Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TEAM 1 @ PILOT LAB 1 - Great experience :D

From Left to Right : Student Adviser (In Green Shirt), Professor Raymond Lau, Student Adviser (In White Shirt), Selvaraj Siddharth, Poh Jin Heng Princeton ( Leader ), Yeo Hung Kye, Heng Min Cur Nicole, Cheng Shu Yu Mavis and Teacher Adviser - Ms Yap Hui Min

(B) Overview of Project

The MAIN theory of the Project

The main theory of this project is about distillation and the working principals behind it. Distillation is based on separation of miscible liquids based on the different boiling points of the liquids in the solution.

When two or more different miscible liquids are mixed together, they have different boiling points as they are off different materials and compounds. When heat is introduced to the mixture, the liquid with the lowest boiling point will evaporate first and the vapor phrase of the liquid will travel up the column and reaches the condenser first to be condensed into liquid phrase to be transfer into the beaker at the other end of the distillation column.

The MAIN concept of the Project

The concept of distillation  is to separate a binary mixture of miscible liquids to obtain moderately pure components from the binary mixture. When the liquids are separated, the liquid of that boiling point will be collected first in another beaker at the other end of the distillation part. The moderately pure substance collected will be the end product.

The liquid left behind will also be of moderately pure, thus the distillation has successfully separated the liquids in the binary mix.

(C) Our Objectives

What do we need to accomplish ?

In this project we would be able to

- Investigate the steady state distillation of a binary mixture under continuous operation. 
- Investigate the effect of reflux ratio on the performance of distillation columns. 
- Measure the chemical composition using a gas chromatography (GC).
- Operate the distillation column based on product requirement.  

How can we measure our extent of success of project :D

Group Reflections - Day 1

What we have covered today:

Plenary Sessions:
Nicole: interesting and inspiring
HungKye: enlightening and very informative
Princeton: motivational and arouse curiosity
Siddharth: one word, awesome
Mavis: captivating and refreshing

General: We think that this information will help us in the future, giving us an insight of the various jobs and how it can actually impact the world. It gives us a head-start on what we want to do and what we can do.

Campus tour:
We feel that this university has a beautiful campus and provides many facilities for the students and creates a conducive environment suited for students as well. We also found out the route of the public buses are able to go through the university so that it makes transport easier for under-graduates to travel from one place to another within the big campus.

Network and interaction with NTU students:
Nicole: Cleared doubts and questions with the students
HungKye: Broke the 'ice'
Princeton: Presently Engaging
Siddharth: Fun.
Mavis: Entertaining (they were making jokes and etc.)

General: It was a warm pleasent greet

Other remark(s):
Sleeping time too early.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Group Reflection - Day 2

Applied Project Challenge:

We received gloves, coats, and goggles. Started on the project and did some testing and followed procedures on how to distillate water or liquids into different components

Nicole: It was a little boring at first, but as I progressed and understood a little more, I thought that it was very interesting as there were many components that affects the whole process.

HungKye: Complicated at first, but it was fun to test out the equipment

Princeton: This project is actually very interesting as the basic concept of the distillation is very simple but yet the different components that affects the concentration of each separate solution are very complicated and fascinating.

Siddharth: It was interesting and it aroused my curiosity and it is also a platform to use the concepts that we had learnt in school. This acts as a revision and the adding of more knowledge for ourselves.

Mavis: It was an intensive exercise and the learning point of it all was great, new knowledge earned and it was a good time interacting with the professors about the experiment.

General: It was a great time interacting with professors and students of NTU and we have learned greatly from them, and we had enjoyed ourselves.

Friday, May 18, 2012

(D) Our Acheivements

Reboiler Heater

Ethanol and Water binary mixture in feed tank

Column of feed plates

Video of Experimental Process



1st experiment - Distillation under Total Reflux Conditions

That's the diagram representation of the distillation column. (A great help for us in locating the different parts of the column)
Procedures -

1. Pour 5L of ethanol and water binary mixture into the reboiler.

Some other types of distillation column.
Some other types of distillation column.

Circuit Interface with different settings of the temperature or the speed of the feed pump.

Feed Pump - Facilitate the movement of the feed flowing through the tubes to the distillation columns

Princeton analysing the procedures of the experiment in the project manual.

Adjusting the heat of the reboiler heater according to the procedures.

Software to monitor the temperature of the different valves and feed plate sin the distillation columns. 

Observations made while conducting

 1st experiment - Distillation under Total Reflux Conditions

2nd experiment - Distillation under Continuous Distillation under Normal Operating Conditions

3rd experiment - Distillation under Total Reflux Conditions

Group Discussions :

1. Discuss what you have achieved through the completion of this project by considering both personal and academic development.

2. Describe how the design of your experiment or the design if your product allowed you to achieve the project's desired outcomes.

3. Identify the possible limitations (restrictions) to your project through the consideration of the design of your experiment or the design of your product.

4. Suggest possible improvements that could be made in order to minimize the limitations identified.    


This is the data obtained from the Bottom and Top Product Receivers. We took a sample from the product receivers and used the Gas Chromatography machine to process the data.
Reflux Ratio was 5:1, set using the control machine.

We derived the percentage of water and ethanol (and Methanol*) using the formula provided.

To derive the percentage of water
- (Area - 15.83152)/525331623 = Amt of water

To derive the percentage of ethanol
- (Area - 70.827344)/1384553014 = Amt of ethanol

This experiment provided us with the data of 18.5% Ethanol, 83.5% Water and 75% Ethanol and 24.9% Water from left to right.
After this experiment, we manipulated another of the variables, amount of heat used.From this we got our second set of results.

The percentage would be, 21.8% Ethanol, 78.2% Water and 65.8% Ethanol, 34.2% Water.


Click here to see the presentation slides