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Welcome to Neutrium

Neutrium is a knowledge base of engineering topics, centred mainly around chemical engineering design challenges faced by engineers in their daily work. We created Neutrium to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Feel free to ask a question, leave feedback or take a look at one of our in-depth articles.


Distillation Fundamentals
Distillation Fundamentals

Distillation is a process by which a liquid mixture is separated into fractions with higher concentrations of certain components by exploiting differences in relative volatility. In industrial settings such as oil refineries and natural gas processing plants this separation process is undertaken using a distillation column. This article describes the basic principles and operation of a distillation column and the equipment and terminology used when discussing distillation.


Henry's Law
Henry's Law

Henry’s Law describes the relationship between the solubility of a gas in a liquid and the partial pressure of that gas above the liquid surface. A range of experimentally determined Henry’s constants are tabulated and can be used to determine the solubility of various gas species in water.


Raoult's Law
Raoult's Law

Raoult’s law gives a method of estimating the composition and pressure of the vapour above a liquid mixture. This article describes the basis of Raoult’s law and provides an example of how to apply it.


Dalton's Law

Dalton’s law provides a method by which the total pressure of a gas mixture can be calculated using the partial pressures of the component gases of the mixture.


Wobbe Index
Wobbe Index

The Wobbe Index is a measure of the interchangeability of fuel gases and their relative ability to deliver energy. It gives an indication of whether a turbine or burner will be able to run on an alternative fuel source without tuning or physical modifications.


Cv versus Orifice Size
Cv versus Orifice Size

The pressure drop or flow rate through a valve or orifice plate is typically calculated using the a flow coefficient, Cv or orifice diameter. This article demonstrates how to convert between these two parameters when performing functions such as selecting a valve with an equivalent pressure drop to a given orifice plate.


Joule-Thomson Effect
Joule-Thomson Effect

The Joule-Thomson Effect describes the change in temperature of a gas as it experiences a rapid change in pressure from passing through a valve, orifice or nozzle. It may represent a safety hazard, or an opportunity depending on the process.


Types of Thermodynamic Process

When examining thermodynamic processes some simplifying assumptions may be applied to help describe and analyse a given system. These simplifications can be viewed as ‘ideal’ thermodynamic processes and include adiabatic, isenthalpic, isentropic, isobaric, isochoric, isothermal, isentropic, polytropic and reversible processes. This article provides a brief overview of each process type and suitability to a given thermodynamic system.


Hydrate Formation in Gas Systems
Hydrate Formation in Gas Systems

Hydrate formation represents a significant risk to process safety as it can result in the plugging of both pipes and instruments. Hydrates typically form in process where light hydrocarbons, water vapor and low temperatures or high pressures are present. This article describes the conditions under which hydrates form, how formation may be prevented and what can be done once hydrates have formed.


Choked Flow
Choked Flow

Choked flow is a phenomenon that limits the mass flow rate of a compressible fluid flowing through nozzles, orifices and sudden expansions. Generally speaking it is the mass flux after which a further reduction in downstream pressure will not result in an increase in mass flow rate.