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Integrating Process Simulation Into The Unit Operations Laboratory Through An Absorption Column Experiment

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

9.765.1 - 9.765.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/13116

Download Count

131

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Paper Authors

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Zac Bunnell

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Garett Scott

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Sundararajan Madihally

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

Session # 1793

Integrating Process Simulation into the Unit Operations Laboratory Through an Absorption Column Experiment Zac Bunnell, Garett Scott, and Sundararajan Madihally School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University

Abstract Recent advances in computational tools have revolutionized the way graduating students will work and interact with multiple disciplines. This has necessitated an the integration of novel technologies into traditional courses, particularly into Unit Operations Laboratory (UOL). In UOL students obtain hands-on experience on the application of the theoretical concepts learned in core classes such as mass transfer operations, chemical reactor design, and transport phenomena.

We introduced process simulation into an absorption column experiment in UOL. Students were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of a packing material, known commercially as Nutter™ rings, relative to other common packing materials using an air-acetic acid-water system under isothermal conditions. The packed tower was equipped with a control system for on-line monitoring of pressure changes across the column and flow measuring devices to regulate liquid and gas flow rates.

First, students were asked to establish the operating range of the column by varying the air and water flow rates. Since the tower is made of a transparent material, they were able to observe the flooding conditions. Next, using a low concentration of acetic acid in water, they evaluated the percentage removal of acetic acid by titration of inlet and outlet streams. Using these data and assuming no pressure drop across the column, students were asked to determine the height equivalent to a theoretical plate (HETP) at various gas and liquid flow rates. To integrate the pressure drop measured during the operation of the column into the separation efficiency, they were asked to simulate the process using ChemCAD (Chemstations, Inc) software. Additionally, they were asked to compare the separation efficiency of Nutter™ rings to other routinely used packing materials such as burl saddle and Raschig rings.

This multi-level experiment not only reinforces the concepts of mass transfer operations and process simulation but prepares the students for the challenges they will face in today’s Chemical Engineering Industry. Implications of this experience will be discussed in detail.

Introduction Recent advances in computational tools have revolutionized the way graduating students interact and apply chemical engineering principles at the workplace. A significant progress has enabled process simulation software, along the norm in the chemical engineering, to efficiently run on desktop personal computers. Process simulation software is useful to visualize plant processes, perform heat and material balances of process flowsheets, design new plants, or modify and expand existing plants. This has necessitated the integration of novel technologies into traditional courses, particularly into the Unit Operations Laboratory (UOL).

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 1 Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Bunnell, Z., & Scott, G., & Madihally, S. (2004, June), Integrating Process Simulation Into The Unit Operations Laboratory Through An Absorption Column Experiment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13116

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