Computers & Chemical Engineering, Vol.115, 198-212, 2018
A sustainable process design to produce diethyl oxalate considering NOx elimination
Diethyl oxalate (DEO) is widely used in fine chemical industry. In comparison with traditional esterification process, carbon monoxide coupling process is a novel routine for DEO production. This environmentally friendly process provides better selectivity and yield. Its unique feature is that a closed regeneration-coupling circulation is formed. Toxic byproduct-nitric oxide (NO) from coupling reaction is recycled to re-produce ethyl nitrite through regeneration reaction. This avoids significant amount of NOx emission. However, due to a few NOx emission, a contaminant handling system is applied for environmental protection. A systematical environmental analysis is also carried out to assess this process. Regeneration-coupling circulation brings interaction behaviors and some trade-offs including reactor size and recycle flowrate, regeneration and coupling reaction, loss of reactants and NO emission. Thus, a rigorous steady simulation is established to investigate these trade-offs. Then DEO process is optimized to obtain the optimal design. Finally a more economic flowsheet to produce DEO is proposed. (c) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.