Modelling of vapour-liquid-liquid equilibria for multicomponent heterogeneous systems

  • Anwar Rasoul

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This work is focused on thermodynamic modelling of isobaric vapour-liquid-liquid equilibrium (VLLE) (homogeneous) and (heterogeneous) for binary, ternary and quaternary systems. This work uses data for organic/aqueous systems; historically these mixtures were used in the production of penicillin and were required to be separated by continuous fractional distillation. Modelling of the separation required phase equilibrium data to be available so that predictions could be made for equilibrium stage temperatures, vapour compositions, liquid compositions and any phase splitting occurring in the liquid phase. Relevant data became available in the literature and work has been carried out to use relevant theories in correlating and predicting as was originally required in the distillation equilibrium stage modelling. All the modelling carried out was at atmospheric pressure.The modelling has been done using an Equation of State, specifically Peng Robinson Styrjek Vera (PRSV), combined with the activity coefficient model UNIversal QUAsi Chemical (UNIQUAC) through Wong Sandler mixing rules (WSMR). The success of all correlations and predictions was justified by minimizing the value of the Absolute Average Deviation (AAD) as defined within the thesis. Initially the integral Area Method and a method called Tangent Plane Intersection (TPI) were used in the prediction of liquid-liquid equilibrium (LLE) binary systems. This work used a modified 2-point search, suggested a 3-point search and has successfully applied both of these methods to predict VLLE for binary systems. It was discovered through the application of the TPI on ternary VLLE systems that the method was strongly sensitive to initial values. This work suggested and tested a Systematic Initial Generator (SIG) to provide the TPI method with realistic initial values close to the real solution and has demonstrated the viability of the SIG on improving the accuracy of the TPI results for the ternary systems investigated.In parallel with the TPI another method the Tangent Plane Distance Function (TPDF) was also investigated. This method is based on the minimisation of Gibbs free energy function related to the Gibbs energy surface. This method consistently showed it was capable of predicting VLLE for both ternary and quaternary systems as demonstrated throughout this work. The TPDF method was found to be computationally faster and less sensitive to the initial values. Some of the methods investigated in this work were also found to be applicable as phase predictors and it was discovered that the TPDF and the SIG methods were successful in predicting the phase regions; however the TPI method failed in identifying the 2 phase region.Applying the techniques described to newly available quaternary data has identified the strengths and weaknesses of the methods. This work has expanded the existing knowledge and developed a reliable model for design, operation and optimisation of the phase equilibria required for prediction in many separation processes. Currently available modelling simulation packages are variable in their predictions and sometimes yield unsatisfactory predictions.Many of the current uses of VLLE models are particularly focused on Hydrocarbon/Water systems at high pressure. The work described in this thesis has demonstrated that an EOS with suitable mixing rules can model and predict data for polar organic liquids at atmospheric and below atmospheric pressure and offers the advantage of using the same modelling equations for both phases.
    Date of Award17 Oct 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Teesside University
    SupervisorChristine Peel (Supervisor)

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