Simulated heat integration study of reactive distillation column for ethanol synthesis

Document Type: Research Article


1 J L N Marg Malaviya Nagar

2 Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur

3 Malaviya National institute of TechnologyJaipur


Ethanol is largely used as a solvent in the synthesis of varnishes and perfumes. It is also used as a preservative for biological products, fuel and gasoline additives. An ethanol-water mixture, normally obtained by fractional distillation yields an azeotropic solution consisting of approximately 95 w% of ethanol. The synthesis of ethanol in a reactive distillation column with the azeotropic feed at 20ºC with ethylene oxide as another reactant feed for the reaction with water to produce ethylene glycol was simulated in Aspenplus. Simulated results show 98.82 mol% purity of ethanol in the reactive distillation column. In order to reduce the energy consumption in reactive distillation, a reactive heat integrated distillation column (R-HIDiC) is proposed for the same purity of ethanol product. From the simulated results, it has been found that the overall energy utilization in the proposed distillation column is reduced by 65% as compared to the conventional reactive distillation column. The pressure profile, temperature profile, and concentration profile of reactive distillation column and the column proposed are also compared.


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