Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Docente De Guido Giorgia
Cfu 8.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The goal of the course is to enable students to master those unit operations that are involved in the field of power generation and in the Oil and Gas production, as well as the processes and technologies forming the basis of the oil refining and gas processing industry. The course deals with each unit operation both theoretically and practically through exercises (some of them also involve the use of the commercial process simulator Aspen Hysys®) in order to enable students to select and size the apparatuses where the studied separation operations take place. Each process and technology is treated to help student develop a vision on them, giving a solid background for innovative process and technology development.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Lectures and exercise sessions will allow students to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and deep understanding of the principles of the unit operations and of the concepts at the basis of processes and technologies involved in the fields of power generation and Oil and Gas production;
  • demonstrate to be able to describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the operation principles of the unit operations involved in the field of power generation and Oil and Gas production (e.g., flash separation, distillation, absorption/stripping, solvent extraction and adsorption);
  • demonstrate to be able to use y-x diagrams of binary mixtures and triangular diagrams for ternary systems together with component material balances to size separation apparatuses;
  • demonstrate to be able to describe the flow schemes of key processes and technologies involved in the fields of power generation and Oil and Gas production.

The student can apply the knowledge described above to:

  • model the studied unit operations (by making material and energy balances around them, as well as by writing equilibrium equations for phase equilibrium calculations);
  • calculate component material balances around a separation operation based on specifications of component recovery and/or product purity;
  • select the most appropriate separation operation based on factors involving feed and product property differences and characteristics of separation operations;
  • solve sizing/simulation problems on the studied unit operations;
  • analyse processes and technologies involved in the fields of power generation and Oil and Gas production.

The student has the learning skills to:

  • model (i.e., make material and energy balances around) unit operations related to his/her field of study;
  • understand the challenges engineers have to face and deal with during the development/operation of processes and technologies related to the energy sector;
  • develop innovative processes and technologies.

Argomenti trattati
  1. Introduction. Description of the topics covered in the course. Unit operations: definition, classifications (equilibrium-stage operations and rate-based operations), operating principles, examples of application in the fields of power generation and Oil and Gas production.
  2. Thermodynamics of separation operations and thermodynamic phase equilibrium calculationsIdeal and non-ideal mixtures. T-y-x and y-x diagrams of binary mixtures. Definition of relative volatility. φ/φ method and γ/φ method for phase equilibrium calculations. Definition of k-ratios. Azeotropic mixtures.
  3. Energy and material balances. Analysis of selected schemes of process units in power generation/oil refining/gas processing plants. Development of process flow diagrams with material and energy balances calculations.
  4. Flash. Gibbs’ phase rule and degrees of freedom. Multicomponent flash, bubble-point and dew-point calculations. Isothermal flash. Adiabatic flash. Application example in the case of non-ideal mixtures. Heuristics for flash drums.
  5. Binary and Multicomponent Distillation. Standard distillation columns. Thermodynamic design of the distillation column: McCabe-Thiele graphical and analytical method and Fenske-Gilliland method for trayed binary distillation towers; Fenske-Underwood-Gilliland method for trayed multicomponent distillation towers. Determination of the optimum reflux ratio. Feed-stage location. The apparatus: plate columns (sieve plates, valve plates, bubble cap plates), packed columns (random and structured packings). Condensers and reboilers. Industrial examples.
  6. Absorption and stripping. Operating line and equilibrium curve. Dilute solutions: Kremser equation for simulation and design problems. Concentrated solutions: calculation of the minimum absorbent flowrate and of the number of ideal stages. Equipment for absorption/stripping (trayed columns, packed columns, etc.). Industrial examples.
  7. Liquid-liquid extraction. Situations where liquid–liquid extraction might be preferred to distillation. Ternary diagrams for representing liquid-liquid equilibrium data. Single stage extraction, multistage crosscurrent extraction, continuous countercurrent extraction. Equipment for solvent extraction (mixer-settlers, column types). Industrial examples.
  8. Adsorption. Principles of operation. Adsorbent materials. Adsorption isotherms. Equipment description. The pressure swing adsorption (PSA) process: the sequence of operations (i.e., adsorption and regeneration) for a continuous process.
  9. Processes in the oil refineryPhysical processes: desalting and dehydration, crude oil distillation, propane deasphalting. Chemical thermal processes: visbreaking, delayed coking, flexicoking. Chemical catalytic processes: catalytic cracking, catalytic reforming, alkylation and hydroprocessing.
  10. Processes in the gas processing industryProcesses involved in the gas processing industry from fields operations and inlet receiving to the production of sales gas/LNG: gas treating, gas dehydration, NGLs recovery, nitrogen rejection, trace components recovery/removal, liquids processing, transportation and storage. LNG value chain: natural gas liquefaction plants and technologies; liquefaction unit main equipment, LNG regasification plants, LNG regasification main equipment.


Preferentially, students are required to know the fundamentals of thermodynamic phase equilibrium calculations.

Modalità di valutazione

The assessment test takes place during the scheduled exam sessions (no mid-term tests will be used). The exam consists of a written test and an (optional) oral test.

The written test is composed of an exercise and a few questions on theory.

The exercise is about the resolution of a problem concerning the unit operations studied in the first part of the course so that the student demonstrates to be able to:

  • make material and energy balances around the studied unit operations, and combine them with thermodynamic phase equilibrium equations;
  • solve sizing/simulation problems on the studied unit operations for the given specifications.

The questions on theory concern all the topics the course deals with and aim to assess the student’s:

  • understanding of the principles of the unit operations and of the concepts at the basis of the processes and technologies the course deals with;
  • capability of selecting the most appropriate separation operation depending on the system under investigation;
  • capability of analysing the processes and technologies the course deals with.

The oral test, which covers all the topics treated in the course, is optional for the student who gets a score ≤ 28 in the written test, whereas it is compulsory for the student who gets a score ≥ 29 in the written test. The goal of the oral exam is to assess the student’s level of knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts covered in the course. The oral test can be taken within the academic year (thus, up to soon after the second exam call in February). For the date of the oral test the student must contact directly the instructor of the course by email.

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMcCabe, W.L., Smith, J.C., and Harriott, P., Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, Editore: McGraw-Hill, Anno edizione: 2004
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaSeader, J.D., Henley, E.J., and Roper, D.K., Separation process principles, Editore: John Wiley & Sons, Anno edizione: 1998
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaTreybal, R.E., Mass Transfer Operations, Editore: McGraw-Hill, Anno edizione: 1980
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaStichlmair, J., and Fair, J.R., Distillation: principles and practices, Editore: Wiley-VVH, Anno edizione: 1998
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaKister, H.Z., Haas, J.R., Hart, D.R., and Gill, D.R., Distillation Design, Editore: McGraw-Hill, Anno edizione: 1992
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMoulijn, J.A., Makkee, M., and Van Diepen, A.E., Chemical Process Technology, Editore: John Wiley & Sons, Anno edizione: 2013
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaKidnay, A.J., Parrish, W.R., and McCartney, D.G., Fundamentals of natural gas processing, Editore: CRC Press, Anno edizione: 2011
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaMokhatab, S., Poe, W.A., and Mak, J.Y., Handbook of natural gas transmission and processing: principles and practices, Editore: Gulf Professional Publishing, Anno edizione: 2018

Software utilizzato
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Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 80:00 120:00

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