Simulation and analysis of a side stream reactive distillation-pervaporation integrated process for ethyl acetate production

JIN Hao1 LU Jiawei1 TANG Jihai2 ZHANG Zhuxiu1 FEI Zhaoyang1 LIU Qing1 CHEN Xian1 CUI Mifen1 QIAO Xu

(1.State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering, College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China 210009)
(2.Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM) , Nanjing, Jiangsu, China 210009)
【Knowledge Link】reactive distillation

【Abstract】Due to the complicated process and huge energy consumption of ethyl acetate production via esterification of acetic acid and ethanol, a reactive distillation and pervaporation integrated process is proposed. The byproduct water is removed from the system through the side stream of the column and membrane modules, which promotes the forward reaction and improves the purity of ethyl acetate. The effect of the process parameters on total annual cost is investigated. The parameters include side stream drawn stage, side stream flow rate ratio, reactive stages, rectifying stages and number of membrane modules. Compared with conventional double-column process, the proposed RD-PV integrated process saves 26.6% energy. Through the investigation, it is found that the price of membrane material has significant effect on the total annual cost of RD-PV integrated process. With the development of pervaporation technology, the RD-PV process would appear economically competitive, when the price of membrane material is lower than 1 913 CNY·m−2.

【Keywords】 reactive distillation; pervaporation; integration; computer simulation; ethyl acetate;


【Funds】 National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFB0307304) National Natural Science Foundation of China (21276126, 61673205) Project “333” of Jiangsu Province (BRA2016418) Six Major Talent Peak Project of Jiangsu Province (XCL-017) Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD)

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This Article


CN: 11-1946/TQ

Vol 69, No. 08, Pages 3469-3478

August 2018


Article Outline



  • Introduction
  • 1 Process
  • 2 Mathematical models
  • 3 Results and discussion
  • 4 Conclusions
  • Symbols
  • References