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MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS

INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

A process flowsheet (flowchart) is a graphical representation of a


process.

A flowsheet describes the actual process in sufficient detail that you


can use it to formulate material (and energy) balances

In a mixer, two or more entering streams of different compositions are


combined

In a splitter, two or more streams exit, all of which have the same
composition

In a separator, the exit streams can be of different compositions.


ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

Flowsheet of the ammonia plant


ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

Block Diagram

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

4
D

3
A,B,C

5
A,B,C,D

6
A,B

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Example: Examine the next Figure. No reaction takes place. The system is open and steady
state. The arrows designate flows. The composition of each stream is as follows:
(3) A and B, concentrations known: A = 0.800, B = 0.200

(1) PureA

(2) Pure B

(4) Pure C

(5) A, B, and C, concentrations known: A = 0.571, B = 0.143, c = 0.286

(6) Pure D

(7) A and D, concentrations known: A = 0.714, D = 0.286

(8) B and C, concentrations known: g = 0.333, C = 0.667

What is the maximum number of independent mass balances that can be generated to
solve this problem? Write down the possible equations. Do they form a unique set?
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Solution
Total number of species balances
At unit , two species are involved

At unit , three species are involved

At unit , four species are involved

Total

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

If you take as a basis F1 = 100, seven values of Fi are unknown, hence only
seven independent equations need to be written.
Equation (c) is redundant with (d) and equation (g) is redundant with (h) because the
sum of the mass fractions in a stream is unity, hence an implicit relation exists
between the equations so that they are not independent.
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS

Checklist of Variables and Equations to Consider in a Degree-of


Freedom Analysis

Variables
Flow variables:
Species (or total flow) entering and leaving for each subsystem
Species (or total flow) entering and leaving the overall system
Reaction variables:
Extents of reaction (if any) in the minimal set for each subsystem

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Equations
Basis for each subsystem or the overall system
Material balances (species or element):
For each species or element (or their total) in each subsystem
For each species or element (or their total) in the overall system
Specifications (for each subsystem and overall)
Specified compositions
Specified flow rates
Specified flow ratios
Specified conversions or extents of reaction
Splitter restrictions
Implicit equations (sum of mole or mass fractions)
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

Example: Acetone is used in the manufacture of many chemicals and also as a


solvent. In its latter role, many restrictions are placed on the release of acetone
vapor to the environment. You are asked to design an acetone recovery system
having the flowsheet illustrated in Figure E11.2. All the concentrations shown in
E11.2 of both the gases and liquids are specified in weight percent in this
special case to make the calculations simpler. Calculate, A, F, W, B, and D per
hour, G =1400 kg/hr.

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Solution
Steps 1,2,3, and 4
This is an open, steady-state process without reaction. Three
subsystems exist. All the stream compositions are given.

Step 5
Basis: 1 hr, so that G = 1400 kg.

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Steps 6 and 7
We could start the analysis of the degrees of freedom with overall
balances, but since the subsystems are connected serially, we will
start the analysis with the absorber column, Unit 1, and then proceed
to Unit 2, and then to Unit 3.
Unit (Absorber)
Variables: 16

4 flow streams W, G, F, A
species mass fractions in each stream
so that 3 (species) x 4 (Flow streams) = 12
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
No of equations: 16
Basis: G
Species material balances: 3 (one for each species)
Specifications: 12

Degrees of freedom: 0
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Step 8
The mass balances for Unit 1 are as follows:

Step 9
Solve Equations (a), (b), and (c) to get
A = 1336.7 kg/hr
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

F = 221.05 kg/hr

W = 157.7 kg/hr
Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Step 10
(Check) Use the total balance.

ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Steps 6 and 7
Units 2 and 3 (Distillation Column plus Condenser)
Variables: 9
F, D, B (3 streams); species mass fractionsin each
stream = 2 so that 2 X 3 = 6 more variables
Equations: 9
Species material balances: 2 (one for each species)
Specifications: 6

Degrees of freedom: 0
ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani

MATERIAL BALANCE PROBLEMS


INVOLVING MULTIPLE UNITS
Step 8
The mass balances for the combined Units 2 plus 3 are:
Acetone:

221.05(0.19) = D(0.99) + B(0.04)

(d)

Water:

221.05(0.81) = D(O.O1) + B(0.96)

(e)

Step 9
Solve Equations (d) and (e) simultaneously to get
D = 34.90 kg/hr
B = 186.1 kg/hr
Step 10
(Check) Use the total balance:

F= D +

221.05= 34.90+1 86.1 =221.0


ChE 201: Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Dr Saad Al-Shahrani