A systematic framework for the feasibility and technical evaluation of reactive distillation processes

Mayank Shah, Anton A. Kiss*, Edwin Zondervan, André B. De Haan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study presents a novel design methodology for the feasibility and technical evaluation of reactive distillation (RD), and discusses the applicability of various design methods of RD. The proposed framework for the feasibility evaluation determines the boundary conditions (e.g. relative volatilities, target purities, equilibrium conversion and equipment restriction), checks the integrated process constraints, evaluates the feasibility and provides guidelines to any potential RD process application. Providing that a RD process is indeed feasible, a technical evaluation is performed afterward in order to determine the technical feasibility, the process limitations, working regime and requirements for internals as well as the models needed for RD. This approach is based on dimensionless numbers such as Damkohler and Hatta numbers, as well as the kinetic, thermodynamic and mass transfer limits.The proposed framework for feasibility and technical evaluation of reactive distillation allows a quick and easy feasibility analysis for a wide range of chemical processes. In this work, several industrial relevant case studies - e.g. synthesis of di-methyl carbonate (DMC), methyl acetate hydrolysis, toluene hydro-dealkylation (HDA) process, fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) process and unsaturated polyesters synthesis - clearly illustrate the validity of the proposed framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Feasibility and technical evaluation
  • Feasibility methodology
  • Process limitations
  • Reactive distillation

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