You are on page 1of 3



Material and Energy Balances Ethylene Glycol Production
Lecture Team: Dr. Turmuzi Lubis, MS Prof. Dr. Iriany, MSi Ir. Barnbang Trisakti, MSi

Design Praject


Ethylene glycol is a rnajor component in some antifreeze formulations. Your boss has recently become interested in exploring the feasibility of producing ethylene glycol. She has requested that you answer some questions, run some calculations and suggest some design altematives associated with the production of ethylene glycol. In order to do that she has supplied you with the following information:
Ethylene glycol is produced using reactors that catalyze two different reactions. In the first reactor, ethylene is mixed with air and oxidized to etlrylene oxide in the gas phase. The unbalanced reaction is

Complete combustion of the ethylene can also occur as a side reaction. In the reactor assume all of the oxygen is consumed, This gas effluent is fed to an absorption column, where water is added and used to separate unreacted ethylene from the remaining mixture. The water
stream enters a distillation column which separates water from the remaining components and another absorytion column uses triethanolamine to pull carbon dioxide out of the ethylene

oxide. This ethylene oxide feed is send to a second reactor with a water feed to generate ethylene glycol:



However, there is a side reaction
C:FIaO + C2H4(OH)z



producing diglycol. Ethylene oxide is highly reactive and consequent$ there is complete conversion. After the sticond reactor there is one distillation column to separate water and a second distillation colwnn to separate diglycol and ethylene glycol.
Open-ended questions:

1. What is the yearly world production rate of ethylene glycol? 2. Are there any uses for dirylcol?
Page 1 of 3

3. How is etlrylene produced? 4. Draw a process flow diagram that does not include process variables, but does include
strearn components.


5. Identify every sepa.ration unit and describe how it separates the materials. 6. Are there alternative separation units that night be used for this process?





Wlrat are the envirorunental concerns associated with this process? What are the safety concerns associated with this process?

Process calculations:



Calculate the heat transfer rates of the first reactor if the conducted isothermally at 200 oC. Assume the ethylene feed is 1500 lbm/hr and the selectivity of ethylene oxide to the combustion of ethylene is 20:1 and the conversion of ethylene is 60%. Calculate the heat transfer rate as a firnction of selectivity. In the absorber, assume that you have access to water at 20 oC and treat the absorber as an equilibrium device. What are the concentrations of components in the outgoing streams? How much enerry do you need to remove or add to the absorber in order to have exit sfteams at 2A "C? Hint: Assume carbon dioxide, water and ethylene glycol can exit via both the liquid and vapor streams. How does the answer differ as a function of


Calculate the exit temperature of the second reactor if the input streams are at 20.C. Assume that the conversion of ethylene oxide is complete, the inlet feed of ethylene oxide is equal to the molar flow rate of ethylene oxide exiting reactor one and only 10 vtf/o of the exit sffeam is diglycol. How does the temperaturo change as a function of diglycol

4. Why is a distillation column used rather than a flash tank to separate

water from atrylene oxide? In order to answer this, make some equilibrium calculations based on an equimolar flow of water and ethylene oxide into a flash tank to show how pure the "water" and "ethylene oxids" streams are. You may nm the flash tank at any temperature thatyou want.




$9/kWimonth. Ignore energy input into the final two distillation columns and assume pure streams exit the distillation colururs (both poor assumptions). Use the information above to calculate how much profitlhr this process will generate. Suggest improvements to the process (rerycle, bypass, utilizing waste heat streams) to make the process more cost effective. Recalculate process variables in the process calculation section and recalculate the profit/hr this proclss will generate.

Assume that the price for 20 "C ethylene is $1,400/metric ton, ak at Z0 oC is free and water is $1.S/metric ton. Ethylene oxide is $1,800/metric ton and diglycol is l,300lmetric ton. Energy to heat and cool processes is $0.06/kW-hr with dernand charge of


Project teams: Teams of three or four students will work together on the design project. All team members must be actively involved in arriving at the final design. A single grad" will be given to each team based on the project design report due Thursdayn Janua 10th, 201i. Teams are encouraged to explore/utilize aLl available resources (e.g., computing facilities, books, manufacturer/organization web pages and other library resources) to cornplete the project.
Page 2 of 3

However, collaboration between teams is not permitted. If your team should have specific questions concerning the questions, calculations or design strategies, contact the class lectme. Each team must have at least two meeting with the lecture over the course of the project development. This must occur before I)ecember 31th,2012.


Design report to be submitted: The final design report should be prepared in a professional marmer, and should be presented as a formal report to yow boss. The repbrt should contain the following: 1) A cover letter (l page max) describing your design recommendations, calculation results and a brief summary of the answers to the open-ended questions. 2) An innoduction with a brief overview of the process which include answers to the openended questions. This section ofthe report should include a process flow diagram. 3. Process calculations made on engineering paper. Include figures and tables to present key data (computer programs, spreadsheets, list of source materials can be placed in an Appendix). 4. Economic calculations on engineering paper and a description of the final design. This section should include the new process flow diagram and should fully explain why changes in the process were made. 5. A citation list of all references. ALL SOURCES MUST BE CITED. 6. Parts 2 and 4 should be no more than 3 pages single spaced. Calculations do not have a page limit.

o o o .

Open-ended questions (report pmt#2) week I Process calculations (report part #3) week 1-2

Desigr (report part #4)) week 2-3 Cover letter (report part #l) and asse,mbly, revision and proofing of document (report part
#5 and #6) week 4

Page 3 of 3