• distillation;
  • Mathematica;
  • dynamic and control, Ponchon–Savarit;
  • aromatic mixtures


Consider binary and ternary mixtures of aromatic compounds composed of benzene/toluene and benzene/toluene/p-xylene, respectively. The present study shows how one can apply both mass and energy balance equations in order to understand the separation of such ideal mixtures by distillation. An adiabatic flash distillation problem is solved graphically for a mixture composed of benzene/toluene. Rigorous resolution of a steady-state binary distillation problem, using Mathematica® and the same benzene/toluene mixture, shows perfect agreement with results obtained using HYSYS. Results of a dynamic simulation involving the solution of a relatively large system of differential algebraic equations are presented and discussed for the benzene/toluene mixture. SIMULINK© and Mathematica® are used to perform control of this binary distillation column. Finally, a steady-state simulation of a simple multicomponent mixture, composed of benzene/toluene/p-xylene, is studied and some qualitative results are drawn from both the temperature and composition profiles. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 22: 87–98, 2014