2 pts) Is this process absorption or stripping? Explain why in one
sentence
b. (10 pts) Compute an expression for the equilibrium data for acetone
at the process conditions.

4) (18 pts) You have a series of flash drums set up so that the liquid stream
of flash separator j enters as the feed of separator j+1 (see drawing).

Each of the flash separators operates at a slight vacuum of 30.4 kPa.


Each of the flash units is set up such that 50% of the feed is vaporized.
You wish to use this cascade to separate water and ethylene glycol. The
feed to the first flash unit is 80 mol% water.
a. (12 pts) How many flash separators do you need in order to get an
ethylene glycol product that contains 5 mol% water or less?
Equilibrium data are given on the following page.
b. (6 pts) What is the percent recovery of ethylene glycol in the liquid
stream at the end of the cascade?
Useful equation: operating line equation for flash separator
V / F 1

1
z
x

V / F
V / F

4) continued, water/ethylene glycol VLE data

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
y water

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

x water

4) continued, water/ethylene glycol VLE data (extra copy)

0.7

0.8

0.9

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
y water

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

x water

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9