278318 Reaction Route Selection Based On Sustainability Criteria for Glutaraldehyde Production

Monday, October 29, 2012: 3:15 PM
325 (Convention Center )
Preeti Gangadharan and Helen H. Lou, Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

Challenges in the specialty chemicals industry are enormous. Companies need to deliver the most profitable product mix to keep up with global competition, while also keeping in mind long term environmental goals. In most cases, problems such as waste disposal or treatment may be avoided, or their intensity reduced, by considering their effects prior to plant design. Hence, sustainability criteria should form an integral part of process design, starting from the early design stage. In this stage, the sustainability performance of each potential reaction pathway is evaluated in terms of possible profit, driving force of the pathway (Gibbs energy), inherent safety index, environmental analysis, and atom economy. For specialty chemicals, particular emphasis has to be given on safety and environmental criteria.

A structured methodology incorporating all the major criteria is applied to reaction pathway selection for producing Glutaraldehyde, a specialty chemical primarily used as a bactericide, tanning agent, and fixative. Three alternative routes are considered. The fast and comprehensive assessment is used to quantify the desirability of each route, so that inferior routes can be screened out systematically, while also identifying areas for improvement, prior to initiating detailed design. In the detailed design stage, the sustainability performance of the selected process is improved through sequential sustainability assessment covering economic, safety, environmental, and efficiency criteria.

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See more of this Session: Sustainable Chemicals: Advances in Innovative Processes
See more of this Group/Topical: Environmental Division