ECN publication
HEX-reactor applications in The Netherlands
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy Efficiency in Industry 1-1-2003
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--03-015 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
31 Download PDF  

The HEX reactor (heat exchanger reactor), which combines a chemicalreactor and heat exchanger in one compact unit, has not found significant application in industry, despite many potential advantages including energy savings. In the current project the objectives were: ?h To identify two promising applications for demonstration projects in the short term. ?h To make a broad inventory of applications covering all types of processes from which two will be selected for longer-term development. The search for a demonstration project was focussed on processes with exothermic liquid-phase reactions without heterogeneous catalysis. Energy savings for this application are probably 2-8 PJ/y (in the Netherlands). Detailed evaluations were made for two promising processes, which were selected: a polymerisation and an oxidation process. Application of HEX reactors to the selected polymerisation process was judged to be not suitable for a short-term demonstration project, and the potential savings were estimated to be less than about 0.25 PJ/y (in NL). For the selected oxidation process, simulations of one plant showed potential energy savings of about 0.6 PJ/y as well as other advantages, such as improved product yield. In view of the high repetition potential for other oxidation processes, this could be an interesting demonstration project. In the broad inventory, twenty-two HEX-reactor applications were identified, with total energy savings, which could amount to 20 PJ/y (in NL). Detailed evaluations were done for two large-scale processes with heterogeneously catalysed gas-phase reactions. For the first process, energy savings are estimated to amount to about 2 PJ/y (in NL), but the commercial potential is judged to be small. For the second process, energy savings are up to 4.2 PJ/y (in NL), possibly together with cost savings, and this could be of interest for long-term development.

Back to List