(613g) Process Intensification of Bio-Ethanol Dehydration Under Compressed Liquid Phase Conditions
Catalytic activity in the liquid phase is a major knowledge gap that hampers development of process intensified, liquid phase ethanol dehydration reactors. To assess the effects of conditions on activity, we performed both liquid and vapor phase ethanol dehydration studies, studying both space velocity and the effect of the water content of the fed. Ethanol dehydration reactions were performed in a continuous phase packed bed reactor catalyzed using ZSM-5 zeolite. Ethylene activity was compared when operated under both liquid and vapor phase (0.1 or 24 MPa) and varying weight hourly space velocities (30 - 1200 hrâ1) and water loadings (0 - 33 wt%). ZSM-5 is more active for ethanol dehydration reactions under vapor phase conditions compared to liquid phase conditions, however, differences in ethylene yield are negligible when operated at low space velocities and high water loadings. Characterization of ZSM-5 catalyst after reaction reveals only a minor loss in framework after both the vapor and liquid phase reaction. Ethanol dehydration throughput and heat transfer improvements using a compressed, liquid phase packed bed reactor compared to vapor phase reactors suggest a potential alternative to current industrial processes.
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