College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 21:49:50


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


Proper distillation of spirits is key in maximizing resource value and producing a consumable liquid. A local brewery owner is considering entering the distilling market, and he requested information regarding a small-scale continuous column. This project used CHEMCAD to determine an operating design for continuous distillation of ethanol at a few different feed compositions. Since this model was limited to CHEMCAD, it had to build off of previous research and engineering parameters without an experimental verification. The project determined that an eight stage distillation column produced 40-58% ethanol product when the feed ranged from 7.5-12% ethanol. Eight stages produced even temperature profile for 170-180°F preheated ethanol feed entering on stage four and product extracted on stage three. The columns approximate height was four feet with a six-inch diameter. The column produced approximately 13-16% product for the given feed. The feed rate was approximately 42.5 gallons per hour. Heat integration was used to preheat the feed and condense the ethanol product. This reduced the heating exchanging utility requirement and the reboiler duty.

Research Sponsor

Paul D. Schreuders, Ph.D.

First Reader

Bi-min Zhang Newby, Ph. D.

Second Reader

Edward Evans, Ph. D.

Honors Faculty Advisor

Zhenmeng Peng, Ph. D.


Special thank you to my sponsor, Dr. Schreuders, and my first reader, Dr. Newby, who dedicated many hours made this project a success.



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