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CHAPTER 4: PROCESS DESCRIPTION

4.1 Summary

For this chapter, all the major equipment used in the production of Acrylonitrile is listed with
estimated sizes with each operating properties such as temperature and pressure. Additional
equipment is also included based on the process flow diagram.

4.2 Process Flow Diagram

Figure 4.0 Process flow diagram in the production of Acrylonitrile

4.3 Major Equipment

4.3.1 Fluidized Bed Reactor

A fluidized bed reactor (FBR) is a type of reactor device that can be used to carry out a variety
of multiphase chemical reactions. In this type of reactor, a fluid (gas or liquid) is passed through
a solid granular material (usually a catalyst possibly shaped as tiny spheres) at high
enough velocities to suspend the solid and cause it to behave as though it were a fluid. This
process, known as fluidization, imparts many important advantages to the FBR.

The solid substrate (the catalytic material upon which chemical species react) material in the
fluidized bed reactor is typically supported by a porous plate, known as a distributor. The fluid is
then forced through the distributor up through the solid material. At lower fluid velocities, the
solids remain in place as the fluid passes through the voids in the material. This is known as a
packed bed reactor. As the fluid velocity is increased, the reactor will reach a stage where the
force of the fluid on the solids is enough to balance the weight of the solid material. This stage is
known as incipient fluidization and occurs at this minimum fluidization velocity. Once this
minimum velocity is surpassed, the contents of the reactor bed begin to expand and swirl around
much like an agitated tank or boiling pot of water. The reactor is now a fluidized bed. Depending
on the operating conditions and properties of solid phase various flow regimes can be observed
in this reactor.

Reaction Type: Exothermic

Phase: Liquid

Reactants: Ammonia and Propylene

Temperature: 400 – 510 oC

Pressure: 1 atm

Length: 13.33 m

Diameter: 60 m
4.3.2 Distillation Column

Distillation is one of the unit operations of chemical engineering. Fractionating columns are
widely used in the chemical process industries where large quantities of liquids have to be
distilled. Such industries are the petroleum processing, petrochemical production, natural gas
processing, coal tar processing, brewing, liquified air separation,
and hydrocarbon solvents production and similar industries but it finds its widest application
in petroleum refineries. In such refineries, the crude oil feedstock is a complex, multicomponent
mixture that must be separated, and yields of pure chemical compounds are not expected, only
groups of compounds within a relatively small range of boiling points, also called fractions. That
is the origin of the name fractional distillation or fractionation. It is often not worthwhile
separating the components in these fractions any further based on product requirements and
economics.

Number of plates: 13

Plate spacing: 0.5m

Height: 16m

4.3.3 Quench Tower

In pollution scrubbers, sometimes hot exhaust gas is quenched, or cooled by water sprays, before
entering the scrubber proper. Hot gases (those above ambient temperature) are often cooled to
near the saturation level. If not cooled, the hot gas stream can evaporate a large portion of the
scrubbing liquor, adversely affecting collection efficiency and damaging scrubber internal parts.
If the gases entering the scrubber are too hot, some liquid droplets may evaporate before they
have a chance to contact pollutants in the exhaust stream, and others may evaporate after contact,
causing captured particles to become re-entrained. In some cases, quenching can actually save
money. Cooling the gases reduces the temperature and, therefore, the volume of gases,
permitting the use of less expensive construction materials and a smaller scrubber vessel and fan.

Size

Small liquid droplets cool the exhaust stream more quickly than large droplets because they
evaporate more easily. Therefore, less liquid is required. However, in most scrubbing systems,
approximately one-and-a-half to two and- a-half times the theoretical evaporation demand is
required to ensure proper cooling. Evaporation also depends on time; it does not occur
instantaneously. Therefore, the quencher should be sized to allow for an adequate exhaust stream
residence time. Normal residence times range from 0.15 to 0.25 seconds for gases under 540°C
(1000°F) to 0.2 to 0.3 seconds for gases hotter than 540°C.

4.4.4 Absorber

Absorber is a block of material used to absorb some of the energy of an incident particle.
Absorbers can be made of a variety of materials, depending on the purpose.
Lead, tungsten and liquid hydrogen are common choices. Most absorbers are used as part of
a particle detector, particle accelerators use absorbers to reduce the radiation damage on
accelerator components.

Chemicals involved: Nitrogen contained gas and uncovered oxygen from air feed.

4.4.5 Acetonitrile Purification Column

Acetonitrile and hydrogen cyanide is the by-product in this production of acrylonitrile by using
SOHIO process. Recovery for those by -products are based on the elements like energy costs,
market constrains, and plant areas. Even though Acetonitrile and hydrogen cyanide brings the
amount for which something can be sold on a given market value, those chemicals are normally
carbonized. This situation proves that the productions of those by -products have moderately
effects on the trade, industry, and money of manufacturing the acrylonitrile.

4.4.6 Recovery Column