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Experimental Investigation On Reactive Distillation Process For Synthesis of iso-amyl acetate

Kiran D Patil


Abstract: Reactive Distillation (RD) is a combination of reaction and distillation in a single vessel gives bonuses over conventional sequential approach of reaction followed by distillation or other separation techniques. These processes are better candidates to use it to chemical process industry. These processes proved to offer better selectivity, improved conversion, and superior heat control, operational utilization of reaction heat, choice for problematic separations, huge capital and energy price reductions, a lesser ecological effect and safe. In addition, one can ensure reliable operation and the avoidance of azeotropes. Esterification (e.g. synthesis of iso- amyl acetate/ n-hexyl acetate) is the classical reaction for the research studies in RD.  Reaction of acetic acid with higher alcohols falls in a group of representative class of reacting systems. The alcohol is frugally soluble in water and esters and water are practically immiscible. A supplementary feature is that the ester-water-alcohol forms a ternary heterogeneous azeotrope, which is minimum boiling. Hence, the vapors at the top condense to form two liquid phases of which aqueous phase is virtually pure water. Thus, we can expediently separate water and enhance the conversion. The research is focused to investigate and identify potential of RD for the synthesis of iso amyl acetate from catalytic esterification of acetic acid and iso amyl alcohol over ion exchange resin (TULSION MP T-63®, Thermax India Ltd.)in hybrid RD column A Laboratory RD column (diameter, 50 mm) was designed and operated for iso amyl acetate synthesis from iso amyl alcohol and acetic acid. The design of the RD column was based on simulation studies. The experimental part includes RD experiments in laboratory scale, carefully evaluated database for describing chemical reaction and phase equilibria. The design of the experimental facility was focused on the selection of catalyst, catalyst support and column internals for RD. In this paper, complete methodology of experimental techniques of synthesis of iso-amyl acetate was presented. Also ,influence of various operating parameters such as a feed flow rate; feed compositions, feed stage locations, reboiler duty, catalyst loading, boil-up rate etc. on the conversion and separation was discussed in detail.

Keywords: reactive distillation, iso-amyl acetate, reactive section, experimental work, conversion

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