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CHE3050S,2013 The design of a Cumene Process: Project 2 page 1

CHE3050S : Chemical Process Unit Design


Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Sept 2013
Course Convener : Klaus Mller
The design of a Cumene Process
Project 2
Design of the cumene reactor
CHE3050S,2013 The design of a Cumene Process: Project 2 page 2
1 Introduction
The purpose of this section is the describe the requirements needed for the design of the
alkylation reactor. The reactions that occur in this unit are summarised from the design brief.
The primary reactions that occur in the alkylation unit are;
C
6
H
6
+ C
3
H
6
i so-CH
12
( IPB ) (R1)
C
9
H
12
+ C
3
H
6
di -i so-C
12
H
18
(DIPB) (R2)
C
12
H
18
+ C
3
H
6
tr i -i so-C
15
H
24
(TIPB) (R3)
where reaction (R1) is the dominant reaction. Side reactions also occur;
C
6
H
6
+ C
3
H
6
n-C
9
H
12
( NPB ) (R4)
C
3
H
6
+ C
3
H
6
C
6
H
12
(hexene) (R5)
where reaction (R4) results from the re-arrangement of the IPB and reaction (R5) is the dimeri-
sation of propene to hexene which can of course also react further through via alkylation. The
long linear olenic species can crack to smaller olenic species as temperatures rise forming
light olens which can then undergo alkylations producing ethyl and butyl alkylated aromatics
observed in the product spectrum and which can lead to products not meeting the required
commercial purity.
The transalkylation reactor under goes the following primary reaction in large excess of benzene;
C
6
H
6
+ C
12
H
18
2C
9
H
12
(IPB) (R6)
and thus produces more cumene increasing the overall yield of cumene from propene. Note that
many of these reactions are reversible and chemical equilibrium will need to be investigated.
In this project only reactions (R1 R3) will be considered.
2 The design process and the report content
The design calculations and the report need to address the following aspects and discuss these
under the section headings given in this section. Pages limits apply and the maximum pages
allowed with be 14 including the title page.
2.1 Title page
This is the page with the declaration attached to the report
2.2 Specication sheet for the reactor (1 page)
Basically a specication sheet for the reactor. Examples from Sasol are available on Vula. Other
examples are in the Coulson-Richardson design books in the resource center. Please make sure
that the data reported in this table corresponds with the data in the results and appendix sections
and that the report is able to demonstrate how these numbers were obtained.
2.3 Mechanical drawing (1 page)
The drawing must be to scale in order for it to receive any marks. Be careful of the cut-and-
paste rescaling, it can distort your drawing. Show sucient internal/external detail to gain
a perspective of the vessel required - manholes, pipe connections, catalyst loading, catalyst
support, orientation, vessel supports,
look for
guidance on vula
points of lengths,widths, pipes ect
CHE3050S,2013 The design of a Cumene Process: Project 2 page 3
2.4 Kinetics and thermodynamics of the reactions (1 page)
The old cumene processes operated in the gas phase with solid phosphoric acid catalyst. Modern
cumene plants operate in the liquid phase using zeolite-type catalysts.
You need to justify the choice of the catalyst and appropriate reaction kinetics that corresponds
to the catalyst type and reaction phase that you have chosen. You need to present all the key
thermodynamic data of the reactions. Data that needs to be included here: heats of reaction,
chemical equilibrium as function of pressure, temperature and feed ratio.
2.5 Introduction to the reactor design problem (
1
/2 page)
Provide a precise description of the feed that the reactor needs to process and the design
specication that the reactor needs to meet.
2.6 Method of solution (
1
/2 page)
A block ow diagram of the solution process that you have chosen. All programmes to be listed
in the appendix.
2.7 Design of the base case reactor system (2 pages)
THE BASE CASE DESIGN MUST USE THE FEED FLOW RATE AND CONDITIONS FROM
YOUR MASS BALANCE AND ENERGY BALANCE.
The following is a guide to things that might need consideration.
2.7.1 Reactor type and conguration
Adiabatic vs isothermal, single reactor vs multi-reactor.
2.7.2 reactor operation
Dispersion, pressure drop, external mass transfer, internal mass transfer, temperatures, pres-
sure, phase (careful that the conditions that you chose actually yield the phase that you have
assumed).
2.7.3 reactor sizing
Length, bed length, diameter, particle size, wall thickness, corrosion allowance
2.7.4 heat duties
Heat exchange area, insulation thickness and heat loss, heating-colling duties
2.8 Optimal choice of the reactor(s) (2 pages)
This will use as the starting point your base case design.
2.8.1 Variables that provide a measure of the reactor performance
Yield and conversion, Heating/cooling requirements, Productivity per mass of feed, Cost of
vessel and energy.
what are ther reaction constrants,
ke, excess benzene ein system,
gibbs reactor in ow sheet. change
the feed and c what happens
how much feed goes in what happens
what do you want to achive?
plot ow diagrams, any equations and
derivations in appendix, thinking process
all questions that must be answered.
eurgan equation: (4pres)
ODE: df/dv=ri
dt/dv=riHi
dp/dv=eurgan
ci=yiPt/RT(this p is changing)
(pressure drop in packed bed)notes
vacume no reaction
be carefull when choose catalyst
weight(look at pressure prole vs wcat)
Particle size:
small: good pfr, high press
drop, good mass transfer
Large: crap pfr, low
pressure drop, bad mass
transfer
(compare for choosing cat
sized)
CHE3050S,2013 The design of a Cumene Process: Project 2 page 4
2.8.2 Variables that might inuence the reactor performance
Pressure, temperature, feed ow rate, feed composition, in particular the recycle stream, particle
size...
2.8.3 Description of the optimal reactor
Provide a discussion of the eect of the key variables on the process and use this to justify your
choice of the optimal reactor design.
2.9 Reference list
Please adhere to the Harvard author-date system.
2.10 Appendices (5 pages)
Add data here that supports your arguments in the relevant sections. Make sure that the data
is clearly labeled and is easily found - no point adding 3 pages of tables with rows of numbers -
useless, plot a graph instead. Programme printouts, calculation procedures.
CHE3050S,2013 The design of a Cumene Process: Project 2 page 5
Title Page
This page must be signed and must accompany your report. If this page is
not submitted with your report, the report will not be assessed.
CHE3050S : Chemical Process Unit Design
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Cape Town
Project number :
Start date :
Submission date :
Submission to : Tutorial box and Vula
Full marks : 25%
Student Number(s) :
Student name(s) :
Declaration :
This is my unaided work except for the assistance of the course lecturers and
course tutors. This is an individual/group assessment - the sharing of results
and programmes is prohibited. I have duly cited and referenced all information
extracted from the literature and world wide web. I also acknowledge that this
report will only be assessed after the submission of an electronic copy of
this report and the programme(s) used.
Signed by author(s) :
HAVE YOU SUBMITTED YOUR ELECTRONIC COPY ?