3 years ago

Conceptual Design of a Novel Process for the Production of Poly(oxymethylene) Dimethyl Ethers from Formaldehyde and Methanol

Conceptual Design of a Novel Process for the Production of Poly(oxymethylene) Dimethyl Ethers from Formaldehyde and Methanol
Jakob Burger, Hans Hasse, Eckhard Ströfer, Niklas Schmitz
Poly(oxymethylene) dimethyl ethers (OME) are environmentally benign alternative fuels. This work presents the conceptual design of a novel OME process which employs aqueous solutions of formaldehyde and methanol as feedstock. In this process, OME of the desired chain lengths n = 3–5 and water are separated from the reactive mixture (formaldehyde + water + methanol + methylal + OME). Thermodynamic limits are identified by studying distillation boundaries and chemical equilibria. By that it is shown that OME of chain lengths n = 3–5 can be separated from the reactor outlet by distillation. The separation of water is carried out using either an adsorption or a membrane process. Adsorption isotherms of water on Zeolite 3A are determined experimentally. The OME process is simulated and optimized using a reduced process model accounting for the mass balances and the thermodynamic limits. Favorable operating points of the process are identified using multi-objective optimization.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.7b02314

DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.7b02314

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