Problem 1
Mixtures of light alkanes are common in petroleum refineries. These are used in many applications including gas for cooking is gas stoves and portable cooking gas canisters. Purification and separation of these is commonly achieved using isothermal flash separators. These consists of a vessel, where in this case, a liquid is fed into and then the pressure or temperature changes causing the liquid to flash. Just imagine if you have a liquid mixture and all the sudden you decrease the pressure, then you expect that some of lighter components will vaporize and the heavier ones will stay liquid. Finding how much vaporizes, and the respective composition of the fraction that vaporizes can be done using the thermodynamic methods you are currently learning. Let’s assume you have a mixture of light alkanes with a composition of 40% n–butane, 45% isobutane, 10% propane, and the remainder ethane. If we operate the flash vessel at 5 bar.

(a) What is the temperature at which the first vapor bubble forms (i.e., the bubble point) forms?
(b) Estimate the dew point of this mixture at 5 bar.
(c) Find the amounts and compositions of the vapor and liquid phases that result from a flash operation that is done isothermally at 30°C and at 5 bar.

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