Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol.79, 56-68, 2014
A reactive distillation column with double reactive sections for the separations of two-stage consecutive reversible reactions
In this paper, a novel reactive distillation column with double reactive sections (RDC-DRS) is proposed for the separations of two-stage consecutive reversible reactions. The arrangement of two reactive sections not only allows the careful coordination of the two reaction operations involved, but also provides additional degrees of freedom for the reinforcement of internal mass integration and/or internal energy integration between the reaction operations and the separation operation involved, which could facilitate the RDC-DRS to be more advantageous than the conventional reactive distillation column with a single reactive section (RDC-SRS) in operating cost and capital investment. A representative hypothetical and real two-stage consecutive reversible reactions are chosen to evaluate the steady-state performance of the RDC-DRS. With the constraints of the same total number of stages and the same total number of reactive stages, the RDC-DRS is demonstrated to require less utility consumption than the RDC-SRS and this outcome indicates that the former could be a competitive alternative to the latter in the separations of the two-stage consecutive reversible reactions. The number of reactive sections should therefore be viewed as an important decision variable for the synthesis and design of reactive distillation columns especially in the separations of complicated reacting mixtures involving multiple reversible reactions. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.