Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol.37, No.9, 1515-1524, 2014
Design and Control of an Integrated 1,4-Butanediol Dehydrogenation and Furfural Hydrogenation Plant
The design and plantwide control of an integrated plant, where the endothermic dehydrogenation of 1,4-butanediol leading to gamma-butyrolactone and the exothermic hydrogenation of furfural leading to furfural alcohol and 2-methyl furan are simultaneously performed in a single reactor, is presented. Analysis of the reactor-separation-recycle system shows that the reactions can be carried out using small hydrogen excess, in an adiabatic reactor, with reduced parameter sensitivity. The plant is flexible, allowing different production rates and a wide range of ratios between the furfural alcohol and 2-methyl furan products. The additional separation of gamma-butyrolactone from the reaction mixture is easy. The conclusions are supported by rigorous steady-state and dynamic simulations performed in AspenPlus and AspenDynamics.