276995 A Systematic Approach for Conceptual and Sustainable Process Design: Production of Cumene

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Sofie Thage Morthensen, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical Univeristy of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark, Naia Wright, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs Lyngby, Denmark, Diogo Sebastiao, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark and Deenesh K. Babi, CAPEC-Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

A Systematic Approach for Conceptual and Sustainable Process Design: Production of cumene

Diogo M.B. Sebastiao1, Naia R. Wright1, Sofie T. Morthensen 1, Rafiqul Gani1

s111775@student.dtu.dk, s082422@student.dtu.dk, s082684@student.dtu.dk, rag@kt.dtu.dk

1 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Abstract

Cumene (isopropylbenzene) is an important chemical since it is used as feed stock for acetone and phenol production, which are used in the organic chemical industry [1]. A systematic hierarchal decomposition method is applied to design a sustainable and environmentally friendly plant for producing cumene from the raw materials benzene and propylene [2]. The method consists of 12 sequential tasks which take into account all stages of conceptual design, starting from the consideration of qualitative aspects of the process flowsheet and preliminary calculations to the detailed process simulations, equipment sizing, costing, economic evaluation, sustainability and LCA assessment of the designed process. At the end of task-9 (the economic analysis), the base case design is investigated for improvements with respect to heat integration and process optimization. In the final task-12, a sustainability and LCA analysis is performed to assess the environmental impact of the process design. This is done using software: SustainPro and LCASoft that determine the key sustainability and LCA measures such as sustainability metrics for environment, economic and social; carbon footprint; safety index and many more. In addition, PRO/II is used for process simulation (for verification of design), ICAS for property prediction and analysis of design options; ECON for cost and economic analysis. This procedure can be applied to design and/or analysis for new or existing chemical or biochemical processes. The process design decisions are made considering the sustainability and LCA issues together with the process design specifications. The conceptual process design of the cumene producing plant is performed as part of a MSc-level course on Process Design at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at DTU under the supervision of Professor Rafiqul Gani.

A production rate of 100,000 metric tons/year of cumene is considered. The highest annual profit of base case is obtained in the second year and is estimated to be 20 million USD with a payback time of 1-2 years depending on the type of depreciation. The capital and operating costs are divided into the individual cost items in order to analyze which equipment and utilities contribute significantly to these costs. It is found that the compressor is the most expensive equipment contributing to capital costs and the reboiler utility is the main contributor to the total operating cost. This information is then used as target for process improvement by heat integration and process optimization, thus increasing the annual profit and reducing the payback time. The environmental impact analysis identifies impact due to the release of chemicals and points to the need of better control mechanisms through the sustainable LCA analysis.

In this poster the following will be presented: Product characteristics and applications, process flow sheet, equipment sizing, costing, economic evaluation, optimization targets, sustainability and LCA assessment of the designed process.

References:

[1] F. Cavani, G. Centi, S. Perathoner, F. Trifiró. Sustainable Industrial Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

[2] L. T. Biegler, I. E. Grossmann and A. W. Westerberg. Systematic methods of Chemical Process Design, Prentice Hall, 1997.


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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Systems and Process Design
See more of this Group/Topical: Computing and Systems Technology Division