Press the following link to download the course material and examination results:



The student are required to learn the following knowledge:

  1. Phase equilibria under non-ideal conditions;
  2. Main separation techniques (fundamentals) and their integration in a process scheme;
  3. Sizing and rating criteria for absorption/stripping columns, distillation columns and extraction (deepen);
  4. Criteria for economical evaluation of process alternatives and for process intensification.
  5. Basic rules for reactor design.

Final competences will be the ability to size single unit operations, to evaluate their economic sustainability and integration in a given process.


Course content

Finding thermodynamic data and mention to group contribution methods.

Applied thermodynamics: models for activity and fugacity coefficients.

Vapor-liquid equilibrium (VLE) in ideal and non ideal cases; thermodynamic consistency of VLE. VLE diagrams.

Liquid-liquid Equilibrium (LLE): diagrams for ternary mixtures.

Absorption: unit operations for absorption and stripping. Columns and packings, sizing and rating of columns, pressure drop assessment. Absorption with stage columns, sizing.

Distillation, sizing and rating: flash, stage and packed columns, binary and multi-component mixtures. Discontinuous operations. Theoretical stages and efficiency models.

Liquid-liquid extraction: sizing and rating, partition and selectivity coefficients, choice of the solvent.

Criteria for the quantification of fixed and variable costs for separation processes.

Process intensification: examples.

Process simulation software: potential and limits, practical exercises.

Batch and continuous chemical reactors: fundamentals.


Lectures and exercises will be mixed, to fix the main concepts. Exercises will be planned on licenced software for process simulation. This module is strictly correlated to the lab.


Reference material

Didactic material provided by the teacher through the Ariel platform.

W.L. Mc Cabe, J.C. Smith, P. Harriot, “Unit operations of chemical engineering”, Mc Graw Hill, 2001 (Used in the slides examples).

B.E.Poling, J.M.Prausnitz, J.P. O’Connell, “ The Properties of Gases and Liquids” McGraw-Hill, 2001.

J.M. Douglas, “Conceptual design of chemical processes”, Mc Graw Hill, 1988.


Assessment method

 Written + oral examination: The written test includes the solution of exercises similar to those presented during the course. The oral examination includes the discussion of a flow sheet with sizing examples of a unit operation. The score will be averaged with the one obtained in the Laboratory).


Attendance Policy:

Frequency suggested