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# Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach

1
McCabe-Thiele Algebraic Method
Equilibrium
curve

45

line

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
N

Stripping Section:
Operating line
Slope=L/V=(V
B
+1)

/V
B

x
D
Rectifying Section:
Operating line
Slope=L/V=R/(R+1)<1

q-line
y =
R
R+ 1
x +
1
R+1
x
D
y =
L
V
x
B
V
x
B
y =
q
q 1
|
\

|
.
| x
z
F
q 1
|
\

|
.
|
We have already developed the McCabe-Thiele Graphical Method for cascades. The same
equations we used for the operating lines, q-line, and equilibrium curve can be used to solve
for the compositions in each stage algebraically.
y =
ox
1+ x o 1 ( )
Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach
2
McCabe-Thiele: Minimum Reflux
45

line

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
D

x
D
y =
q
q 1
|
\

|
.
| x
z
F
q 1
|
\

|
.
|
To carry out the algebraic method we need to determine the slopes of the operating lines
algebraically. This can be done finding the intersections between the q-line and equilibrium
curve, and the q-line and the rectifying section operating line.
y =
ox
1+ x o 1 ( )
y =
q
q 1
|
\

|
.
| x
z
F
q 1
|
\

|
.
| =
ox
1+ x o 1 ( )
Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach
3
McCabe-Thiele: Rectifying Section Operating Line
45

line

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
D

x
D
The slope of the operating line for the rectifying section with minimum reflux can be determined
from the rise over run. We can then also find the minimum reflux from this slope.
y =
q
q 1
|
\

|
.
| x
z
F
q 1
|
\

|
.
| =
ox
1+ x o 1 ( )
y
q

x
q

y
D
y
q
x
D
x
q
=
R
min
R
min
+ 1
From the minimum reflux, and R/R
min
we can
determine the reflux R.
We determine the slope of the rectifying section
operating line from:
slope =
R
R+1
Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach
4
McCabe-Thiele: Rectifying Section Operating Line
45

line

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
D

x
D
We can find the intersection of the operating line and the q-line to determine the stripping
section operating line:
y =
q
q 1
|
\

|
.
| x
z
F
q 1
|
\

|
.
| =
R
R+ 1
x +
1
R+1
x
D
y
QR

x
QR

y
QR
y
B
x
QR
x
B
= slope
From the minimum reflux, and R/R
min
we can
determine the reflux R.
We determine the slope of the stripping section
operating line from:
slope =
R
R+1
Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach
5
McCabe-Thiele: Algebraic Method
Equilibrium
curve

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
N

x
D
1
2
3
4
1. In total condenser y
1
=x
0

2. x
1
is determined from the equilibrium curve:
y
1
=
ox
1
1+ x
1
o 1 ( )
3. y
2
is determined from operating line for
the rectifying section:
y
2
=
R
R+ 1
x
1
+
1
R+1
x
D
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until x
n
is less than
x
QR
(you are on a point of the equilibrium
curve to the left of the intersection of the OL
and the q-line).
x
QR
6. x
3
is determined from the equilibrium curve:
y
3
=
ox
3
1+ x
3
o 1 ( )
5. y
3
is determined from operating line for
the stripping section:
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until x
n
is less than x
B

y
3
=
L
V
x
2

B
V
x
B
Lecture 15: McCabe Thiele Algebraic Approach
6
McCabe-Thiele Algebraic Method: Examples
Equilibrium
curve

x=z
F
x
B
y
y
B

y
N

x
D
1
2
3
4
1. Alpha = 4, R=R
min

2. Alpha=4 R=2R
min

3. Alpha=4 R=4R
min
4. Alpha=4 R=20R
min

5. Alpha=1.1 R=3R
min
x
QR
x
D
=0.9, x
B
=0.1, z
F
=0.5, q=0.8