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Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

Hello All. Hope you will be fine. I Am working as chemical engineer at a petrochemical plant ( acetates). We have a continous reactor of 6 tons for the esterification reaction. Sulfuric acid is used as catalyst.reactor is glass lined. we want to replace it with reactor of different material of construction. because steam consumption is very high as glass is bad conductor of heat. Reaction carried out at 104-106 C. So what do u think which Material is suitable for it ? and secondly direct steam injection through coil is best of jacketed reactor ?? any design idea if u have..plz help me out

RE: Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

When considering a change of Material of Construction, the first step is to test various alloys. One uses coupons of the candidate materials and inserted in the reactor for a given length of time. After the selected time is lapsed, the coupons are analyzed by a competent Metallurgist and then decide the best performing option.


RE: Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

If you can install an external pumped recirculation loop with an inline heat exchanger in the loop, then it should be possible to get loads more heat into this reactor than with the coils or jackets, and you wont have to change the reactor materials of construction for this. However, the HX and pump and piping will all need to be good for the concentration of H2SO4 in this reactor.

RE: Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate

The challenge is that you're making water as a product of the esterification, and in fact you need to drive off that water in order for the esterification to proceed to a high extent. You will end up with diluted sulphuric acid in that water, which can be very aggressive to a wide suite of metallic materials and alloys.

Tantalum is fully resistant, but will cost you the earth.

There may be less expensive alloys, but which one will be resistant will depend entirely on what else is in the reaction mixture, the concentration of acid, the actual metal temperature etc. It is very situation specific.

RE: Reactor design in Production of Ethyl Acetate


You say that steam consumption is high because the glass is a poor conductor. Do you mean that you are having to run the steam jacket hotter to get the same overall heat transferred? Where are you losing heat that you can improve using an alternative reactor?

I was wondering if reducing the losses by improved installation might be more cost effective than replacing the reactor.


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