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Tools for Teaching Batch Distillation Inductively using Process Simulation

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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

Chemical Engineering Poster Session & Unit Operations Lab Bazaar

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1252.1 - 23.1252.11



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Paper Authors

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Landon Mott University of Kentucky


Jeffrey R Seay University of Kentucky

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Dr. Jeffrey R. Seay is an assistant professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky at Paducah Extended Campus. Dr. Seay joined the University of Kentucky in 2008 following a twelve year career in the chemical industry. Dr. Seay completed his B.S. and Ph.D. from Auburn University and his M.S. from the University of South Alabama, all in Chemical Engineering. His primary research area is process systems engineering focused on sustainability, green chemistry, biofuels and appropriate technology for underdeveloped regions.

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David L. Silverstein University of Kentucky

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Dr. David L. Silverstein is the PJC Engineering professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky and director of the College of Engineering's Extended Campus Programs in Paducah, Kentucky where he has taught for 13 years. His Ph.D. and M.S. studies in Chemical Engineering were completed at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Silverstein earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alabama. Dr. Silverstein's research interests include conceptual learning tools and training, and he has particular interests in faculty development. He is the recipient of several ASEE awards, including the Fahein award for young faculty teaching and educational scholarship, the Cororan award for best article in the journal Chemical Engineering Education, and the Martin award for best paper in the ChE Division at the ASEE Annual Meeting.

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Tools for Teaching Batch Distillation Inductively using Process SimulationOne approach to active learning involves taking students through a guided exploration process; one whichensures students will observe phenomena and then be asked questions intended to draw conclusionsregarding the observations. In recent years, this has been called inductive teaching, but more recently theexpression “inquiry-based instruction” or related terms have become more common. Concurrently,simulation is becoming an increasingly important tool to perform these guided explorations as constrainedresources prevent operation of laboratory equipment during lecture oriented classes. This paper describesthe development of a tutorial to teaching students how to develop and conduct simulations using AspenBatch Distillation, along with the design of five inquiry activities modeled after the work of Vigeant(Vigeant, et al., JEE, 2011). This model begins with consideration of a scenario, followed by prediction,exploration, conclusion, and reflection. The five inquiry activities are designed to explore keyrelationships in batch distillation involving pressure, heating rate, column internals, and reflux ratios, andto also consider the safety and economic factors in batch distillation design and operation. The tutorialand activities (complete with suggested solutions) will be made available to faculty members uponrequest while in the refinement and testing stages.

Mott, L., & Seay, J. R., & Silverstein, D. L. (2013, June), Tools for Teaching Batch Distillation Inductively using Process Simulation Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22637

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