Internship rectification

Internship rectification

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Introduction to the rectification internship experiment

Importance of rectification as a separation process

Rectification is one of the thermal separation processes. Compared to other thermal separation processes (extraction, adsorption), no other auxiliary materials are required. A system made up of two phases, between which the establishment of the thermodynamic equilibrium is used to separate the components, takes place during rectification only by supplying thermal energy. Therefore, for economic reasons, rectification is the most important and most common separation process in technical chemistry for the separation of two-component and multi-component mixtures.

Distillation is understood as the partial evaporation of a homogeneous liquid mixture with subsequent condensation. The lower-boiling component accumulates in the distillate. The entire distillate is discharged as a product. The distillation is generally only used for mixtures with large boiling point differences and is usually carried out discontinuously. If parts of the condensate are removed separately according to boiling temperature, this is called fractional distillation.
Rectification is a type of fractional distillation. Only part of the condensate is discharged as product. The other part flows back into the column against the rising steam flow. During the intensive interaction, there is an exchange of substances and heat between the phases. The less volatile components pass from the vapor phase into the returning liquid phase and accumulate in it, and the more volatile components accumulate in the vapor accordingly.

Rectification columns

Rising steam (yi) and draining liquid (xi) in the countercurrent. In order to intensify the exchange of substances and energy between vapor and liquid, columns are used that contain internals in the form of trays (e.g. bubble trays or sieve trays) or ordered beds (packing of different shapes and sizes). This constraint of the phases creates thin liquid films and large phase interfaces. The technological goal is that the two material flows have reached phase equilibrium when they leave a discrete floor (or as small a height section as possible in the case of filling bodies).

Parts of a tray and two packed columns from laboratory practice.

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