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

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2.1 Basic Method of Flash Distillation

One of the simplest separation processes commonly employed is flash distillation. In this process, part of a liquid feed stream vaporizes in a flash chamber or part of a vapor feed condenses, and the vapor and liquid in equilibrium with each other are separated. The more volatile component will be more concentrated in the vapor. Usually a large degree of separation is not achieved; however, in some cases, such as the desalination of seawater, complete separation results.

The equipment needed for flash distillation is shown in Figure 2-1 for a liquid feed. The fluid is pressurized and heated and is then passed through a throttling valve or nozzle into the flash drum. Because of the large drop in pressure, ...

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