Learning the terminology that goes along with a subject is often the hardest part of the learning process. Once the terminology has been learned, though, the problem solving efforts go much easier. Much of any introductory course is devoted to just learning what all the words mean.

The example used on the previous page was a distillation column. A simple schematic of one is shown here:

We see that when we say distillation column, we mean that we have at least one feed stream coming into the column and at least two streams leaving the column. This is the bare minimum that a distillation column can be described by. We will soon see that each of the streams can also be called by different names, and that other streams can also be added to make the column behave differently.

First, we will cover the different pieces of equipment that chemical engineers deal with. These are broken up according to what the pieces of equipment are doing to the streams.

Pieces of equipment
  1. Equipment that separates components
    1. Distillation column
    2. Stripping column
    3. Absorption Column
    4. Liquid-Liquid extraction unit
    5. Centrifuge
    6. Condenser
    7. Crystalizer
    8. Settling Tank
  2. Equipment that mixes components
    1. Mixer
    2. Humidifier
    3. Junction
  3. Equipment that changes components
    1. Reactor
    2. Combustor
  4. Equipment that does other things
    1. Heater
    2. Cooler
    3. Tank
    4. Pipe
    5. Compressor
    6. Valve

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