A study was made to evaluate pulses as a forcing function on a 24-plate distillation column. Pulses of two shapes, rectangular and displaced cosines, and of different widths were used as inputs to the reflux return line from the condenser to the column. The effect of the disturbance was a change in the liquid return rate which correspond to the shape and size of the pulse. The output responses of the system were temperatures measured at different times and at different plates in the column.
Bode diagrams were plotted from the experimentally determined data. From these plots, it was determined that the system could be approximated by linear first-order equatons. The time constants for the linear system were determined both by direct sinusoidal forcing and by pulse forcing. Pulse data were considered acceptable when the values of the time constant and the phase angle determined by the pulse compared favorably with those determined by steady state sinusoidal forcing.