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Separation of a water-methanol mixture using a four stage batch distillation column

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Computes mole fractions and temperatures in the still, condenser and plates



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We use a batch column with four theoretical plates to separate a binary mixture of water and methanol at 1 bar. Temperature and concentration profiles versus time are obtained for a reflux ratio equal to 10. In addition, the total moles in the still and distillate are plotted versus time. This demo shows how one can use ode15s to treat a complex system of 13 differential algebraic equations very easily. This problem is solve using Berkeley-Madonna Language in the reference indicated below. We get the same results as Ingham et al. (2000).

Reference: Example BUBBLE in page 559 by J. Ingham, I. J. Dunn, E. Heinzle and J. E. Prenosil, Chemical Engineering Dynamics, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Second Edition, 2000.

For a similar treatment using Mathematica 5.2, please visit:

A Mathematica demonstration using version 6.0 is available at:

Comments and Ratings (13)


mamoon (view profile)

Deepak Ingole

I am working on Binary Batch Distillation Column of Ethanol & Water. I have plant with
1. Still
2. Packed Column
3. Condenser
4. Reflux Drum
5. Three Way Valve.
I have to control
1. Temperature in Still
2. Condenser Cooling Water Flow
3. Reflux Ratio
Can you please help me getting the equation for the same. Please suggest me some reference where I will get the equations.


ahmed hashim

kelvind zheng

Sanjeev Guddad

Agustin Galetti

Anwaruddin Hisyam

i'm now working on batch distillation, but for multicomponent separation. So far, I'm trying to use MS Excel with VBA. And thanks a lot, this is a useful information.

Sanjeev Guddad

good information

jatin vadher

i m workinf my project with methanol water system so send me column design

jatin vadher

Vhahangwele Lilimu

would you please send a distillation column design of separating ethanol using water

Vhahangwele Lilimu

would you please send a distillation column design of separating ethanol using water

John D'Errico

The comments are reasonable in the code, although I'd argue that more comments in a context like this are always better. The figues could use axis labels to indicate what is shown, possibly a legend for figures 1 & 2. In an educational setting, I'd look for some note of why a stiff ode solver is used - I.e., does the author expect stiff behavior? (Yes, I am picky. I think think even the best code leaves room to be better.)

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