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Separation Process Engineering: Includes Mass Transfer Analysis, Third Edition by Phillip C. Wankat

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1.1 Importance of Separations

Why does chemical engineering require the study of separation techniques? Because separations are crucial in chemical engineering. A typical chemical plant is a chemical reactor surrounded by separators, as diagramed in the schematic flow sheet of Figure 1-1. Raw materials are prepurified in separation devices and fed to the chemical reactor; unreacted feed is separated from the reaction products and recycled back to the reactor. Products must be further separated and purified before they can be sold. This type of arrangement is very common. Examples for a variety of traditional processes are illustrated by Biegler et al. (1997), Chenier (2002), Couper et al. (2005), Matar and Hatch (2001), Shreve and Austin (

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