Tray efficiency measures the performance of a distillation tray or trays against the maximum theoretical performance. Similarly, a concept called Height Equivalent to Theoretical Plate (HETP) is used to measure the performance in a packed column. This article describes methods of quantifying tray efficiency in distillation tray analysis.
Relative volatility is a comparative measure of the vapour pressures of components in a liquid mixture. It is commonly used in the design of absorption and separation processes such as distillation as it allows the difficulty of separating components to be quickly assessed.
A McCabe-Thiele plot is a simplified tool to assist in understanding distillation. It is a method for calculating the number of theoretical trays required for the distillation of a binary mixture. This article describes how to apply the McCabe-Thiele method.
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.