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Title: Modelling and optimisation of batch distillation involving esterification and hydrolysis reaction systems : modelling and optimisation of conventional and unconventional batch distillation process : application to esterification of methanol and ethanol using acetic acid and hydrolysis of methyl lactate system
Author: Edreder, Elmahboub A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 2358
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2010
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Batch distillation with chemical reaction when takes place in the same unit is referred to as batch reactive distillation process. The combination reduces the capital and operating costs considerably. Among many different types of batch reactive distillation column configurations, (a) conventional (b) inverted (c) semi-batch columns are considered here. Three reaction schemes such as (a) esterification of methanol (b) esterification of ethanol (c) hydrolysis of methyl lactate are studied here. Four different types of dynamic optimisation problems such as (a) maximum conversion (b) maximum productivity (c) maximum profit and (d) minimum time are formulated in this work. Optimal design and or operation policies are obtained for all the reaction schemes. A detailed rigorous dynamic model consisting of mass, energy balances, chemical reaction and thermodynamic properties is considered for the process. The model was incorporated within the dynamic optimisation problems. Control Vector Parameterisation (CVP) technique was used to convert the dynamic optimisation problem into a nonlinear programming problem which was solved using efficient SQP (Successive Quadratic Programming) method available within the gPROMS (general PROcess Modelling System) software. It is observed that multi-reflux ratio or linear reflux operation always led to better performance in terms of conversion, productivity for all reaction schemes compared to that obtained using single reflux operation. Feed dilution (in the case of ethanol esterification) led to more profit even though productivity was found to be lower. This was due to reduction in feed price because of feed dilution. Semi-batch reactive distillation opertation (for ethanol esterification) led to better conversion compared to conventional batch distillation, however, the total amount of acetic acid (reactant) was greater in semi-batch operation. Optimisation of design and operation (for ethanol esterification) clearly showed that a single cloumn will not lead to profitable operation for all possible product demand profile. Also change in feed and /or product price may lead to adjust the production target to maximise the profitability. In batch distillation, total reflux operation is recommended or observed at the begining of the operation (as is the case for methnaol or ethanol esterification). However, in the case of hydrolysis, total reflux operation was obseved at the end of the operation. This was due to lactic acid (being the heaviest) was withrawn as the final bottom product.
Supervisor: Mujtaba, Iqbal M. ; Emtir, M. Sponsor: Libyan Petroleum Institute
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conventional batch distillation ; Inverted batch distillation ; Batch reactive distillation ; Semi-batch distillation ; Fixed product demand ; Dynamic modelling and optimisation ; Esterification ; Hydrolysis ; gPROMS