Just before I kick off for a short weekend trip, here is another Sankey for you to enjoy. It is from the Polish language Wikipedia and shows production of KClO3.

This is more of a schematic flow diagram, as it doesn’t show any quantities. The blue boxes are processing steps. Two nice recycling loops in there from the crystalization step back to the electrolysis and from the other crystalization step back to the refining. ‘Szlam’ seems to be sludge. The individual Sankey arrows don’t show an arrow head, but little gray arrows indicate the flow direction from top to bottom.

The whole Sankey just looks kind of odd, because the main product flow is not aligned vertically. But then again, that’s up to the designer. After all, it is a fine sample of a process flow Sankey diagram.

This rather simple Sankey diagram represents the idealized mass balance for making ammonium bicarbonate. The chemical reaction is H2O + NH3 + CO2 → NH4HCO3. It is taken from a Polish web page on chemical process technology.

The diagram is drawn with the freeware Sankey Helper. And it is nice to see that, while most of the Sankey diagrams are drawn with a left-to-right flow orientation, this one is top-to-bottom.

Remember having to learn the elements of the periodic table back in chemistry class?

Visual Literacy now presents a ‘Periodic Table of Visualization Methods’ that has been published by two scientists from the University of Lugano in Switzerland.

Each elements represents a visualization method, from ‘C’ like ‘continuum’ to ‘Sd’ like ‘spray diagram’. The Sankey diagram can be found as element ‘Sa’ in the periodic table. It is colored in green for being in the ‘Information Visualization’ category. Furthermore its characteristics are ‘Overview’ and ‘convergent thinking’.

You can see the full periodic table at visual-literacy.org and hover the mouse over to see an example for each visualization method. The original article (Lengler R., Eppler M. (2007). Towards A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management. In: IASTED Proceedings of the Conference on Graphics and Visualization in Engineering 2007, Clearwater, FL, USA) and the table separately are available as PDF files.