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A New Method To Calculate Phase Coexistence

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

The Computer, the Web, and the ChE

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.78.1 - 7.78.14



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Paper Authors

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James Russum

author page

Donald Visco

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A New Method to Calculate Phase Coexistence

James P. Russum and Donald P. Visco, Jr.

Georgia Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Atlanta GA / Tennessee Technological University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Cookeville TN


A classic problem in thermodynamics is the evaluation of phase equilibria from equations of

state (EOS). The development and solution of said problems is normally presented during the

undergraduate chemical engineering thermodynamics course, with the problems solved either

through an iterative procedure [1-3] or using a root-finding algorithm. However, we have recently

developed a new method [4] for solving these types of problems that uses a differential form of

the phase equilibria constraints that are solved through numerical integration. This second

approach, in the example presented in this work, has a computational speed up relative to a root-

finding algorithm of about 30. We also revisit a combined approach [5, 6] which allows for larger

steps to be taken in the independent variable.

This paper sets up as follows. First we provide a typical example problem that a chemical

engineering student might be required to solve. Next, we develop the solution to this problem

using a root-finding algorithm (here, Newton-Raphson). Third, we introduce and solve the

example problem using our proposed method. Fourth, we demonstrate the benefit of using a

1 “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Russum, J., & Visco, D. (2002, June), A New Method To Calculate Phase Coexistence Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10710

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