379650 A Novel Energy-Efficient Process for Isolation and Purification of a Sustainable Industrially Relevant Polymer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 9:20 AM
Crystal Ballroom B/E (Hilton Atlanta)
Prashant Kumar1, Nitin Tople1, Alvaro Carrillo2 and Scott Fisher2, (1)SABIC INNOVATIVE PLASTICS US LLC, Mount Vernon, IN, (2)SABIC INNOVATIVE PLASTICS US LLC, Selkirk, NY

The current process used by SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business for an industrially relevant polymer purifies & isolates the resin from the reaction mixture dissolved in reaction solvent by separation of the aqueous phase and subsequent precipitation using an anti-solvent. This process efficiently removes most of the impurities, however is associated with a significant energy cost in the downstream operation due to the large quantity of the anti-solvent used. Also, the final product, obtained as a fine powder, can pose dust explosion risks and potential transfer and feeding issues during compounding.

This presentation summarizes the technical feasibility of a novel energy-efficient direct isolation process design based on liquid-liquid extraction as an alternative to anti-solvent precipitation for this standard polymer purification. After the non-volatile impurities are efficiently removed by the new process, the polymer can be isolated from the solution using standard devolatization equipment. The effect of different extraction process parameters on the Efficiency, Yield, Solvent Load and Recovery, Product Specifications, Impurities, Odor Body and Color Removal is presented. The new process has a significant impact on energy cost in the downstream operations related to solvent recovery and recycle. Finally, an ASPEN model is developed to demonstrate a significant energy reduction in the polymer isolation operation compared to anti-solvent precipitation.

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See more of this Session: Product and Process Development for Sustainability I
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division