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CHNG9206: Separation Processes (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CHNG9206: Separation Processes (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Ghadi, Amirali
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: CHNG2806 OR CHNG5706.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit will cover the general principles and the development of quantitative models of separation processes based on equilibrium and rate processes. Concepts of phase equilibria, transport phenomena and mass and energy balance will be used to model the separation units. Understanding of these principles will provide the basis for analysis and preliminary design calculations of large scale separation units of importance to manufacturing industries. The principles will be applied to units operations of distillation (binary, multicomponent), solvent extraction, absorption, adsorption and membrane processes
Assumed Knowledge: Ability to conduct mass and energy balances, and the integration of these concepts to solve real chemical engineering problems. Ability to understand basic principles of physical chemistry, physics and mechanics. Ability to use mathematics of calculus (including vector calculus) and linear algebra, and carry out computations with MATLAB and MS EXCEL. Ability to read widely outside of the technical literature, and to synthesise arguments based on such literature. Ability to write coherent reports and essays based on qualitative and quantitative information
Lecturer/s: Mammucari, Raffaella
Timetable: CHNG9206 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorials/Practical Sessions 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 4.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: After each lecture on Monday, students will be given homework/tutorial questions relevant to the lecture materials. There will be a 2-hour tutorial on the following Thursday where students will work on the questions with the help of the lecturer and the tutors. To increase the effectiveness of the tutorial sessions in achieving deep understanding of the key concepts, students are encouraged to attempt these questions prior to attending the tutorial session. Each homework should be submitted before the following Monday.

Project/laboratory: Students will work on a group-based project regarding optimisation of a distillation column starting from week 6. Students in allocated groups will carry out a comprehensive study including design of experiment (DOE), mass and energy analyses, computer simulation and hands-on experimentation on a lab-scale distillation column to validate the simulation data.

Independent Study: Students are expected to spend about 4 hours of ‘self-learning’ outside the specified contact periods.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2)
1. Collaborate creatively and systematically with team members in applying correct procedures and reporting accurate information
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
2. Adopt good laboratory practice in conducting and reporting laboratory experiments
(4) Design (Level 2)
3. Skills in operation and assessment of separation unit performance
4. Understand the principles for designing separation units
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
5. Understand the general principles involved in separation processes based on equilibrium and transport phenomena
6. Perform analysis and model separation processes using concepts including mass and energy balance, thermodynamics, transport phenomena and phase equilibria.
7. To be able to use modern software tools for design of unit operations
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Homework/Assignments No 20.00 Multiple Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7,
2 Distillation Project* Yes 15.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
3 Quiz* No 20.00 Week 8 3, 4, 5, 6,
4 Final Exam* No 40.00 Exam Period 3, 4, 5, 6,
5 Hypothesis testing* No 5.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: * indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration

Tutorial Exercises/homework: There will be 8 take-home assignments. Students will work on the homework questions during the tutorial sessions with the help of the lecturer and the tutors for better understanding the key concepts of the lectures

Project/Lab Practical: There will be one group-based project/laboratory session on operation and simulation of a distillation column

Quiz: One mid-semester quiz on week 8 covering the topics of membrane and liquid-liquid extraction

Final Exam: Final examination during exam period

Hypothesis testing: All individual students are required to form and submit a hypothesis/prediction about the outcome of the project before starting the Distillation Project. You will then need to submit your reflection on your original hypothesis/prediction at the end of the project. You will lose the whole allocated mark if you only submit one of the tasks. That is to say, both the ``original hypothesis/prediction`` and ``reflection`` tasks must be submitted.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Separation Process Principles
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to Separation
Week 2 Distillation principles
introduction to phase and VLE equilibria
Week 3 Flash and Tray-by-Tray Calculations
Week 4 Distillation calculation-McCabe-Thiele graphical method
Week 5 Binary Distillation and Multi-Component Distillation
Week 6 Energy Balance in Distillation
Enthalpy Composition Diagram
Week 7 Introduction to membrane separation processes
Week 8 Mass transport, rejection and concentration polarization in membrane processes
Assessment Due: Quiz*
Week 9 Ternary equilibrium for liquid-liquid systems-single equilibrium stage
Introduction to liquid-liquid extraction
Week 10 Single-section, liquid-liquid extraction cascades
Liquid-Liquid extraction- Graphical equilibrium stage calculation
Week 11 Graphical equilibrium-stage method for trayed towers
Absorption and stripping
Week 12 Packed-bed column design
Week 13 Review
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam*

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical & Biomolecular) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Sustainability and Environmental Engineering) 2021

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 0%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2) No 1.5%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 3.5%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 39%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 56%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 2) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 2) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.