Chin.J.Chem.Eng. ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 1468-1476.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2018.01.021

• Separation Science and Engineering • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Experimental and simulation of the reactive dividing wall column based on ethyl acetate synthesis

Jiangwei Xie1, Chunli Li1,2, Fei Peng1, Lihui Dong1, Shuaiming Ma1   

  1. 1 School of Chemical Engineering & Technology, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300130, China;
    2 National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Energy Conservation of Chemical Process Integration and Resources Utilization, Tianjin 300130, China
  • Received:2017-11-06 Revised:2017-12-23 Online:2018-07-28 Published:2018-08-16
  • Contact: Chunli Li,E-mail
  • Supported by:

    Supported by the Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016M 590191) and the Key Basic Research Items in Application Basic Research Program of Hebei Province (16964502D).

Abstract: Reactive dividing wall column (RDWC) is a highly integrated unit which combines reaction distillation (RD) with dividing wall column separation technology into one shell, and it realized the chemical reaction and the separation of multiple product fractions simultaneously. In this paper, the reaction of esterification with acetic acid and ethanol to produce ethyl acetate was used as the research system, experiments and simulations of the RDWC were carried out. This system in the traditional process mostly used the homogeneous catalyst (e.g. sulfuric acid). However, in view of the corrosion of the equipment caused by the acidity of the catalyst, we used the heterogeneous catalysts - iron exchange resins - Amberlyst15 and proposed a novel catalyst loading method. Firstly, the reliability of the model of the simulation was verified by the experimental study on the change of liquid split ratio and reflux ratio. After that, the four-column model was established in Aspen Plus to analyze the effects of the amount of azeotropic agent, reflux ratio and acetic acid concentration. Finally, for a fair comparison, the economic analysis was conducted between traditional RD column and RDWC. The results showed that RDWC can save 34.7% of total operating costs and 18.5% of TAC.

Key words: Reactive dividing wall column, Catalyst loading method, Ethyl acetate, Simulation, Energy saving