3 years ago

High Conversion of Methyl Acetate Hydrolysis in a Reactive Dividing Wall Column by Weakening the Self-Catalyzed Esterification Reaction

High Conversion of Methyl Acetate Hydrolysis in a Reactive Dividing Wall Column by Weakening the Self-Catalyzed Esterification Reaction
Ting Qiu, Hongxing Wang, Jinyi Chen, Xiaoda Wang, Weiyue Zheng
We show the superiority of reactive dividing wall column (RDWC) to the single reactive distillation (RD) column in improving the conversion of reactant, taking the hydrolysis of methyl acetate (MA) as example. It is difficult to achieve above 99% conversion for MA in a traditional reactive distillation column (TRDC) due to the existence of self-catalyzed methanol (MeOH)-acetic acid (HAc) esterification reaction in the column bottom. In this work, more than 99% conversion of MA hydrolysis was realized experimentally in an RDWC by separating MeOH from the hydrolysis mixture. The effects of several operation parameters on hydrolysis conversion were systematically investigated, including feedwater–MA mole ratio, heat duty, mole flow rate of feed MA, and vapor distribution. The simulation results by Aspen Plus showed that RDWC has several improvements in MA hydrolysis over TRDC, including lower energy consumption, lower water–MA mole ratio, and larger production capacity. With the increase in MA conversion, the superiorities became more obvious and contribute to the weaker self-catalyzed MeOH–HAc esterification reaction in the RDWC.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.7b01907

DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.7b01907

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