Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol.118, 9-18, 2017
Novel reactive distillation process with two side streams for dimethyl adipate production
Reactive distillation presents a distinct advantage for the combination of reaction and separation. However, when reactants are the lightest and the heaviest components and products are the intermediate ones, the configuration should be well designed to maintain the merits of the reactive distillation. In this work, two new processes, whose reactive distillation column with one side stream (RDC-S1) and with two side streams (RDC-S2) are proposed for dimethyl adipate production by the esterification of adipic acid with methanol. The two new processes are simulated using Aspen Plus and analyzed with minimum total annual cost (TAC) as the objective function. Then the carbon dioxide emissions of the proposed processes are calculated. The RDC-S1 and RDC-S2 processes are compared with the conventional reactive distillation process and the reactive distillation column with a top-bottom external recycle process. The results show that RDC-S2 process requires the lowest energy and has the smallest carbon dioxide emissions when compared with other processes. Thus considering the remarkable economic and environmental benefits, RDC-S2 is an attractive configuration for the production of dimethyl adipate.