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

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3.2 Distillation Equipment

It will be helpful for you to have a basic understanding of distillation equipment before studying the design methods. A detailed description of equipment is included in Chapter 10. Figure 3-6A is a schematic of a distillation column, and Figure 3-6B is a photograph of several columns.

The column is usually metal and has a circular cross section. It contains trays (plates or stages) where liquid-vapor contact occurs. The simplest type of tray is a sieve tray, which is a sheet of metal with holes punched into it for vapor to pass through. This is illustrated in Figure 3-7. The liquid flows down from the tray above in a downcomer and then across the sieve tray where it is intimately mixed with the vapor. The vapor flowing ...

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