Heterogeneous azeotropic distillation is a widely popular process in chemical process industries for the separation of binary azeotropic mixtures into their constituent pure components. It involves the addition of an entrainer which is partially miscible and forms a heterogeneous azeotrope preferably with one of the original components. This is a powerful technique which combines several physical phenomena such as presence of azeotropes and liquid-liquid immiscibilities, and is used widely in industries to enhance difficult or intractable distillation separations. For the design of heterogeneous azeotropic distillation columns, a detailed study of the heterogeneous region is crucial to plan the distillation sequence, which requires experimental vapor-liquid-liquid equilibrium (VLLE) data.
The present study focuses on the investigation of the heterogeneous region of the well known industrially available azeotropic mixture n-Propanol-Water system using Propyl acetate as entrainer. The VLE data of the system was generated by means of modified Othmer still and the still is modified using a probe type ultrasonic homogenizer to account for the heterogeneity. Isobaric vapor- liquid- equilibria and vapor - liquid - liquid - equilibria data at atmospheric pressure have been obtained for the ternary system n-Propanol-water-propyl acetate and the constituent binary systems. The equilibrium data has been correlated using NRTL, UNIQUAC and UNIFAC models and compared with the experimental data.
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