Complex Mixtures

Feed analyses in terms of component concentrations are usually not available for complex hydrocarbon mixtures with a final normal boiling point above about 38°C (100°F) (n-pentane). One method of handling such a feed is to break it down into pseudo components (narrow-boiling fractions) and then estimate the mole fraction and K value for each such component. Edmister [Ind. Eng. Chem., 47,1685 (1955)] and Maxwell (Data Book on Hydrocarbons, Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1958) give charts that are useful for this estimation. Once K values are available, the calculation proceeds as described above for multicomponent mixtures. Another approach to complex mixtures is to obtain an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or true-boiling point (TBP) curve for the mixture and then use empirical correlations to construct the atmospheric-pressure equilibrium-flash curve (EFV), which can then be corrected to the desired operating pressure. A discussion of this method and the necessary charts are presented in a later subsection entitled "Petroleum and Complex-Mixture Distillation."

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