(120e) Simulation of ETBE Synthesis From Tert-Butanol and Ethanol by Batch Reactive Distillation Using Homogeneous Catalysts

Nakkash, N. B. - Presenter, Al-Nahrain University
Al-Janabi, N. K. - Presenter, Al-Nahrain University


     The present work concerned with studying the behavior of batch reactive packed distillation column to produce Ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) by the reaction of tert-butanol (TBA) and Ethanol using two homogeneous catalysts H2SO4 and KHSO4, experimentally and theoretically. 

      Experimentally, after checking the performance of catalysts and their ability to produce ETBE by bench experiment the reaction was carried out in a batch reactive packed distillation unit consists of heat resistance glass column of 71 cm total height and 3.5 cm inside diameter packed with glass rasching ring of 3 mm inside diameter at one atmosphere pressure.

     The effect of many operating conditions on ETBE purity such as feed molar ratio of ethanol to tert-butanol (1:1, 2:1, 4:1), reflux ratios (3, 4, and 5), heat duties of (65, 90, and 146W), type of catalyst H2SO4 and KHSO4, and the amount of catalyst have been studied, when the catalyst and reactants are mixed in the still. The best operating conditions when the reaction takes place in the still are FMR 1:1, reflux ratio 5, heat duty 146W and H2SO4 catalyst with 61.317% purity of ETBE and 94.789% conversion which are higher than using KHSO4 catalyst even when three times its amount was used. For the best operating conditions an experiment was carried out using an intermediate reactive section with KHSO4 catalyst placed in the middle section of distillation column. The results give a purity of ETBE 79.407% and 99.465% conversion which are higher than that obtained from reactive still but it needs large amounts of catalyst.

     Theoretically, an equilibrium model (EQ) was developed using MATLAB (R2009b) to solve MESHR equations. The developed model results were compared with the results of an existed program ASPEN PLUS (10.2) for certain operating conditions, the deviation between the two programs is about  10% error. Results of experimental and theoretical model have been compared and show good agreement.



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