(445g) A NOVEL Comparison Among Intensified and Traditional Complete Ethyl Acetate Productions Designs

Santaella, M., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Orjuela, A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Narvaez, P. C., Chemical and Biochemical Processes Research Group, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Over the last decade different proposals of process intensification have been made for the improvement of the esterification reaction between acetic acid and ethanol. The dissimilar considerations and in some cases unrealistic assumptions made by the authors during modelling limit the possibility to compare among different production processes. In addition to this, different inlet compositions and different product specifications represent a major barrier to ensure an objective comparison between different processing technologies.

In this paper, the conventional production process, the reactive distillation (RD) and the reactive dividing wall column (RDWCD) process for the production of urethane grade ethyl acetate (99,5%) have been simulated using a commercial software (Aspen One 7.2). Glacial acetic acid and azeotropic ethanol were used as raw materials, and different catalysts were evaluated (self-catalytic, sulphuric acid, Amberlyst 15, Amberlyst 70). A validated NRTL-HOC thermodynamic model was used to describe phase equilibria. Chemical kinetic models were obtained from literature.  A preliminary evaluation of reactive residue curve maps obtained with different catalysts and residence time ranges between 0-500min allowed to compare feasible column profiles.

Capital costs and energy savings for reactive distillation are predicted between 15-80% over classical configurations of a reactor followed by separation units. Dividing wall column, Petluk column and similar thermally coupled configurations predict 30-50% energy savings over conventional two distillation column processes. The RDWCD also predict 30-50% energy reduction over simple RD.