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Table 1: Preliminary Equipment Summary Table for Acetone Process

Equipment P-401 A/B P-402 A/B V-401 V-402

MOC Carbon Steel Carbon Steel Carbon Steel Carbon Steel


Power (shaft) 0.43 1.58 - -
(kW)
Efficiency 40% 50% - -
Type/Drive Centrifugal/ Centrifugal/ - -
Electric Electric
Op. Temperature 32 360 32 20
(°C)
Pressure In 1.25 1.90 - -
(bar)
Pressure Out 3.10 3.30 - -
(bar)
Diameter (m) - - 0.80 0.75
Height/Length (m) - - 2.40 2.25
Orientation - - Horizontal Vertical
Internals - - - SS Demister
Op. Pressure - - 1.0 1.63
(bar)
Maximum allowable 3.0 3.2
operating pressure
(bar)

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Table 1: Preliminary Equipment Summary Table for Acetone Process (cont'd)

Equipment T-401 H-401 R-401


MOC Carbon Steel Carbon Steel Carbon Steel
Diameter (m) 0.32 - Width = 4.57 m
Height/Length (m) 3.20 - Depth = 6.10 m
Height = 5 m
Orientation Vertical - Vertical
Internals 2.5 m of - Fluidized Bed
Packing containing 7.5 m3 of
(1" Ceramic catalyst + 7.8 m3 of inert
Rashig Rings) particles.
Heat transfer area = 188
m2

Op. Pressure 1.6 3.0 2.16 in bed


(bar)
tube side 2.70 in tubes
Maximum allowable 3.2 4.0 3.2 in bed
operating pressure
(bar) 4.0 in tubes

Type - Fired Heater -


Design Duty (MJ/h) - 3436 3436
Maximum Duty - 3800 -
(MJ/h)
Area Radiant - 13.0 -
(m2)
Area - 37.0 -
Convective
(m2)

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Table 1: Preliminary Equipment Summary Table for Acetone Process (cont'd)

Equipment E-401 E-402 E-403

Type Float. Head Float. Head Float. Head


Vaporizer Partial Cond. Partial Cond.
Duty (MJ/h) 2,850 3,251 568
Design Area 79.2 73.6 8.8
(m2)
Area as Built 83.2 77.3 9.2
2
(m )
Shell Side
Op. Temp 101 350 45
(oC)
Op. Pressure 2.3 1.91 1.77
(bar)
Maximum 3.2 3.2 3.2
allowable
operating
pressure (bar)
Phase Boiling Liq. Cond. Vapor Cond. Vapor
MOC Carbon Steel Carbon Steel Carbon Steel
Tube Side
Op. Temp 111 40 15
(oC)
Op. Pressure 1.48 3.0 3.0
(bar)
Maximum 6.0 5.0 5.0
allowable
operating
pressure (bar)
Phase Cond. Steam L L
cooling water refrig. water
MOC Carbon Steel Carbon Steel Carbon Steel

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separations section of Unit 400 where specification acetone (99.9 mol%) is produced and the
unused isopropyl alcohol is concentrated and returned to the feed tank, V-401, as Stream 14. For
now, you may assume that the separations section can handle the increased flow of Stream 9.
However, this is contingent on the pressure and temperature of Stream 9 remaining unchanged
from the design conditions. The current design conditions are shown in the attached Stream
Summary Table, Table 2.

Process Background and Data

Process Notes

The prevalent process for the production of acetone is as a by-product of the manufacture of phenol.
Benzene is alkylated to cumene which is further oxidized to cumene hydroperoxide and finally
cleaved to yield phenol and acetone. However, the process used here uses isopropyl alcohol (IPA)
as the raw material. This is a viable commercial alternative, and a few plants operate using this
process. The primary advantage of this process is that the acetone produced is free from trace
aromatic compounds, particularly benzene. For this reason, acetone produced from IPA is favored
by the pharmaceutical industry due to the very tight restrictions placed on solvents by the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA). The reaction to produce acetone from IPA is given below:

(CH 3 )2 CHOH → (CH 3 )2 CO + H 2


Isopropyl Alcohol Acetone

The reaction conditions are typically around 2 bar and 350°C. At these conditions, single-pass
conversions of 85-92 % are possible. The design conditions used here are given in Tables 1 and 2,
and a single-pass conversion of 90% is used.

Process Description

The process designed by our company is shown in Figure 1. An azeotropic mixture of isopropyl
alcohol and water (88 wt% IPA), Stream 1, is fed into a surge vessel (V-401) where it is mixed with
the recycled unreacted IPA/water mixture, Stream 14. This material is then pumped to heat
exchanger E-401, where it is vaporized prior to entering the reactor. Heat is provided for the
endothermic reaction using a circulating stream of molten salt, Stream 4. The reactor effluent,
Stream 3, containing acetone, hydrogen, water, and unreacted IPA, is cooled in two exchangers, E-
402 and E-403, prior to entering the phase separator (V-402). The vapor leaving the separator,
Stream 5, is scrubbed with water to recover additional acetone, and then this liquid, Stream 6, is
combined with the liquid from the separator and sent to the separations section as Stream 9. The
non-condensable gases leaving the Acetone Scrubber, T-401, are sent off-site to the boiler plant
where they are burned to recover their fuel value. Stream 9 is sent for further processing to two
towers. These towers are used to separate the acetone product (99.9 mole %) and to remove the
excess water from the unused IPA. The unused reactant, Stream 14, is then recycled back to the
front end of the process as a near azeotropic mixture. The purification section of the process is not
shown in Figure 1 and you should not consider it further in your analysis.

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Table 2: Flow Table for Acetone Process in Figure 1 (based on 8000 h/yr)

Stream No. 1 2 3 4 5 6

Temperature (oC) 25 32 350 360 20 27


Pressure (bar) 1.01 2.30 1.91 3.0 1.60 1.60
Vapor Fraction 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0
Mass Flow (tonne/h) 2.40 2.67 2.67 35.1 0.34 0.46
Mole Flow (kmol/h) 51.96 57.84 92.63 - 39.76 20.94
Component Mole Flow Molten
(kmol/h) Salt
Hydrogen - - 34.77 - 34.77 0.00
Acetone - 0.16 34.94 - 4.38 1.71
Isopropyl Alcohol 34.82 38.64 3.87 - 0.16 0.14
Water 17.14 19.04 19.05 - 0.45 19.09

Stream No. 7 8 9 14
Temperature (oC) 34 25 22 83
Pressure (bar) 1.50 2.0 1.6 1.2
Vapor Fraction 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Mass Flow (tonne/h) 0.24 0.36 2.79 0.27
Mole Flow (kmol/h) 38.82 20.00 73.81 5.88
Component Mole Flow
(kmol/h)
Hydrogen 34.77 - 0.00 -
Acetone 2.67 - 32.27 0.16
Isopropyl Alcohol 0.02 - 3.85 3.82
Water 1.36 20.00 37.69 1.90

Utility lps cw rw
Equipment E-401 E-402 E-403
Temperature 111 30 5
In (°C)
Temperature 111 40 15
Out (°C)
Flow (tonne/h) 1.28 77.80 13.60
Low pressure steam is supplied at 6 bar (sat) from header

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Reaction Kinetics

The reaction to form acetone from isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) is endothermic with a standard
heat of reaction of 62.9 kJ/mol. The reaction is kinetically controlled and occurs in the vapor phase
over a catalyst. The reaction kinetics for this reaction are first order with respect to the
concentration of alcohol and can be estimated from the following equation:

 − Ea  kmol
− rIPA = k 0 exp   C IPA
 RT  m 3 bulk catalyst s

5 m3gas  kmol 
with Ea = 72.38MJ/kmol , ko = 3.51 × 10 , C IPA has units of  
m3bulk catalyst s 3
 m gas 

Several side reactions occur to a small extent. Thus, trace quantities of propylene, diisopropyl ether,
acetaldehyde, and other hydrocarbons and oxides of carbon are also formed. The non-condensables
are removed with the hydrogen while the aldehydes and ethers can be removed with acid washing
or adsorption. These side reactions are not accounted for in the preliminary design shown in Figure
1. For now, you should not consider these side reactions further.

The reactor design used in the current process consists of a fluidized bed containing solid catalyst
and inert solids. The endothermic heat of reaction is supplied by a circulating flow of molten salt
heat transfer fluid that passes through heat transfer tubes immersed in the bed. This molten salt
provides the heat required to maintain the fluidized bed at 350°C, and the molten salt is circulated
through a fired heater where its temperature is raised to 410°C. This reactor configuration can be
accurately modeled as an isothermal plug flow reactor. Due to selectivity considerations, the
maximum temperature of the fluidized bed should not exceed 375°C, and the maximum single pass
conversion should not exceed 95%. If single-pass conversions other than 90% are used, then the
compositions of Streams 9, 7, and 14 will change. You may assume that the recovery of unused
alcohol in the separations section is the same as in the base case.

Properties of the solid catalyst are as follows:


solid density, ρs = 2500 kg/m3 , bulk density, ρbulk = 1200 kg/m3, particle size, dp = 100 mm
Inert filler particles have the same properties as the catalyst.

Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium

The VLE used to simulate the Acetone Scrubber, T-401, was derived from the UNIQUAC
thermodynamics package using a latent heat enthalpy model. The equilibrium curve is given on
page 22 of this assignment.

Capital Cost Estimations

In order to estimate the capital investments for new equipment, you should use the CapCost
program contained on the CD in the back of the book. Beware! There is a bug in the program