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

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2.8 Three-Phase Flash Calculations

Many systems, particularly mixtures of nonpolar organics and polar compounds such as water, will form two liquid phases and one vapor phase. A binary example, n-butanol and water, is discussed later (see Figure 8-2 and Problem 8.D3). In this section we consider calculations for multicomponent liquid-liquid-vapor systems. For example, if a vapor mixture of gasoline and water is partially condensed, the result will be an aqueous layer with a high mole fraction of water, an organic phase containing very little water, and a vapor phase. The different components of gasoline will distribute between the three phases differently.

With three phases, the component mass balance for a flash distillation system is

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