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Improvements In The Teaching Of Separation Process Design Through Interactive Computer Graphics

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.326.1 - 3.326.10

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Paper Authors

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Mualla ÖNER

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Gürses ÖNER

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3513

Improvements in the Teaching of Separation Process Design through Interactive Computer Graphics

Mualla ÖNER*, Gürses ÖNER** * Yildiz Technical University, Chemical Engineering Department Sisli, Istanbul, 80270 TURKEY ** Ciba Specialty Chemicals ltd. Akatlar, 80630 Istanbul-TURKEY

Several graphical solution techniques have long played a role in separations processes. McCabe- Thiele and Ponchon-Savarit methods for staged distillation design and graphical methods for gas absorption and stripping design remain in use today and similar procedures are employed for extraction and other less frequently encountered processes. These methods are typically employed due to their conceptually simpler formulation compared to numerically solved processes. However, manual construction of graphics and investigation of the effect of different design parameters on the resulting column are time consuming and tedious procedures. Computer-aided instruction offers solutions to these problems by removing the burden of computational effort while preserving the simple graphical representation. The benefits of introducing state of the art computing technology into the coursework are numerous. With the increased computational speed, a large number of problems can be solved in a fraction of the time one solution would otherwise take. This ability allows students to have a greater exposure to a wide range of complex problem types. Also, the tedious preparation of engineering diagrams and repetitive calculations can easily be done on the computer, which frees the student to concentrate on the interplay of equations and problem specifications.

The aim of this study is to show the applicability of interactive computer programming for solving staged-process design problems. [1-5] Two computer programs were developed for this purpose. The first program, WDISTIL, was developed to find stage requirements and column operating parameters of a multicomponent and binary distillation tower given feed stream information and desired product purities. WDISTIL, utilizing McCabe-Thiele and Ponchon Savarit graphical solution techniques for binary distillation, was used in a senior level chemical engineering course and proved to be a very successful learning tool. WDISTIL uses the extension of McCabe-Thiele diagram to columns containing multiple feeds, multiple side products, and multiple points of heat removal or addition for complex multicomponent distillation. Distillation columns having multiple feeds, one or more side products, one or more points of heat removal and heat addition or combination of these features can be handled by this graphical procedure. The program was designed to be self explanatory, easy to use and simple to understand. The input routines are completely unstructured to allow the user total freedom of problem specification. Solutions to the problems are generated very rapidly to allow the exploration of various parametric dependencies.

The second program, WGASABS, computes the packed tower height and number of trays for gas absorption or stripping columns. WGASABS was developed for absorption of concentrated mixtures in packed towers under isothermal conditions in the case of diffusion of A through stagnant B in order to calculate the tower height using the numerical and graphical capabilities of personal computers.

ÖNER, M., & ÖNER, G. (1998, June), Improvements In The Teaching Of Separation Process Design Through Interactive Computer Graphics Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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