›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (1): 103-115.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2016.07.004

• Process Systems Engineering and Process Safety • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Unique influences of reboiler inventory control on the operation of totally reboiled reactive distillation columns

Kejin Huang1, Yang Yuan1, Liang Zhang1, Haisheng Chen1, Shaofeng Wang1, Nian Liu2   

  1. 1 College of Information Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China;
    2 Electrical & Instrument Department, Wuhuan Engineering Co., Ltd, Wuhan 430223, China
  • Received:2016-04-05 Revised:2016-07-06 Online:2017-01-28 Published:2017-02-15
  • Supported by:
    Supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China (21076015, 21376018, and 21576014), and The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (ZY1503).

Abstract: In this work, the dynamics and operation of the totally reboiled reactive distillation columns are visualized in terms of transfer function based process models. This kind of processes is found to be characterized by underdamped step responses due to the special topological configuration and the intricate interplay between the reaction operation and the separation operation involved. The under-dampness can be substantially alleviated through the tight inventory control of bottom reboiler and this presents beneficial effects to process dynamics and operation. Two totally reboiled reactive distillation columns, separating, respectively, a hypothetical synthesis reaction from reactants A and B to product C, and a real decomposition reaction from 1, 4-butanediol to tetrahydrofuran and water, are employed to demonstrate these uncommon behaviors. The results obtained give full support to the above qualitative interpretation. Despite the strong influences of reaction kinetics and thermodynamic properties of the reacting mixtures, the totally reboiled reactive distillation columns are generally considered to present such unique behaviors and require tight inventory control of bottom reboiler to facilitate their control system development.

Key words: Reactive distillation column, Totally reboiled operation, Reboiler inventory control, Process dynamics, Process control