MEng Chemical Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Multi-Component Engineering Separations

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEN30071
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit covers the following topics:

  • 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 quantitatively design key separation processes.
  • Provide students with knowledge on liquid-liquid extraction design.
  • Analyse and design multicomponent distillation sequences
  • Extend student knowledge of distillation to include the separation of azeotropic systems.

Learning outcomes

ILO 1: Classify separation processes by type and select suitable separations for mixtures based on the properties of the components.

ILO 2: Design liquid-liquid extraction columns for ternary systems using the Hunter-Nash method.

ILO 3: Calculate the approximate design of multi-component distillation columns using short-cut models.

ILO 4: Assess simple and complex distillation column sequences using heuristic rules to find the optimal options.

ILO 5: Construct azeotropic distillation sequences using residue curve for ternary systems.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures provide fundamental aspects supporting the critical learning of the module and will be delivered as pre-recorded asynchronous short videos via our virtual learning environment.

Synchronous sessions will support the lecture material with Q&A and problem-solving sessions where you can apply the new concepts. Surgery hours are also available for drop-in support.

Students are expected to expand the concepts presented in the session and online by additional reading (suggested in the Online Reading List) in order to consolidate their learning process and further stimulate their interest to the module.

Study budget:

  • Core Learning Material (e.g. recorded lectures, problem solving sessions): 24 hours
  • Self-Guided Work (e.g. continuous assessment, extra problems, reading): 44 hours
  • Exam Style Assessment Revision and Preparation: 32 hours

Assessment methods

Assessment Types

Total Weighting

Continuous assessment


Exam style assessments


Please note that the exam style assessments weighting may be split over midterm and end of semester exams.

Feedback methods

  • In class
  • Assessment marks
  • Generic Feedback

Feedback on problems and examples, feedback on coursework and exams, and model answers will also be provided through the virtual learning environment. A discussion board provides an opportunity to discuss topics related to the material presented in the module.

Recommended reading

Reading lists are accessible through the Blackboard system linked to the library catalogue.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

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

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