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

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5.3 Profiles for Multicomponent Distillation

What do the flow, temperature, and composition profiles look like? Our intuition would tell us that these profiles will be similar to the ones for binary distillation. As we will see, this is true for the total flow rates and temperature, but not for the composition profiles.

If CMO is valid, the total vapor and liquid flow rates will be constant in each section of the column. The total flow rates can change at each feed stage or sidestream withdrawal stage. This behavior is illustrated for a computer simulation for a saturated liquid feed in Figure 5-2 and is the same behavior we would expect for a binary system. For nonconstant molal overflow, the total flow rates will vary from section to section. ...

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