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An Instructional Module on Thermally Coupled Columns for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Separations

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

"Modular" Learning

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.177.1 - 23.177.8



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Paper Authors


Priscilla J Hill Mississippi State University

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Dr. Priscilla Hill is currently an associate professor in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University. She has research interests in crystallization, particle technology, population balance modeling, and process synthesis. Her teaching interests include particle technology, nanotechnology, and thermodynamics.

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Carlen Henington Mississippi State University

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Dr. Carlen Henington is a nationally certified school psychologist, an associate professor, and program coordinator of the Mississippi State University School Psychology programs. She completed her doctoral work at Texas A&M University and her internship at the Munroe Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medication, Omaha. She received the Texas A&M Educational Psychology Distinguished Dissertation Award in 1997, the Mississippi State University Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Teaching Award in 1998, the Mississippi State University Golden Key National Honor Society Outstanding Faculty Member Award in 2000, and the Mississippi State University College of Education Diversity Award in 2011. She has served as an outside reviewer for several federally-funded educational grants and works as a consultant to the Mississippi Department of Education. She is a member of the Mississippi Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood. She serves as a reviewer for program accreditation for the American Psychology Association and program approval for the National Association of School Psychologists. She has served as a grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and Safe School/Healthy Schools Imitative.

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Rebecca K. Toghiani Mississippi State University

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Dr. Rebecca K. Toghiani is an associate professor of Chemical Engineering at MSU. She received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D all in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received the 1996 Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award and the 2005 Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Southeastern Section. A John Grisham Master Teacher at MSU, she is an inaugural member of the Bagley College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Teachers. She has also been recognized at
MSU with the 2001 Outstanding Faculty Woman Award, a 2001 Hearin Professor of Engineering award, and the 1999 College of Engineering Outstanding Engineering Educator Award.

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An Instructional Module on Thermally Coupled Columns for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering SeparationsIn the chemical processing industry companies are seeking methods for becoming moreeconomically competitive. This includes better design of new processes as well as retrofittingexisting processes. Process intensification is used by industry to reduce process costs. Onemethod for process intensification is combining existing process units into a single unit for costreduction due to both capital cost savings and energy savings. Although students are taught howto design single function units and how to sequence these units for a chemical manufacturingprocess, they are not taught process intensification. To help students understand these concepts,an instructional module was developed that presents thermally coupled columns and divided wallcolumns. This module is presented in the required undergraduate separations course.This paper presents the module including implementation, examples and resources used. Themodule is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of process intensification, andthen demonstrate these concepts with thermally coupled columns such as the Petlyuk columnconfiguration and divided wall columns. Comparisons are made between traditional distillationsequences with the thermally coupled configurations and the divided wall columns. The benefitsof capital cost reduction and energy savings are emphasized. In addition to discussing thebenefits of these approaches, it is emphasized that this approach will not work for all chemicalsystems. Since this module has been used twice with two different instructors, it is expected tobe transferrable to other instructors. Assessment of student understanding is being performedusing pre/post surveys on the content. Preliminary assessment data is also be presented.

Hill, P. J., & Henington, C., & Toghiani, R. K. (2013, June), An Instructional Module on Thermally Coupled Columns for Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Separations Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19191

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