Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Gains (Understanding how to operate a pilot scale distillation plant)

Distillation, by definition, is the separation of two or more liquids and the key principle of it the different boiling point of the certain liquid(s). As different liquids have different boiling points, they vaporise at a different temperatures and the vapor phrase is created from the liquid phrase by vaporization at the boiling point. The vapor is then condensed by cooler tap water and then depending of the reflux ratio, the resulting liquid is either transferred back to the reboiler or either the accumulator The reflux ratio setting in the machine then determines how much distillate goes back into the distillation column or goes directly into the overhead product which the final product. And basically the break down of how the distillation set up is operated. However, the purity of the distillate is directly dependent on three factors, namely the rate of feed entering the distillation column, the reflux ratio and the temperature of the reboiler. Each of these 3 factors are indirectly interlinked with each other, as for example should the rate of feed entering the distillation column is too much and the reboiler is not able to heat up the entire feed completely and that the liquid would not be able to vaporize completely, the situation can be rectified by increasing the heat of the reboiler so it would be able to heat up the feed to able the liquid to vaporize.

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