(412b) High-Temperature, High-Pressure Reactions of Sulfur with Hydrocarbons: A Lab-Scale Experimental Study
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 3:55pm to 4:20pm
Sulfurized hydrocarbons play a wide role in the chemical process industry. Due to the thermodynamic and kinetic limitations of sulfur in reacting with most hydrocarbons, industrial processes are typically conducted in batch reactors. In order to gain the process intensification benefits of continuous operation and production, the reaction rate must be significantly increased through changes in the operating conditions and/or the use of catalysts. Previously, we used a single, high-pressure, windowed, stirred, variable-volume batch reactor to determine the reaction kinetics. However, this prior lab-scale investigation study required that the reactants be co-mingled not only during the isothermal, isobaric targeted reaction condition, but also during the heat-up and cool-down periods. In order to eliminate any reaction from occurring during both of these transitory periods, our reactor system was modified such that three high-pressure vessels were used. The liquid hydrocarbon was initially retained at the targeted temperature and pressure in one variable-volume vessel; the liquid sulfur was kept at the targeted reaction temperature in a second variable-volume vessel that would also serve as the reactor; and a cold (i.e. room temperature) high-pressure, constant-volume, quench vessel was added below the reaction vessel. At âtime 0 minâ the liquid hydrocarbon was rapidly injected into the agitated liquid sulfur vessel. The reaction was then allowed to proceed with continuous stirring in the windowed reactor until the specified residence time had elapsed. Then, the reactor contents were quickly displaced into the cold quench vessel. Our results, which now more accurately reflect the kinetics at the specified reaction temperature, appear to indicate that process intensification via a batch-to-continuous transition could be viable, but only at a temperature significantly greater than the temperature currently used in the batch process and/or with the introduction of a homogeneous catalyst. The reaction results will be discussed in detail in the presentation.