ENCH 445: Separation Processes

     Instructor: Douglas D. Frey



Welcome to the webpage for the course ENCH 445 (Separation Processes) at UMBC. The information on this webpage is either in the public domain or complies with the fair use doctrine, and is therefore freely available for educational purposes to anyone interested in the field of separation processes. Enjoy your visit!


General Information:

         Syllabus, Course Goals, Learning Objectives, Regrading Policy, and Statement on Academic Conduct

         Detailed Reading Assignments


Professor Frey's Separation Processes WebBook:

         Chapter 1: Basic Concepts

         Chapter 2: Numerical Methods

         Chapter 3: Use of Excel and Matlab for Numerical Computations

         Chapter 4: Thermodynamics of Phase Equilibrium

         Chapter 5 (part 1): Single-Stage Equilibrium Processes

         Chapter 5 (part 2): Degree of Freedom Analysis and Description Rule Applied to a Single-Stage Flash Process

         Chapter 5 (part 3): Introduction to ChemSep and COCO

         Chapter 6: Staging and Steam Heating in Separation Processes

         Chapter 7: Binary Distillation

         Chapter 8: Multicomponent Distillation

         Chapter 9: Absorption, Stripping, and Extraction

         Chapter 10: Capacity and Stage Efficiency

         Chapter 11: Continuous Contactors

         Chapter 12: Membrane Processes

         Chapter 13: Adsorption and Chromatography

         Chapter 14: Spray Drying, Freeze Drying, and Lyophilization

         Chapter 15: Selection of Separation Processes

         Chapter 16: Selection of Solvents for Solvent Extraction  


Problem Set Assignments in ENCH 445 for Fall 2020:

         Problem Set 1: Basic Numerical Methods  (Due Sept. 8, 2020)

         Problem Set 2: Phase Equilibrium  (Due Sept. 22, 2020)

         Problem Set 3: Single-Stage Flash Process  (Due Oct. 1, 2020)

         Problem Set 4: Binary Distillation  (Due Oct. 30, 2020)

         Problem Set 5: Multicomponent Distillation  (Due Nov. 10, 2020)

         Problem Set 6: Absorption, Stripping, and Extraction  (Due Dec. 8, 2020)



      Tutorials on Distillation, Absorption, Stripping, and Related Processes:

      Tutorials on Steam Heating, Heat Exchangers, and Steam Traps:

      Tutorials on the Description Rule:

      Tutorial on Experienced-Based Rules in Chemical Engineering:

  • Experienced-Based Rules in Chemical Engineering. This article, which comes from the Cheresources.com website, summarizes many "rules of thumb" in the area of chemical process design, including the design of separation processes. It is a summary of the contents of the textbooks on this subject by S. M. Walas, Richard Turton, Carl R. Branan, and Christopher Haslego. The content of this article is also available in a very handy Excel spreadsheet which you can obtain here.

      Tutorials on Adsorption:

      Tutorials on Drying and Evaporation:

      General Tutorials on Software:

      Tutorials on using COCO and ChemSep:

      Tutorials on the Julia Programming Language:

Websites for Companies Involved in Separation Processes:

Databases and Libraries:

  • CheResources.com This is a link to the Separation Technologies portion of the process design articles part of the Chemical Engineers Resource Page website. You can scroll up and down to see other useful process design articles.
  • NIST Chemistry WebBook. This useful database contains thermodynamic properties for over 7000 organic and inorganic species.

Useful Free Software:

  • ChemSep-LITE.   This free version of ChemSep, called ChemSep-LITE, simulates multicomponent distillation, absorption, stripping, liquid-liquid extraction, and single-stage flash processes and was developed by Ross Taylor at Clarkson University and Harry Kooijman at Shell Global Solutions International. Be sure to also look at the rest of the ChemSep website, which contains lots of interesting information. ChemSep is a CAPE-OPEN (Computer Aided Process Engineering Open Source) compliant software program and is part of the COCO (CAPE OPEN to CAPE OPEN) suite of free software described in the next link.
  • COCO.   COCO (CAPE OPEN to CAPE OPEN) is a suite of free computer aided process engineering software programs that includes COFE (CAPE OPEN Flowsheet Enviroment), CORN (CAPE OPEN Reaction Numerics), ChemSep as described in the previous link, and many other components. For maximum software stability, you should uninstall any previous versions of ChemSep on your computer before you install COCO so you have only one copy of ChemSep on your computer. COCO is an example of the newest generation of software for computer aided process engineering which consists of "plug and play" components that are largely free.
  • Octave.  An open-source free MATLAB clone originally developed at the University of Wisconsin
  • Julia.  An open-source free programming language developed at MIT for high-performance computing and machine learning applications. See the additional information on this language in the Tutorials Section.
  • WAVE  This software for the design of water treatment systems including ion-exchange processes was developed by DOW.
  • Pressure Swing Adsorption Calculator.   This software for designing pressure swing adsorption processes was developed by James Ritter at the University of South Carolina.
  • Dynamic Simulation of Multicomponent Distillation.  An Excel spreadsheet developed by Douglas Frey at UMBC which simulates the time-dependent approach to steady state of a multicomponent distillation column when the plate compositions are initially set at arbitrary values.  This software also provides a convenient way to solve the multicomponent steady-state "operating problem" by simulating the approach to steady state.

Online Books:

  • Separation Processes, 2nd ed.  This is the link to the free on-line version of the classic book on separation processes by C. Judson King. The paperback version of this textbook is published by Dover and is well worth purchasing as a low-cost supplementary textbook in a separation processes course. It is available from Amazon and similar sites.

Online Books for Fun:

  • The Art of Distillation.  This book is a little old.  Actually, it was originally published in the year 1651 by the alchemist John French.
  • The Home Distillation Handbook.  For the home hobbyist.  But be careful, the procedures described in this book are illegal to do in the U.S.