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

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7.3 Gilliland Correlation for Number of Stages at Finite Reflux Ratio

A general shortcut method for determining the number of stages required for a multicomponent distillation at finite reflux ratios would be extremely useful. Unfortunately, such a method has not been developed. However, Gilliland (1940) noted that he could empirically relate the number of stages N at finite reflux ratio L/D to the minimum number of stages Nmin and the minimum reflux ratio (L/D)min. Gilliland did a series of accurate stage-by-stage calculations and found that he could correlate the function (N−Nmin)/(N + 1) with the function [L/D − (L/D)min]/(L/D + 1). This correlation as modified by Liddle (1968) is shown in Figure 7-3. The data points are the results of Gilliland’s ...

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