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.
There are many operations in which two phases must be separated. These separations may be gas-liquid, gas-solid, liquid-liquid or liquid-solid, with several factors such as relative densities, gravity, fluid velocities and the shape of particles and/or droplets influence the phase separability. In this article we present the fundamentals of these separations and provide the Stoke’s, Intermediate and Newton’s formulae for calculating the terminal velocities of settling particles to analyse separation systems.