Dynamic catalytic distillation: Advanced simulation and experimental validation

TitleDynamic catalytic distillation: Advanced simulation and experimental validation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsKreul LU, Górak A, Dittrich C., Barton PI
JournalComputers & Chemical Engineering
PaginationS371 - S378
Keywordscolumn hydraulics

Reactive distillation offers a number of potential advantages, so that many traditional operations are currently being investigated in order to discover further applications of this technology. Increasingly, it is performed in columns with catalytic packings that combine the advantages of normal structured packings and heterogeneous catalysts. Analysis of reactive distillation is difficult due to strong physico-chemical interactions, and it is even more complicated for catalytic distillation (reactive distillation in catalytic packings), where the knowledge of column hydraulics, as e.g. hold-ups, pressure drop, and liquid distribution, is more important than in the case of traditional unit operations. In this paper, a detailed rate-based approach for modeling and simulation of catalytic distillation is presented, including all major aspects of the description of column hydraulics, mass and energy transfer, chemical reactions and thermodynamic non-idealities. The model equations have been implemented into the {ABACUSS} large scale modeling environment. Even in the frame of such sophisticated modeling, a variety of experimental parameters have to be determined. It is shown how these parameters appear in the model equations and how experiments and computer simulation interact. For a completely new class of catalytic packings all experimental parameters have been derived in accordance with the model assumptions in the form of correlations. All models have been formulated for dynamic operation and numerical implications of the dynamic modeling are addressed. For the semi-continuous catalytic distillation of the quaternary reactive mixture of acetic acid, methanol, methyl acetatem and water, simulated and experimental results are presented and compared. Based on the integration of detailed modeling, experimental parameter determination and a modern simulation platform it is possible to predict the dynamic, non-linear and non-ideal process behavior successfully.