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# DISCUSSION:

## In this experiment, students have been introduced to the distillation

column equipment and refractometer. Furthermore, students can applied and
understanding more about several fundamental of fluid flow process from
Process Unit and Operation subject and also from Material and Energy Balance
subject in both experiment A and B. Distillation column is an equipment that use
to separate mixtures into its composition due to the boiling point. The objective
for the first experiment is to determine the pressure drop over the distillation
column for various boil up rate in batch distillation. Besides, for the second
experiment, the objective is to determine the mixture composition by referring to
the refractive index by using refractometer. This experiment also related to the
Newton Rule which states that the refractive index of thermodynamically ideal
liquid mixtures is demonstrated to be given by the volume-fraction mixing rule of
the pure component squared refractive indices.
Firstly, when the first experiment is running up which to determine Column
Pressure Drop, the distillation column is set to be work at total reflux which
means all the formed vapour will after condensation return to the column.
Besides, there will be no feed, top and bottom products. First, the power is set at
0.5 kW and takes about 10 minutes to allow the system to reach equilibrium
(steady state condition). After that, the boil-up rate has been calculated by
dividing the volume collected with the time to collect the sample. The value of
boil-up rate for 0.5 kW is 5.89 mL/s. After taking the sample, we take the reading
of pressure drops of 7.1 cm H 2O. Besides that, we observe the degree of foaming
on trays and it is observed that the degree of forming is gently localized. This
experiment is repeated by using the same procedures with different power which
is 0.75 kW, 1.00 kW, 1.25 KW and 1.50 kW.
Nevertheless, by using 0.75 kW, the boil up rate is 10.80 mL/s and the
pressure drop is approximately 8.4 cm H 2O while for the power of 1.00 kW, 1.25
kW and 1.50 kW , the boil up rate is 14.08 mL/s , 64.80 mL/s and 54.00 mL/s
respectively. On the other hand, the pressure drop is 21.7 cm H 2O , 12.5 cm H2O
and 11.5 cm H2O for the power of 1.00 kW, 1.25 kW and 1.50 kW respectively.
The degree of forming from 1.00 kW , 1.25 kW and 1.50 kW are gently over
whole tray , forming violently over whole tray and liquid flooding in column.
Based on the results, we found that when power increase, the boiling up rate
increase but decrease at power 1.50 kW, while for the overall top and bottom

pressure drop, the pattern of the pressure is increasing up until power at 1.00 kW
and decreasing at pressure 1.25 kW to 1.50 kW. Finally, a graph of overall top
and bottom pressure drop versus boiling up rate is plotted. The overall top and
bottom pressure drop is the value of difference between top pressure drop and
bottom pressure drop. From the graph, it shows that, at low boiling up rates the
pressure drop remains fairly constant until foaming occurs when the pressure
drop would be expected to rise sharply for unit in boil up rate but there is sudden
decrease of pressure drop at boil up rate 64.80 mL/s and 54.00 mL/s. This is
because the degree of forming occurs at these times which are foaming violently
over whole tray and liquid flooding in column effect the pressure drop.
In the second experiment, the refractive index of methylcyclohexane and
toluene is measured by using refractometer for different concentration of
methylcyclohexane which is 100% , 75 % , 50 % , 25 % and 0 % . First, the
calculation of volume methylcyclohexane and volume of toluene needed for each
The calculation is made by using the formula :

Concentration =

## Vol MCH MCH 100

MW MCH
Vol MCH MCH Vol tol tol
+
MW MCH
MW tol

## Based on the results, for 100 % , 75 % , 50 % , 25 % and 0 % of methyl

cyclohexane mole concentration, the value of refractive index is 1.42223 ,
1.43825 , 1.45526 , 1.47521 and 1.47901 respectively. A graph of refractive
index versus mole fraction of methyl cyclohexane is plotted. Based on the result,
the graph shows that the value of refractive index decrease as the mole fraction
increase.
From the both experiment, there are some error occur during the
experiment. Especially, in the first experiment, the value of pressure drop do not
really accurate because sometimes we do not take times to allow the distillation
column system to operate in equilibrium before taking the next set of
measurement.

CONCLUSION
Based on the experiment A, Determining Column Pressure Drop, students
are able to determine the pressure drop over the distillation column for various
boil up rates in batch distillation. From the results obtained, it shows that when
the power input increase, the boil-up rates and the pressure drop also increase
but decrease at power 1.50 kW. By plotting the graph of pressure drop versus
boil up rate, it is clearly shows that at low boil-up rate the pressure drop will
remain fairly constant until foaming occurs when the pressure drop would be
expected to rise sharply with the increases in boil up rate but there is sudden
decrease of pressure drop at boil up rate 64.80 mL/s and 54.00 mL/s. Based on
the result obtained in the experiment B, the Determining Mixture Composition,
the composition of the mixtures of Methylcyclohexane and Toluene is determine
by using refractometer . After plotting the graph of refractive index versus mole
fraction methylcyclohexane, the graph shows that when the concentration of
methylcyclohexane increases, the refractive index is decrease. The refractive
index is higher when the concentration of methylcyclohexane is 0%.

RECOMMENDATION:
There are some recommendations that can help to improve the performance of
these two experiment :
1. In both experiment, the accuracy of taking the reading is really required to
make sure the good result. Thus, each of the experiment need to be
repeated at least three times to obtain an accurate result.
2. In the experiment A, it is recommended that when taking the sample,
ensure that the liquid remains in the flexible connecting tube to prevent
vapour from escaping by partially open the valve V3 and drain the
condensate from the reflux system until a steady flow is obtained.
3. It is need to make sure that when taking the reading of pressure drop for
top and bottom of the column, the valve V6 and V7 must be always open
to prevent vapour from the column entering the manometer.
4. It

is

highly

to

allow

10

minutes

between

each

set

of

measurements before starting the next set in order to let the system reach
equilibrium again.
5. For experiment B, it is highly recommended to rinse the refractormeter
and dropper with distilled water before used it. This is done to removed
impurities that maybe disturb the reading of refractive index.