(503e) Process Intensification of Reactive Separator Networks through the Ideas Conceptual Framework

Authors: 
da Cruz, F., University of California, Los Angeles
Manousiouthakis, V., University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles
A method to rigorously identify the performance limits of a reactive separator network is presented in this work. The quantification of the enhancement potential for a given technology can greatly benefit process intensification studies in the pursuit of radical improvements. The Infinite DimEnsionAl State-Space (IDEAS) conceptual framework is first reviewed and then shown to be capable of assessing the potential for process intensification of reactive separation processes. The IDEAS framework is employed to formulate an infinite linear program (ILP) that can synthesize optimal reactive separation networks, and establish rigorous tradeoffs between total network reactive holdup, and total network capacity. The proposed process intensification method is demonstrated on a case study involving the metathesis of 2-pentene through reactive distillation, an important chemical process for the oil industry. Total reactive holdup and total capacity, a surrogate for the amount of catalyst used and capital cost respectively, were selected as the system’s variables of interest for process intensification. Using a traditional reactor-followed-by-separation-system scheme as a baseline, an intensified IDEAS based reactive separation network can reduce the total reactive holdup and total capacity by 94.5% and 84.3% respectively. Results available in the literature were converted to the total holdup-total capacity space in the extent possible and compared with the IDEAS results. The comparison shows the existence of improvement potential, indicating that process intensification opportunities can be further explored in this reactive separation system.