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Estimating Equilibrium Phase Distribution Ratios

By S.K.Mukherjee, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. |

    The equilibrium phase distribution ratio (K value) is necessary for designing and assessing the performance of distillation columns. This paper proposes a simplified approach to calculate the K value that is suitable for preliminary design work and for checking the performance of existing columns. The article also explains the first principles for calculation of K values from the fugacity of real gases and liquids. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the proposed method has not before been available in published literature. Concentration-dependant K values can be calculated from empirical correlations involving lengthy calculations. Alternatively, these values can be obtained from equations of state – using commercial software, as hand calculations are unwieldy. For preliminary design work and performance checks, however, it is sufficient to use K values for multicomponent systems that are based only on system pressure and temperature, and not on concentration. In some methods used to calculate K, values must be looked up in difficult-to-read charts and figures, where accuracy can be compromised. The method proposed in the present paper overcomes these shortcomings and gives a clear basis for the calculations.…
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