Reflux Ratio

Definition - What does Reflux Ratio mean?

Reflux Ratio is the ratio of the liquid that has returned to the distillation column to the amount of liquid removed. The calculation of the Reflux Ratio includes the composition of vapor pressure that is leaving the plate. There are two extreme considerations of Reflux Ratio:

  • Total reflux: In this case, all the condensed water is returned without adding any product or feed. It can be achieved in very fewer stages of separation.
  • Minimum reflux: In this case, a lot more stages are required than total reflux to achieve separation.

Petropedia explains Reflux Ratio

Reflux Ratio is generally calculated in the distillation tower or extraction unit. The value might change with the change in the weather conditions and also when the column is poorly insulated. The value depends on the extreme values of total reflux and minimum reflux. However, the minimum reflux only happens on the intersection of the operating lines that lie on the curve of equilibrium. Moreover, the two limiting values of Reflux Ratio are designated as minimum reflux ratio and infinite reflux ratio. It is noted that higher the reflux ratio the more it allows the contact of vapor and liquid in the distillation column.

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