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Binary Flash Distillation

Concept of phase equilibrium

Equilibrium relationships

Flash distillation

Design issues

Binary flash distillation design

Compulsory reading: Chapter 2 (sections 2.1 to 2.3, 2.4, 2.4.1, and 2.5) from the text book

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Flash Distillation – simplest separation process in chemical industry

V, y A , y B , T V Demister
P
drum
T
drum

Vapor pressure of A: p A Vapor pressure of B: p B

Heat Feed
A+B

Demister

prevents

liquid

droplet

entrained

in vapor Expand

Pressurize

 Mole Mole fraction fraction of A of B Feed, F z A z B Vapor, V y A y B Liquid, L x A x B L, X A , X B , T L

• Feed is a liquid mixture

Methanol (A) – water (B)

Propane (A) – butane (B)

Water (A) – salt (B)

• p A >p B (A is lighter component)

• y A >z A

(lighter component enriched in V)

• x B >z B (heavier component enriched in L)

• Degree of separation high if p A >p B

Very suitable for desalination

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What can we say from the equilibrium design method? V and L are in equilibrium

T L = T V = T drum

Liquid and vapor stream pressures = P drum

y= f(x)

y i / x i = K i (distribution coefficient) = f(P, T and all x i )

x A + x B = 1 = y A + y B

Models relating y to x at equilibrium were covered in CN2121

Simple equations for ideal systems

Complex equations for non-deal systems Design of the flash process depends on good equilibrium data
Experimental data
Estimated K values
DePriester chart for hydrocarbons
Simple thermodynamic model for
ideal systems

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-3

Experimental vapor-liquid equilibrium data (including non-ideal systems)

Tabular (complete with temperature and pressure)

T-x-y plot X Et X w Y Et Y w T, C P, atm 0 1.0 0 1.0 100 0.019 0.981 0.17 0.83 95.5 0.0966 0.9034 0.4375 0.5625 86.7 0.1661 0.8339 0.5089 0.4911 84.1 0.2608 0.7382 0.5580 0.4420 82.3 1 0.3965 0.6035 0.6122 0.3878 80.7 0.5198 0.4802 0.6599 0.3401 79.7 0.6763 0.3237 0.7385 0.2615 78.74 0.7472 0.2528 0.7815 0.2185 78.41 1.0 0 1.0 0 78.3 x-y diagram   

x-y diagram is widely used in binary vapor-liquid separation

x-y diagram usually scales from 0-1 on both axes

The diagonal joins (0, 0) and (1,1) points and is an important reference line

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DePriester chart: K values for light hydrocarbons

This is Figure 2-12 from the text book. For lower temperature see Figure 2-11 Read K values methane, ethylene, iso-propane and n-octane at 200 kPa and 50 o C

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-5

Vapor-liquid equilibrium for an ideal system

In general:

y

i

x i

K

For ideal systems :

i

, where

K

i

f

P T

,

y

i

x

i

, where

K

i

K

i

,

all x

i

f

P T

,

The following identities apply for both ideal and non-

ideal systems

n

y

i

1

i

1;

n

i

1

x

i

n

1;

i

1

n

K x 1;

i

i

i

1

y

i

K

i

Raoult’s Law:

Dalton's Law:

o x

i

i

p

i

p

p

y i

P

i

For an ideal system :

K

i

Antoine equation:

ln

p

o

i

o

p i

P

A

i

(1)

B

i

T

C

i

1

(2)

A i , B i , C i are constants for pure components. These

are tabulated in various data sources. Tables of pure component vapor pressures are also available. How to generate x-y-T data from K i values
Illustration for a binary system
i.
Set system pressure (say, P=1 atm)
ii.
Δx = 0.1 (depends on how many data points)
iii.
x A = 0.1
iv.
x B = 1-x A
v.
Guess T
vi.
Calculate K A and K B from Eqs (1) and (2) or
from DePriester Chart
vii.
Check if
K
x
 K
x
 1
A
A
B
B
viii.
If no, go back to (iv). If yes, continue
ix.
y
A  K
x
; y
 K
x
A
A
B
B
B
x.
Store x A , y A and T
xi.
Check if x A = 1
xii.
If yes, stop. If no, x A = x A + Δx and go to (iv)
Repeat from (iii) for another pressure

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-6

Approximate equilibrium equation for a binary system

Relative volatility,

AB

K

A

K

B

p

o

A

p

o

B

for ideal system

AB

>1 or <1 necessary for vapor-liquid separation

means no separation

K

A

f

T

;K

B

f T ;

A good assumption for many systems is f T

AB

AB y
A
K
x
A
A
K
y
B
B
x
B y
A
x
A
1  y
A
 
1  x
A

Upon rearrangem ent :

y

A

AB

x

A

1

AB

1 x

A

(3)

Short-cut to vapor-liquid equilibrium data

Obtain K A and K B from Eq (1) and (2) or from DePriester Chart at the desired P and a representative T

Use

AB

K

A

K

B

y A vs x A data

in Eq (3) to generate

Useful for preliminary design

Cannot give the operating T

Multicomponent systems

2D plots cannot be used

Polynomial equations fitted to DePriester chart are used See eq (2-30) and Table 2-3 in text book

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-7

Degrees of freedom in a binary two-phase system

Gibbs phase rule: F = C – P + 2

For a binary vapor-liquid system:

F = 2

F: degrees of freedom C: number of components P: number of phase T, P, x A and y A are the 4 independent variables You can choose to fix only 2 variables

You are asked to determine the system pressure that is required to bring a 50:50 liquid mixture of A:B to come to equilibrium with a 70:30 vapor mixture of A:B at 70 o C. Is this possible?

Yes

No

Which of the following is/are possible?

1 / 2 / 3

1. A binary vapor-liquid system is at 50 o C and 1 atm pressure. Find the composition of the two phases.

2. From a given liquid mixture, obtain a specific vapor mixture at specified temperature and pressure.

3. Condense a vapor mixture to obtain a desired liquid mixture.

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What do we mean by designing a flash system?

Remember: x and y are in equilibrium Loop 1
Loop 2
Pumping
& Heating
T F ,
P F , h F

F, z T 1 , P 1

Q H F, z

T F , P F , h F IDEAL
STAGE

V, y, H V

L, x, h L

Pressure reduction from P F to P drum across the valve causes part of the feed to flash from the liquid to the vapor state. Internal enthalpy supply causes T drum < T F

 Typically F, z, T 1 and P 1 will be known Given Calculate How? T drum , P drum x, y, V F , L F Overall and component mass balances around Loop 1 x, y, V F or L T drum , P drum F T F and P F  T F from energy balance around Loop 1  P F is chosen to prevent boiling at T F Q H  Q H from energy balance around Loop 2 Drum height Empirical method depends only on densities and mass flow rates of L and V and diameter

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-9

Binary Flash Distillation Loop 1
F, z
IDEAL
STAGE
T F , P F , h F
Overall mass balance
FVL

V, y, H V

L, x, h L

(5)

Component balance (more volatile species)

Fz Vy Lx

or,

z

where

V

F

V

F

y

f

L

x

 

fy

(1

f)x

L

F

and therefore

FV

F

F

Rearranging eq (6a):

y



1f

f

x

z

f

(Operating line)



1

f

Equilibrium relationship: y f x,T,P

(6)

(6a)

(7)

Simultaneous solution of (6a) and (7)

Numerical

General method including multi-component

Analytical

Equation for equilibrium data, e.g., eq (4)

Graphical – simple and insightful

L

 

v

1f

f

Slope of eq (6a)

Eq (6a) intersects diagonal at xyz 1
f = 0
0.8
0.5
0.6
1
0.4
0.2
0
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
y Benzene

x Benzene

Diagonal

(x = y)

Z = 0.5

Benzene-toluene equilibrium

Effect of vapor rate on y benzene ?

Range over which y benzene can be varied?

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-10 Feed Temperature, T F
Loop 1
V, y, H V
F, z
IDEAL
STAGE
T F , P F , h F
L, x, h L
Energy balance around Loop: 1
Fh
Q

VH
Lh
(8)
F
flash
v
L
where
Q
(9a)
flash
h
x C
(T
T
)
(9b)
L
i
Li
drum
ref
i
h
z C
(T
T
)
(9c)
F
i
Li
F
ref
i
H
 y

C
(T
 T
)
(9d)
v
i
i
vi
drum
ref
i
In (a) – (d) C L is liquid heat capacity
 is latent heat of vaporization
C v is vapour heat capacity
When
F,z ,x ,y T
and P
are known,
i
i
i,
drum
drum
after substituting (a) – (d) and the physical
properties in eq (8), the only unknown is T F Condition to prevent boiling at T F
y
K
T ,P
x
<1
i 
i
FF
i
i
i
Pump size to pressurize from P 1 to P F
2
2
P
 P
 
g
V

v
F
1
b
a
bb
aa
 
W
p
 g
2g
c
c
a Loop 2
b
F, z
T 1 , P 1
Pumping
T
& Heating
F ,
P F , h F
Q H
Energy balance around Loop: 2
Q
Fh
Fh
H1F
or,
F h
h
(10)
Q H
F1
After determining T F , h F is calculated
from eq (9c)
h 1 
zC (T
T
)
(11)
i
Li
1
ref
i
When
F,z ,T
and P
are known,
Q
H is
iF
F
obtained after substituting eqs (9c) and
(11), and the physical properties in eq (10)

h

f

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-11

A

flash distillation chamber operating at 1 atm (101.3 kPa) is separating ethanol-water mixture containing 60 mole % ethanol. (a) Is

possible to get a vapor product containing 80 mole% ethanol from this unit? (b) If the drum temperature is 85 o C, find x, y, V

F

L

it

(c) What should be the drum temperature if we want 50% of the feed to evaporate in the flash drum? Find the corresponding changes in x and y.

, F .

(a) (b) (c) Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-12

Hints

 (a) Draw the operating quadrant of a flash unit (see page 2-10, if in doubt) Now locate the vapor product leaving the unit. Remember, Vapor and liquid products leaving a flash unit are assumed to be in equilibrium. Hence, vapor/liquid product composition is a point on the vapor-liquid equilibrium line. Knowing any one composition is sufficient to locate the point. (b) You can read x and y directly from the T vs. x or y plot. This (x, y) is a point on the vapor-liquid equilibrium line. You know the feed composition and therefore you have another point on the diagonal. The line joining these two points is the operating line. From the slope of this line you should be able to find V F and L F . (c) In part (b), you went from T vs. x or y plot to x vs. y plot. Now you do the reverse. Since the feed composition is known, the point you had identified on the diagonal remains unchanged. You now find the slope of the

operating line corresponding to V

F =0.5. This line will give you the composition of the vapor and liquid products.

Use this information in the T vs. x or y plot to find required flash drum temperature.

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-13

( o C)

T

To be solved in class

1. The T-x-y data for toluene-phenol system at 1 atm pressure is given in Figure 2. It has been decided that a 35:65 mixture of toluene and phenol will be flash distilled at a feed rate of 1000 kmol/hr in a flash drum at 1 atm pressure and 140 o C.

a. Find toluene mole fractions in the vapor and liquid streams leaving the flash unit. Show your drawings in Figure 2.

b. Calculate the vapor flow rate leaving the flash unit

c. Calculate the diameter of the drum if the permissible vapor velocity is 2 m/s. Average molecular weight of the vapor is 92.5. Molar density of the vapor is 0.0295 kmol/m 3 .

180

160

140

120

100 Vapor
Liquid
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1

x T or y T

Figure: 2

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-14

2. Two flash distillation chambers are hooked together as shown in the diagram. Both are at 1 atm pressure. The feed to the first drum is a binary mixture of methanol and water that is 55 mole % methanol. Feed flowrate is 10,000 kg moles/hr. The

second drum operates with

atm are given in Table 1.

 

V

F

 

0.7

2

and the liquid product composition is 25 mole % methanol. Equilibrium data at 1

Table 1

a. What is the fraction vaporized in the first flash drum?

b. What are y 1 , y 2 , x 1 , T drum1 and T drum2 ? Mole % Methanol

 Liquid Vapour Temp C 0 0 100 2.0 13.4 96.4 4.0 23.0 93.5 6.0 30.4 91.2 8.0 36.5 89.3 10.0 41.8 87.7 15.0 51.7 84.4 20.0 57.9 81.7 30.0 66.5 78.0 40.0 72.9 75.3 50.0 77.9 73.1 60.0 82.5 71.2 70.0 87.0 69.3 80.0 91.5 67.6 90.0 95.8 66.0 95.0 97.9 65.0 100.0 100.0 64.5

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-15 Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-16   Separation process design is an integration of knowledge acquired in various CN modules. Identify the roles of the following modules in the context of a flash system design:

CN1111 Chemical Engineering Principles

CN2121 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

CN2122 Fluid Mechanics

CN 2125 Heat and Mass Transfer

How would you describe integrating role of the present module?

What is the role of CN3121 Process Dynamics and Control in separation process design? Answer this question after you have developed some idea about the content of CN3121.

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-17

Homework – 1 (CN 3132)

1. The outlet air from the paint formulation chamber of a paint industry shown in the figure is saturated with solvent hexane. The

A consultant has been hired to design a flash separator that will

remove at least 90% of hexane from the outlet air before discharging the air steam to atmosphere. Available in the store is a

cooling system that can cool the outlet air stream up to -5 o C. Also available is a compressor that can compress the air stream up to 600 kPa. The consultant has recommended that the flash separator be operated at 0 o C and 200 kPa. K values of hexane at 2 different conditions are also included in the figure below.

outlet air stream is at atmospheric pressure and 25 o C. Hexane saturated
outlet air
Fresh air
10 moles/hr
Paint
formulation
chamber

Maximum 10% of hexane in

Nearly pure

K values of hexane.

 Pressure Temp K 1 atm 25 o C 0.2 200 kPa 0 o C 0.035

(i) Find the flow rate of the hexane stream leaving the bottom of the flash unit assuming 90% removal.

(ii) Do you agree with the recommendation of the consultant? Show the calculations in support of your answer.

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-18

2. The process flow diagram for an ethyl benzene manufacturing process is shown in Figure Q1. The separation processes, consisting of a flash unit (V-302) and two multi-stage distillation units (T-301 and T-302), are shown in Block 1 of the figure. The temperatures, pressures and compositions of the streams entering and exiting these units are given in Table Q1.

i) What is the composition (in mole fractions) of the stream entering the flash unit (V-302)?

ii) According to Table Q1, the flash unit (V-302) operates at 73.6 o C and 110kPa. Calculate the partition coefficients (K values) of all the components in this unit.

Table Q1: Information on the streams entering and exiting the separation units.

 Stream Number 15 16 17 18 19 20 Temperature 73.6 73.6 81.4 145.4 139.0 191.1 ( o C) Pressure 110.0 110.0 105.0 120.0 110.0 140.0 (kPa) Flow rate (kmol/hr) Ethylene 0.54 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Ethane 7.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Propylene 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Benzene 8.38 169.46 169.23 0.17 0.17 0.0 Ethylbenzene 0.71 91.54 0.92 90.63 89.72 0.91 1,4- 0.013 10.35 0.0 10.35 0.0001 10.35 Diethylbenzene

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-19

Block 1  Figure Q1: Process flow diagram for an ethyl benzene manufacturing process.

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-20

3. Natural gas is considered as the cleanest among the fossil fuels. In many natural gas fields, the gas contains N2, CO2, C2H6, C3H8 and C4H10 in addition to CH4. A representative composition of natural gas found in the Middle East is given in Table Q3 below. Design a flash unit to recover 99% of C2H6.Clearly state your assumptions and verify them after completing the design.

Table Q3: Composition of natural gas from a gas field in the Middle East.

 Component Mole % H 2 S 5 CO 2 10 CH 4 75 C 2 H 6 5 C 3 H 8 3 C 4 H 10 2

Farooq/CN3132/Flash Distillation-21