Tools for teaching batch distillation inductively using process simulation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


One approach to active learning involves taking students through a guided exploration process; one which ensures students will observe phenomena and then be asked questions intended to draw conclusions regarding the observations. In recent years, this has been called inductive teaching, but more recently the expression "inquiry-based instruction" or related terms have become more common. Concurrently, simulation is becoming an increasingly important tool to perform these guided explorations as constrained resources prevent operation of laboratory equipment during lecture-oriented classes. This paper describes the development of a tutorial to teach students how to develop and conduct simulations using Aspen Batch Distillation, along with the design of four inquiry activities modeled after the work of Vigeant and Prince1-2. This model begins with consideration of a scenario, followed by prediction, exploration, conclusion, and reflection. The four inquiry activities are designed to explore key relationships in batch distillation involving pressure, heating rate, column internals, and reflux ratios, and to also consider the safety and economic factors in batch distillation design and operation. The tutorial and activities (complete with suggested solutions) will be made available to faculty members upon request while in the refinement and testing stages during fall 2013.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Conference120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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