CENG 521 Advanced Separation Processes

Lecturer: Dr. Xijun Hu

Tutor: Mr. Shizhang Qiao


This subject is to enable students to understand the principles and processes of adsorption, chromatography and membrane separation; to design an adsorber, a membrane unit to achieve a specified separation; to optimize a chromatographic system.


D.D. Do, “Adsorption Analysis: Equilibrium and Kinetics”, Imperial College Press, 1998.


R.T. Yang, "Gas Separation by Adsorption Processes", Butterworths, Boston, 1987.

D.M. Ruthven, "Principles of Adsorption and Adsorption Processes", John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1984.

S.D. Faust and O.M. Aly, "Adsorption Processes for Water Treatment", Butterworths, Boston, 1987.

J.A. Jonsson, "Chromatographic Theory and Basic Principles", Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1987.

R.L. Grob, "Modern Practice of Gas Chromatography", 3rd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1995.

C.J. Geankoplis, "Transport Processes and Unit Operations", 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1993.

W.L. McCabe, J.C. Smith, P. Harriott, "Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering", 5th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1993.


Assignments: 20%
Mid-semester test: 40%
Final Exam: 40%

Lecture Outlines

Week Lecture Content
1 Introduction Adsorption processes - why? how?

Practical adsorbents

Forces of adsorption

2 Adsorption Equilibrium (single component) Ideal Langmuir and BET models

Gibbs adsorption isotherm and related models

Dubinin - Polanyi theory

3 Adsorption Equilibrium (multi-component) Extended multicomponent Langmuir

Ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST)

4 Adsorption Kinetics

- elementary treatment

Resistances to mass transfer in practical systems

Principles of diffusion in porous media

Uptake rate in batch systems

Experimental measurement of intraparticle diffusivities

5 Adsorption Column Dynamics Equilibrium theory: analogy with kinematic wave equation

Breakthrough curve

Asymptotic behaviour - constant and proportionate patterns

The LDF approximation and more realistic models

6,7 Adsorption Processes Regeneration methods

Thermal swing, pressure swing and displacement systems

Cyclic batch and continuous counter-current operation

McCabe-Thiele analysis and numerical simulation

8 Mid-Term Test  


Chromatographic Separation Basic principles

Optimizing separations in gas chromatography

11 Membrane Processes Introduction, classification of membrane processes

Dialysis, gas permeation

Flow patterns

12 Membrane Processes Reverse osmosis
13 Membrane Processes Ultrafiltration
14 Review  
15 Final Examination