A hybrid reactive distillation process with high selectivity pervaporation for butyl acetate production via transesterification

Gregorius R. Harvianto, Faizan Ahmad, Moonyong Lee

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Abstract

A hybrid reactive distillation system with high selectivity pervaporation was examined to produce butyl acetate and methanol via transesterification of methyl acetate with butanol. High selectivity pervaporation was combined with reactive distillation to eliminate a hitherto required column for the separation of a methanol and methyl acetate azeotrope. The polyamide-6 membrane was used for this purpose because of its high selectivity for methanol while also allowing sufficient permeate flux. The high purity methyl acetate recovered in the retentate stream leads to high conversion in the reactive distillation column, which enhances the energy savings (up to 71%) of this process. The feasibility of the proposed hybrid processes and several alternative designs were evaluated by rigorous simulation and optimization using the Aspen Plus software package. The effects of several designs and operating variables were also investigated for the proposed design. The high potential of the hybrid reactive distillation and pervaporation system for butyl acetate production is very promising; it may not only reduce the total annual costs relative to conventional systems but may also provide an attractive strategy to address problems associated with methanol and methyl acetate azeotropes in the effluent generated in the polyvinyl alcohol industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume543
Early online date18 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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