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MEng Chemical Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Advanced Engineering Separations

Unit code CHEN30071
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science
Available as a free choice unit? No


  • Introduction to selection of separators
  • Liquid-liquid extraction
  • Distillation design: multi-component distillation, short-cut distillation design.
  • Distillation sequencing: Sequencing simple distillation columns, complex distillation configurations, distillation sequencing with complex columns
  • Distillation with azeotropic systems


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Distillation & Absorption CHEN20072 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


The unit aims to:

  • Provide understanding to allow the selection of separation operations based on factors involving the feed and product property differences.
  • Allow students to quantitative design key separation processes.
  • Provide students with knowledge on liquid-liquid extraction design.
  • Extend student knowledge of distillation to include multicomponent and azeotropic systems.
  • Provide an understanding of distillation sequencing.

Learning outcomes

  1. Classify separation processes by type and select suitable separations for mixtures based on the properties of the components.
  2. Design liquid-liquid extraction columns for ternary systems using the Hunter-Nash method.
  3. Calculate the approximate design of multi-component distillation columns using short-cut models.
  4. Assess simple and complex distillation column sequences using heuristic rules to find the optimal options.
  5. Construct azeotropic distillation sequences using residue curve for ternary systems.

Teaching and learning methods

  • Lectures
  • On-line videos of threshold concepts
  • On-line video examples
  • LL Ternary web-app
  • Tutorials
  • Handbook
  • Problem solving drop-in sessions
  • On-line quizzes

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Length Weighting within unit
Continuous Assessment - 30%
Exam Style Assessment - 70%


Feedback methods

  • In class
  • Assessment marks
  • Generic Feedback

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 64

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jesus Esteban Serrano Unit coordinator
Maria Perez-Page Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

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