Design and selection of separation processes

Lotta Sorsamäki, Marja Nappa

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Product separation and purification is costly but crucial step in chemical production concepts. Lots of information is needed in designing these systems, this is not however always available for first conceptual design. The main focus in this project was on developing competence and readiness to conduct reliably but rapidly conceptual techno-economic assessments of (bio)chemical production processes. The idea was to develop a rapid method and a generic "short-cut" model for evaluation of different alternative separation systems mainly for solid-liquid and liquid-liquid systems, but also for gas-liquid and gas-solid systems. The model was created with Balasr simulation software linked with MS Excel. The description of the model is presented in PowerPoint slides, ChemSep - report slides. This document, instead, acts as a theory source for the use of the model. In this document, the classification of separation processes into heterogeneous and homogeneous separation processes is presented, different unit operations of separation are shortly described and the possible application examples are listed. Heterogeneous separation processes that are described in detail include decantation, hydrocyclones, settling, sedimentation, flotation, centrifugal separation, filtration, wet scrubbers, leaching/washing and solid drying. Homogeneous separation processes that are described in detail include flash vaporization, distillation, drying of solutions, evaporation, crystallization and membrane technology. The operational principles, equipment types, selection of appropriate equipment and applications for each above mentioned separation process are described. The theory of the calculation of mass and energy balance in each unit operation are excluded. It can easily be found in the literature. Also, a short chapter of criteria affecting the selection of a suitable separation process for the mixture in question is presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages68
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Report


    • separation processes
    • economic evaluation
    • equipment cost estimation
    • modelling
    • Balas


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