Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 23/06/2022 15:56:06

Title of Module: Separation Processes

Code: ENGG11039 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Mojtaba   Mirzaeian

Summary of Module

The module reviews the principles of transport processes relevant to separation processes, discusses the different types of separation techniques used and the principles underlying their operations. It also discusses the design principles of equipment and their economic integration into the overall process.

Distillation: This provides an in-depth analysis of advanced and emerging distillation technologies such as azeotropic, reactive, extractive, adsorption, membrane, pressure-swing, cyclic, and dividing-wall column distillation. Batch distillation, Ponchon-Savarit techniques, heat integration, and distillation operations economics, are among the topics to be covered.

Ion Exchange: Sorbents properties and structure, physicochemical description of the process, equilibrium, kinetics, applications, equipment and equipment design operating in both batch and continuous modes.

Adsorption: Adsorbent and adsorption isotherms, equilibrium, kinetics, breakthrough curve, temperature and pressure swing adsorption principles and models, equipment design.

Large Scale Chromatographic Separations: Principles and applications, techniques, retention theory and elution chromatography, applications, separation performance and equipment.

Leaching: Principles and equilibrium relations, mass transfer between soluble solids and liquid, multistage design with both constant and variable underflow, applications, modes of operation and equipment design.

Membrane processes: Advanced membrane separation processes and types of membranes, mechanisms, applications, equipment design.

  • During the course of this module students will develop their UWS Graduate Attributes ( ). Universal: Academic attributes - critical thinking and analytical & inquiring mind; Work-Ready: Academic attributes - integration of processes to give more efficient use of resources; Successful : autonomous, driven and resilient.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark







Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Develop a critical understanding of advanced concepts of separation processes that covers both depth and breadth of the subject.

L2. Develop advanced and critical knowledge of the role played by separation processes in the design and analysis of equipment that will also take into consideration the separation of substances with complex behaviour azeotropic distillation and issues such as environmental protection, resources conservation and sustainability and economic viability.

L3. Develop the underlying knowledge that will enable the analysis and design of equipment even in the cases of missing and/or incomplete data through research and innovation.

L4. Develop the advanced skill required to use modern tools such as process simulators in the design of complex separation processes with critical understanding of their scope and limitations and also the use of software and digital technologies for problem solving in separation processes.

L5. Develop critical understanding of emerging technologies in separation processes and their fit for purpose and limitations and understand how to combine and adapt different aspects of systems thinking to complex and novel processes.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

• A critical knowledge that covers and integrates most of the main areas of the discipline of separation processes and their relevance and application in chemical engineering context and at advance level.
• A critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles of separation processes.
• A critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, concepts and principles applied to separation processes.
• Extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of the role of separation processes in chemical engineering applications.
• Develop a critical understanding of the implication of knowledge of separation processes principles in the advancement of modern and innovative chemical engineering design, conservation of resources and sustainability.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

• Use a significant range of the core chemical engineering knowledge and skills to advance the knowledge of separation processes and their application in chemical engineering context.
• The ability to use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are informed by the recent advances in the field of separation processes.
• Apply a range of standard and specialised research and other techniques to advance understanding of separation processes.
• Plan, develop and execute a relevant design based on advanced knowledge, research and innovation.
• Demonstrate originality, creativity and critical thinking.
• Apply knowledge of separation processes in a wide variety of chemical engineering applications that demand innovation.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

• Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments in the area of separation processes and the interaction with the aspects of the Chemical Engineering profession.
• Practice at a high level the ability to critically identify, analyse, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems related to separation processes and the application of the concepts in chemical engineering context.
• Develop and demonstrate original and creative thinking and responses in dealing with complex or novel problems and issues.
• Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the field of separation processes.
• Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information through innovation and research.
• Develop knowledge, employability skills and attributes relevant to their future careers.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

• Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
• Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
• Use a wide range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and show critical understanding of the scope and limitations of the tools used and their underlying theoretical basis.
• Undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data with the ability to deal with situations involving missing data and lack of information using research.
• Communicate results accurately and reliably in a variety of formats and settings.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

• Exercise high level of autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities with the ability to work independently on significant and demanding tasks.
• Take responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others providing leadership.
• Take responsibility for a significant range of resources.
• Demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development.
• Practise in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
• Deal with complex ethical and professional issues in engineering context and make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Henley, E. J., J. D. Seader and D. K. Roper (2016) Separation Process Principles. 4th Edition. Hobeken, N.J.: Wiley.

Kiss, A. A. (2013) Advanced Distillation Technologies: Design, Control and Applications. Chichester: Wiley.

Petlyuk, F. B. (2011) Distillation Theory and Its Application to Optimal Design of Separation Units. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smith R. (2016) Chemical process design and integration, 2nd edition, Wiley-Blackwell

McCabe, W, J. C. Smith and P. Harriott (2014) Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, 7th edition, McGraw Hill

Backhurst, J. R.; Harker, J. H.; Richardson, J. F.; Coulson, J.(2002) Chemical Engineering Volume 2, 5th Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEngineering
ModeratorCristina Rodriguez
External ExaminerR Ocone
Accreditation DetailsThis module is part of Chemical Engineering MSc programme accredited by IChemE.
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment for the module includes both formative and summative assessment.
Formative assessment is provided during lectures in the form of class quizzes and exercise problems, during tutorial sessions, during CAD sessions and as part of the preparation for written submissions.
Summative assessment is provided by written assessment elements as well as a final exam.

Assessment Category 1:
Final exam worth 70% of the final mark.
Assessment Category 2:
Continuous assessment assignments worth 30% of the final mark.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck mark  check mark703

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case study  check markcheck mark 300
Combined Total For All Components100% 3 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The programme team have considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students irrespective of age, disability, political belief, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, social background or any other protected characteristic. Students/participants with special needs (including additional learning needs) will be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students/participants discussed with the Enabling Support Unit (for further details, please refer to the UWS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights policy). Further guidance is available from UWS Health and Safety Services, CAPLeD, Student Services, School Disability Co-ordinators or the University’s Equality and Diversity Coordinator.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.