2008 Volume 41 Issue 9 Pages 933-938
At undergraduate level, the separation of binary mixtures is studied using, mainly, the McCabe–Thiele method because of the advantage to present the results in graphical form. However, most of the applications are limited to problems where extreme (top and bottom) compositions and reflux ratio are specified and the objective is to determinate the number of stages. By the use of the McCabe–Thiele method and the advantage of a solve-package (Mathcad™), a procedure is proposed to solve problems with different specifications. Unlike the traditional application, the number of stages can or can not be specified. Depending on the available information, the objective can be one of determining top or bottom composition and reflux ratio, for instance. The proposed procedure allows for detailed analysis of the separation, avoiding the cycle “right solution or wrong solution”. The proposed procedure is also valid for columns with multiple feeds and can be implemented by using other software.