Improvement of the Reactive Distillation
Nguyen Van Duc Long, Le Quang Minh and Moonyong Lee†
School of Chemical Engineering, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 712-749, South Korea
Reactive distillation (RD) is one of the most attractive configurations of process intensification, in which reaction and distillation occur at the same time and in the same location. This kind of column enables higher reactant conversion, product selectivity, as well as lower energy, water, and solvent consumption, leading to reduced investment and operating costs. On the other hand, compared to design of a conventional distillation column it is much more sensitive to pressure due to the need for a match between the temperature favorable for the reaction and the temperature favorable for separation. Furthermore, RD still shows some drawbacks in many cases such as high energy requirement or relatively low conversion, which need to be improved. This paper reviews potential technologies to enhance the performance of reactive distillation processes using process integration and intensification and their improvement mechanisms as well as column internal improvement. The authors propose and evaluate the membrane-assisted reactive dividing wall column (MRDWC), which is an innovative configuration combining reactive distillation used to overcome chemical equilibrium, and a dividing wall column used to save energy, with a membrane used to overcome the azeotrope in azeotropic distillation systems. Those concepts can be employed for both grass-root and retrofit designs.
Keywords: Process Integration; Process Intensification; Reactive distillation; Reactive Dividing Wall Column; Membrane.
This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2015R1D1A3A01015621). This study was also supported by the Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2014R1A6A1031189).
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