Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

John E. McCormick

Second Advisor

Ching-Rong Huang

Third Advisor

Edward Charles Roche, Jr.


Lewis and Matheson, in the early 1930's, developed a manual calculation technique for the solution of multicomponent distillation problems. The object of this study was to see if there would be any advantage to using the Lewis-Matheson method, once incorporated onto a computer, over current multicomponent distillation solution techniques. The immediate advantage of using the L-M technique is that it requires fewer preliminary calculations than other computer methods. It was found that the L-M technique uses about half the execution time of a typical Newton-Raphson program, while using only one tenth the computer core (memory). This was not intended to be a direct comparison, however, since the Newton-Raphson program used is a far more rigorous program that takes into account the column energy balance, side streams, multiple feeds, and many condenser types. It was concluded that the accuracy of the L-M technique was not improved in the transformation to a computer program the problem area still being the ability to achieve a converged solution. Another problem area was found to be conversion difficulties when the feed key ratio is close to the distillate or bottoms key ratio.



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