Techno-economic analysis of intensified ethylbenzene production process using side reactor column
Volume Title: 1
1Department of chemical engineering,Amirkabir university of technology,Tehran,Iran
2Amirkabir University of Technology
The configuration of columns with side reactors (SRC) can effectively enhance the performance of reaction–separation processes, particularly where the operational limitations of conventional reactors, such as reactive distillation systems, negate the overall benefits. The conventional process for the production of ethylbenzene (EB) features high-pressure reactors followed by downstream low-pressure separation columns. An interesting and unusual specification of the EB process is recycling to extinction of byproduct and separating and injecting unreacted feed to the system. Thus, EB process provides a nice example of a multiunit complex process. High purity EB is achieved by maintaining a large reactor volume or by using an excess of benzene. Both the former and latter strategies result in high capital and energy costs. Side reactor configuration allows the optimum temperatures for the reactor and distillation to be set independently. In the present work, an innovative column configured with a side-reactor was developed for ethylbenzene production and simulation has been applied in Aspen Plus environment. To achieve an economical design, the total annual cost (TAC), as an objective function was investigated comparing to all the previous cases using Aspen Process Economic Analyzer (APEA). The proposed side-reactor column configuration reduces capital, energy, and total annual costs by 1.32%, 38%, and 21%, respectively compared to the latest case for the same desired yield and purity.