Enhanced configurations for polyesters synthesis by reactive distillation

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review


This study explores the best suitable internals and various feed configurations of a reactive distillation process for unsaturated polyester synthesis. Multi-product simulations were performed to find the operational parameters for producing different grades of polyester in the same equipment. The product transition time during product changeover is determined for various configurations and product grades. The selection criteria for the best configuration are the minimum requirements of volume and energy to produce 100 ktpy polyesters. The results of the rigorous simulations carried out in Aspen Custom Modeler show that the best configurations employ the reactive stripping section as a packed or trayed bubble column, and the reactive rectifying section as a packed column. With respect to the feed configuration, the feeding of monoesters to the RD column significantly intensifies the polyester process as compared to an anhydrous reactant fed directly to the column. Moreover, the product transition time in this configuration is also significantly reduced as compared to the other configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering-23 - Lappeenranta, Finland
Duration: 9 Jun 201312 Jun 2013


  • Multi-product transition
  • Polyesters
  • Rate-based modeling
  • RD

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