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ECN publication
A techno-economic comparison of various process options for the production of 1,1-diethoxy butane
Agirre, I.; Guemez, M.B.; Motelica, A.; Veen, H.M. van; Vente, J.F.; Arias, P.L.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass & Energy Efficiency 26-6-2012
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--12-022 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: J Chem Technol Biotechnol (John Wiley and Sons), , 2012, Vol.87, p.943-954.

BACKGROUND: Acetals can be considered important bio-based diesel additives. The production of most of these compounds, from an alcohol and an aldehyde, suffers from low conversion due to thermodynamic limitations. These limitations can be overcome through the removal of theby-productwater. Previous studies showed that the in situ dehydration options of reactive distillation andpervaporationmembranereactor integration offer little advantage or at least not at reasonable unitdimensions. The aim of the present work is the development of a membrane based process and comparison with other alternatives (based on experimental data). RESULTS: Three different membrane processes were developed. The one in which the reaction mixture is recycled over a first dehydration membrane module and subsequently through a simple distillation column, was found to give the highest overall conversion (100%) at low recycle rates and reasonable membrane area. This process was techno-economically compared with other possible alternatives: (1) a process based on a conventional tubular reactor and several distillation columns; and (2) a process based on reactive distillation. CONCLUSIONS: Efficient water removal by membranes avoids possible azeotropes in downstream distillation units making them much simpler, reducing considerably the unit sizes and the energy demand (40% lower).

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