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ISBN 9783843920490

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978-3-8439-2049-0, Reihe Verfahrenstechnik

Johannes Holtbrügge
Conceptual Design, Experimental Investigation and Economic Evaluation of Intensified Chemical and Petrochemical Processes

309 Seiten, Dissertation Technische Universität Dortmund (2015), Softcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

Increasing ecological awareness of the society and decreasing fossil fuel resources represent challenges to the chemical and petrochemical industries. One potential solution for this is the application of process intensification which offers the potential of increasing the sustainability of production processes. However, only few intensified processes have found their way into large-scale productions as extensive adaptation is hindered by (i) the difficult conceptual design, (ii) the lack of operational experience and (iii) the need for quantifying their economic advantage. Different approaches have been attempted to separately address these issues, but industrial application of process intensification remains stagnant. Therefore, this thesis attempts to resolve these barriers by addressing all issues concurrently for a set of industrially relevant process intensification-techniques.

To achieve this, a novel conceptual design approach for the development of flowsheet options for a given design task based on thermodynamic insights is presented. The approach considers process intensification by relying on a portfolio of conventional and intensified techniques to generate energy- and cost-efficient flowsheet options. Its reliability is shown by studying two conceptual examples. Furthermore, a case study independent of the conceptual examples is considered in detail. This case study involves the simultaneous production of dimethyl carbonate and propylene glycol. The objective of this investigation is to provide operational experience and to compare economically optimized intensified processes to a base case – a conventional reaction-separation sequence. This thesis discusses the chemical system properties and presents the conceptual design of different process options consisting of reactive distillation, reactive dividing wall columns, pressure-swing distillation and membrane-assisted distillation. Subsequently, experimental pilot-scale investigations of reactive distillation, vapor permeation and membrane-assisted reactive distillation are presented. These experiments were performed to select and validate simulation models for the economic optimization of the process options. The optimization has shown that applying process intensification can result in a significant economic benefit over conventional reaction-separation sequences corroborating the arguments to establish process intensification on a large scale.