UDCC/A Advanced Computer Controlled Continuous Destillation Unit



The Advanced Computer Controlled Continuous Distillation Unit "UDCC/A" is an installation that allows the study of fractional distillation using a packed column which is able to operate with different packings.

See general description

General Description

The Advanced Computer Controlled Continuous Distillation Unit "UDCC/A" is an installation that allows the study of fractional distillation using a packed column which is able to operate with different packings.

There is a feeding system that consists of a storage tank and a centrifugal pump. The feed is preheated before entering the column by going through a heat recovery system, in which the waste heat from the residue is used to take the feed stream to the desired temperature. The separation takes place in the column obtaining a steam current at the top, rich in the most volatile component, this steam is conducted to a condenser and then separated into two currents: a current that is returned to the column (reflux) and another current that is taken to the distillate tank. It is possible to regulate the reflux ratio by using a solenoid valve. On the other hand, at the bottom of the column a liquid stream falls into the boiler, in this unit, part of this liquid is evaporated and returned to the column as a vapour, and the other part of the liquid is taken to the preheater to be cooled down and then conducted to the residue tank.

The pilot plant includes a vacuum system that allows operation at reduced pressure. In this way it is possible to work with compounds with a low flash point. In addition, one of the configurations allows to work with certain concentrations of mineral acids in the feed.

Moreover, there is a process heat system that allows the introduction of pressurized steam as a heat contribution to the boilers and a cooling water system for the condenser and heat recovery.

This Computer Controlled Unit is supplied with the EDIBON Computer Control System (SCADA), and includes: The unit itself + a Control Interface Box + a Data Acquisition Board + Computer Control, Data Acquisition and Data Management Software Packages, for controlling the process and all parameters involved in the process.

Exercises and guided practices


  1. Preparation of solutions.
  2. Analytic valuation techniques.
  3. Filling of the column.
  4. Batch operation. Continuous operation.
  5. Obtaining the McCabe-Thiele diagram. Without reflux.
  6. Obtaining the number of plates. Without reflux.
  7. Efficiency calculations. Without reflux.
  8. Variation of the composition of the distilled product: constant reflux ratio.
  9. Constant composition of the distilled product: variation of reflux ratio.
  10. Constant composition of the distilled product: constant reflux ratio.
  11. Continuous feeding of the column.
  12. Mass and energy balances across the system.
  13. Plates fluid dynamics studies, including load loss and column flooding.
  14. Study of the feed temperature effect on the continuous processes.
  15. Calculation of the theoretical number of floors in the plates columns, and the equivalent height of the theoretical floor (HEPT).
  16. Study of the rectification efficiency at different pressures.
  17. Effect of feed preheat.
  18. Effect of feed position.
  19. Demonstration of zeotropic distillation.
  20. Work different heating contribution with regulation by the computer.
  21. Studies of heating interchange in glass refrigerators.
  22. Study of the influence of the type of packing in the distillation results.


  1. Sensors calibration.
  2. Dosing pump calibration.
  3. Study of PID controls.

Other possibilities to be done with this Unit:

  1. Many students view results simultaneously. To view all results in real time in the classroom by means of a projector or an electronic whiteboard.
  2. Open Control, Multicontrol and Real Time Control. This unit allows intrinsically and/or extrinsically to change the span, gains, proportional, integral, derivative parameters, etc, in real time.
  3. The Computer Control System with SCADA and PID Control allow a real industrial simulation.
  4. This unit is totally safe as uses mechanical, electrical/electronic, and software safety devices.
  5. This unit can be used for doing applied research.
  6. This unit can be used for giving training courses to Industries even to other Technical Education Institutions.
  7. Control of the UDCC/A unit process through the control interface box without the computer.
  8. Visualization of all the sensors values used in the UDCC/A unit process.
  9. Several other exercises can be done and designed by the user.




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