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Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.

2000, 39, 2935-2946 2935


Economic and Dynamic Impact of the Use of Excess Reactant in

Reactive Distillation Systems
William L. Luyben†
Department of Chemical Engineering, Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015

Reactive distillation columns are sometimes operated with an excess of one of the reactants,
but this mode of operation may have the disadvantage of requiring the recovery and recycle of
the reactant that is in excess. The flowsheet typically consists of a two-column system: a reactive
column and a recovery column. An alternative is to use a single reactive column that is operated
“neat” (exact stoichiometric amounts of the reactants fed and consumed). The one-column process
has lower capital investment and energy costs than the two-column system. However, Al-Arfaj
and Luyben1 recently explored the control of a one-column “neat” system and demonstrated
that a composition analyzer may be required to detect the inventory of one of the reactants so
that the fresh feed can be adjusted. Because composition analyzers are expensive and sometimes
unreliable, the economic advantages of the single-column system need to be assessed. The purpose
of this paper is to quantitatively compare the single-column (neat operation) and the two-column
system (excess of one of the reactants fed to the reactive column). The comparison includes both
steady-state economics and dynamic controllability. The reversible reaction is A + B h C + D.
The relative volatilities are favorable for reactive distillation; i.e., the reactants are intermediate
boilers between the light product C and the heavy product D. In the two-column system, an
excess of B is fed to the reactive column. The distillate from the reactive column is product C.
The bottoms is a mixture of components D and B, which are separated in the second column.
The distillate of the second column is mostly B and is recycled back to the first column. Steady-
state economics show a very significant incentive for the single-column system. Total annual
cost of the two-column system is 50% more than that of the single-column process if a 10%
reactant excess is needed to compensate for flow-measurement uncertainties and fresh-feed
composition changes. If a 20% excess is needed, the total annual cost is 100% more. Both systems
are dynamically controllable, but the dynamic response of the two-column process is slower
because of the presence of the recycle and is more complex. Only tray temperature control is
required in the two-column process.

1. Introduction column. If the excess ethanol can be included in the

ETBE bottoms product from the column and blended
The past decade has been a period of intensifying into gasoline, there may be no economic penalty. How-
exploration of the use of reactive distillation to reduce
ever, in other systems, the excess reactant must be
capital and energy costs. Most of the work has concen-
removed from the product and recycled. This involves
trated on steady-state analysis and open-loop dynamic
an additional separation step, so capital investment and
behavior. Only a few papers have appeared that study
energy costs are increased.
the closed-loop control of reactive distillation systems2-6
and are reviewed in a recent paper.1 Al-Arfaj and Luyben1 studied the control of a reactive
Most of the systems studied do not use stoichiometric distillation column that produced two products from a
amounts of reactants. An excess (10-20% above the single reactive column by feeding exactly stoichiometric
stoichiometric amount) of one of the reactants is fed to amounts of the two fresh feed streams. They explored
the column. There may be kinetic reasons for using an a number of control structures, all of which included
excess in some systems. These include suppressing the measurement of the composition of one of the
undesirable side reactions, reducing catalyst require- reactants inside the reactive section of the column. This
ments, and increasing conversion. However, even in the composition is then used to adjust the appropriate fresh
absence of kinetic reasons, the use of an excess of one feed stream. The detection of component inventories is
of the reactants makes the control problem easier a fundamental requirement in all plantwide control
because the component inventories do not have to be structures.7
measured by on-line analyzers. For example, in the In the single-column process, the reactive section of
ETBE system, a 10% excess of ethanol is fed to the the column contains a multicomponent mixture, so the
use of temperature to infer compositions in the reactive
† E-mail: section is usually ineffective. On-line analyzers can be
10.1021/ie000004c CCC: $19.00 © 2000 American Chemical Society
Published on Web 07/20/2000
2936 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

Figure 1. Reactive distillation; “neat” operation.

used, but they have disadvantages in some systems of The reactants A and B are intermediate boiling between
high cost, unreliability, and costly maintenance. This the products. Therefore, the fresh feed stream FOA
is not to say that temperature measurements cannot containing reactant A is fed at the bottom of the reactive
be used at the two ends of the column to infer product zone, and the fresh feed stream FOB containing reactant
purity. In these sections the mixture is closer to being B is fed at the top of the reactive zone. The reactive
binary. For example, a temperature near the base of the section contains NRX. The rectifying section above the
column gives some indication of the purity of the reactive section contains NR trays, and the stripping
bottoms stream. The impurity can be either of the section below the reactive section contains NS trays.
reactants. Thus, we are considering a reactive distillation column
In the two-column process, the recovery column acts in which reaction only occurs in the reactive section.
conceptually as an on-line analyzer: a higher recycle This is typically the situation when the reaction uses a
flow rate means that more of the excess reactant is solid catalyst that is present on the trays in the reactive
leaving the reactive column, so the fresh feed flow rate section. This type of reactive distillation is called
of that reactant must be decreased. An effective control catalytic distillation.
structure for the two-column system is to flow control 2.1. One-Column Process. Figure 1 shows the one-
the sum of the recycle stream and the appropriate fresh column reactive distillation column flowsheet. Specifica-
feed stream, as discussed later in this paper. When the tion products are produced at both ends of the column.
recycle flow rate increases, the fresh feed flow rate is The key feature of the one-column process is the need
decreased to keep the total constant. Thus, the scheme to detect the inventory of at least one of the reactants
changes the fresh feed flow rate to accommodate changes in the reactive zone of the column. Without this mea-
in the component inventory of the reactant. surement, there will always be an imbalance in the
From a steady-state economic perspective, the two amounts of the two reactants fed to the system. Simply
alternative processes (single column and two columns) ratioing the two fresh-feed flow rates is ineffective
have different capital investments and different operat- because of the inherent inaccuracies in flow measure-
ing costs. From a dynamic perspective, the two processes ments. Changes in fresh-feed compositions also change
show different dynamic behavior and require different the component balances. Thus, some type of reactant
control structures. These differences are quantitatively composition measurement internal to the column is
explored in this paper. required in the one-column process.
2.2. Two-Column Process. Figure 2 shows a typical
2. Process Studied flowsheet in which two columns are required. Fresh
reactant A is fed to the first reactive column in stream
The reversible exothermic reaction occurring on the FOA. An excess of reactant B is also fed to this column.
reactive trays is This stream consists of fresh feed FOB and the recycle
stream from the recovery column D2, which contains
A+BSC+D (1) mostly reactant component B with a little impurity of
product component D. The amount of impurity depends
The volatilities are such that the products C and D are on the design and operation of the recovery column and
the lightest and heaviest, respectively, in the system. is a design optimization variable.
For purposes of illustration, the excess component is
RC > RA > RB > RD (2) selected as B. If for some reason reactant A were chosen,
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000 2937

Figure 2. Reactive and recovery columns; excess of reactant B.

Figure 3. Optimization of reactive column.

the flowsheet would be different. The bottoms from the 3. Steady-State Design
reactive column would be product D, and the distillate
The purities of both product streams are assumed to
would be fed to the recovery column in which product be 95 mol % in the numerical case studied. This fixes
C would be taken overhead and excess reactant A would the conversion at 95%. Reactive tray holdup is assumed
be recycled from the bottom. The selection of which to be 1 kmol, as suggested by Al-Arfaj and Luyben,1 for
reactant to keep in excess depends on kinetics, relative fresh feed flow rates of 12.6 mol/s of both A and B. This
volatilities, and heats of vaporization. In either flow- gives reasonable liquid heights of about 10 cm. Table 1
sheet, the excess reactant and one of the products are gives kinetic, physical property, and vapor-liquid equi-
vaporized only once, so there is no inherent energy librium parameter values. Table 2 gives economic
difference between the two flowsheets. parameters and sizing basis used in the designs to
2938 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

Table 1. Physical Properties (cal/mol) Table 3. Optimum Design for Different Reactant
activation energy (cal/mol)
forward 30 000 % excess
backward 40 000
0 5 10 20
specific reaction rate at 366 K
(kmol s-1 kmol-1)) First Column
forward 0.008 VS1 (mol/s) 28.14 35.44 35.55 35.74
backward 0.004 R1 (mol/s) 32.78 35.44 35.55 35.74
heat of reaction (cal/mol) -10 000 D1 (mol/s) 12.60 12.73 12.77 12.84
heat of vaporization (cal/mol) 6944 B1 (mol/s) 12.60 13.10 13.69 14.88
relative volatilities FOB (mol/s) 12.60 12.85 12.95 13.07
RC 8 xD1
RA 4 (mf A) 0.04755 0.039 79 0.036 46 0.031 56
RB 2 (mf B) 0.00246 0.010 20 0.013 53 0.018 43
RD 1 (mf C) 0.94999 0.950 00 0.950 00 0.950 00
vapor pressure constantsa C A B D (mf D) 0.00000 0.000 01 0.000 01 0.000 01
AVP 13.04 12.34 11.45 10.96 xB1
BVP 3862 3862 3862 3862 (mf A) 0.00164 0.000 53 0.000 76 0.001 37
(mf B) 0.04839 0.073 83 0.106 65 0.168 03
a ln Psj) AVP,j - BVP,j /T, where T is K and Psj is the vapor (mf C) 0.00000 0.000 00 0.000 00 0.000 00
pressure of pure component j in bar. (mf D) 0.94999 0.925 64 0.892 58 0.830 61
DC1 (m) 0.780 0.804 0.805 0.808
Table 2. Sizing and Economic Basis AR1 (m2) 41.4 45.3 45.4 45.7
column sizing AC1 (m2) 111.5 118.3 118.7 119.3
diameter F-factor ) 1 (English engineering units) capital (1000$)
height 2-ft tray spacing +20% Hx. 1 238 249 250 251
heat exchanger sizing column 1 116 120 120 121
reboilers U)0.568 (kJ m-2 K-1 h-1) tray 1 3 3 3 3
∆T)34.8 (K) energy (1000$/year) 97.5 106.5 106.9 107.5
condensers U)0.852 (kJ m-2 K-1 h-1) TAC1 (1000$/year) 216.7 230.8 231.4 232.4
∆T)13.9 (K)
energy cost 5.9 $/106 kJ Second Column
VS2 (mol/s) 4.87 9.82 13.34
column shell ($) )17 640D1.066L0.802 D2 (mol/s) 0.38 0.91 2.05
with D and L in meters B2 (mol/s) 12.73 12.78 12.83
column trays ($) ) 229D1.55NT xD2
with D in meters, NT is number of trays (mf A) 0.016 70 0.011 45 0.009 90
heat exchangers ($) ) 7296(area)0.65 (mf B) 0.891 14 0.899 23 0.907 01
with area in m2 (mf C) 0.000 02 0.000 01 0.000 01
(mf D) 0.092 14 0.089 31 0.083 08
evaluate capital investment (column shell, trays, con- (mf A) 0.000 06 0.000 00 0.000 00
denser, and reboiler) and operating cost (energy). (mf B) 0.049 94 0.049 45 0.050 00
Both of the flowsheets were designed to achieve the (mf C) 0.000 00 0.000 00 0.000 00
steady-state economic objective of minimizing total (mf D) 0.950 00 0.950 55 0.950 00
annual cost, which is the sum of energy cost and annual DC2 (m) 0.435 0.618 0.720
AR2 (m2) 7.18 14.5 19.6
capital cost. Annual capital cost is assumed to be capital AC2 (m2) 12.0 24.1 32.8
investment divided by a payback period of 3 years. capital (1000$)
There are a large number of design optimization Hx. 2 62.9 99.2 121
variables in both systems, so some heuristics are used column 2 62.5 90.8 107
to simplify the optimization procedure. trays 2 1.3 2.2 3
energy (1000$/year) 16.9 34.0 46.2
3.1. One-Column Process. With tray holdups speci- TAC2 (1000$/year) 59.1 98.1 123.1
fied, there are four design optimization variables: num-
ber of stripping trays, number of reactive trays, number TAC of process 216.7 289.9 329.5 356.5
of rectifying trays, and operating pressure. Since the
relative volatility between each adjacent component is Table 4. Effect of Trays in Recovery Column
2 (RC ) 8, RA ) 4, RB ) 2, and RD ) 1), it is reasonable
NT2 RR ) R2/D2 VS2 (mol/s) TAC2 (M$/year)
to assume that the number of stripping and rectifying
trays will be the same. This assumption reduces the 10 14 31.23 205
15 7 16.58 135
design optimization variables to three.
20 5.5 13.34 123
Figure 3 gives results of the design optimization. 30 5.2 12.82 133
Pressure is varied from 5 to 15 bar. At low pressures,
temperatures are low, which means reaction rates are varied (NRX ) 4, 6, 8), giving the corresponding number
small. It takes a lot of vapor boilup and reflux to build of stripping and rectifying trays (NS ) NR ) 8, 7, 6). In
up reactant concentrations in the reactive section of the the right column, the total number of trays is fixed at
column to achieve the required conversion. At high 30 and the number of reactive trays is varied (NRX ) 6,
pressures, temperatures are high, which reduces the 8, 10), giving the corresponding number of stripping and
reaction equilibrium constant of the exothermic reac- rectifying trays (NS ) NR ) 12, 11, 10).
tion. It again takes a lot of vapor boilup to strip out The optimum design is a column with 20 trays and 6
reactants from the reaction section and drive the reactive trays, operating at 9 bar. Table 3 gives design
reaction to the right. Thus, there is an optimum pres- parameter values. The fresh feed flow rate FOA is fixed
sure of about 9 bar. at 12.6 mol/s for all cases in Table 3. The total annual
In the left column of Figure 3, the total number of cost of this one-column process is $216,700/year. The
trays is fixed at 20 and the number of reactive trays is portion of this that is energy is $97,500/year.
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000 2939

Figure 4. Composition profiles in 7/6/7 reactive column.

Figure 5. Temperature profiles in 7/6/7 reactive column.

3.2. Two-Column Process. The presence of the condenser (about 330 K with mostly B). The composition
second recovery column adds additional design optimi- of impurity D in the distillate from the recovery column
zation variables. To simplify the optimization, we as- is heuristically fixed at about 10 mol % since case
sume that the reactive column is the same as that in studies showed that the total annual cost of the system
the one-column process and operates at the same is fairly insensitive to this parameter. We do not want
pressure. These appear to be reasonable assumptions to recycle too much product D back to the reactive
because the total annual cost is fairly insensitive to the column because this will drive the reaction in the wrong
number of trays chosen in each section as long as the direction.
number of trays is kept fairly large (well above the The feed composition to the second column is mostly
minimum). D, with about 5-15 mol % B, depending on the excess
The pressure in the recovery column is fixed at 1 bar reactant fed to the first column. Therefore, the ratio of
since this permits the use of cooling water in the the feed tray to the total number of trays in the second
2940 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

Figure 6. Reactive column; changes in FOB.

Figure 7. Reactive column; +20% change in RR.

column is kept constant at 1/3 (counting from the bottom total annual cost of the two-column process is more than
up). Using a 20% excess of reactant B fed to the first twice that of the one-column process. Thus, there
column (1.2FOA ) FOB + D2), the number of trays in the appears to be a significant economic incentive to use
second column is varied. Increasing the number of trays the one-column process.
increases capital cost but decreases energy cost. Table Figure 4 shows how the percent excess reactant
4 shows that the optimum design has 20 trays. affects the composition profiles in the reactive column.
Finally, different percentages of excess reactant were As more B is fed into the column, the A profile in the
studied, using the same column configurations (20 trays middle of the column is shifted down and the B profile
in each column). Results are summarized in Table 3. is shifted up. Notice that some B is lost out the top of
As the percent excess reactant increases, the total the column, along with the A, when the excess of B is
annual cost of the two-column process increases. If a increased (see also Table 3). Figure 5 shows that
20% excess is required to handle flow measurement temperatures in the stripping section go down (more B
uncertainties and fresh feed composition changes, the instead of D) as the percent excess is increased, and
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000 2941

Figure 8. Changes in FOA.

temperatures in the rectifying section go up (more B 4. Distillate flow rate is changed to maintain a
instead of A). constant reflux ratio.
Two 30-s lags are assumed in the temperature loops.
4. Dynamics and Control Ultimate gains and periods are obtained by relay-
feedback testing. The temperature controllers are tuned
Control structures were developed for both processes using the Tyreus-Luyben settings. All levels use pro-
using conventional PI controllers. In both flowsheets, portional-only control.
the following loops are used: 4.1. One-Column Process. The control scheme used
1. Pressure is controlled by condenser heat removal. (see Figure 1) is the same as that called CS5 in Al-Arfaj
2. Base level is controlled by manipulating bottoms and Luyben.1 The temperature on Tray 5 is controlled
flow rate. by manipulating vapor boilup. The composition of
3. Reflux-drum level is controlled by manipulating reactant A on Tray 8 at the bottom of the reactive
reflux flow rate. section is measured, and the fresh feed flow rate of
2942 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

Figure 9. Changes in FOA with +20% RR2.

component A (FOA) is manipulated using a proportional- production rate. If purities higher than 95% are desired
only controller. Fresh feed of component B (FOB) is flow under worst-case conditions, the normal steady-state
controlled and is the production rate handle. The reflux ratio can be increased.
proportional-only composition controller on Tray 8 uses Figure 7 shows the responses for +20% step changes
a gain of one-third the ultimate gain. in reflux ratio. The unmarked curves are for the reflux
Figure 6 gives the responses of the system to step ratio change only. More vapor boilup is required. Distil-
changes of (20% in the flow rate of FOB. Production rate late product purity improves, but bottoms product purity
changes and the control scheme brings in more or less gets worse. The curves labeled “+2T5” are the responses
FOA to satisfy the component balance. Vapor boilup to a change in reflux ratio and a simultaneous change
changes directly with production rate. Remember that in the temperature controller setpoint. Both product
reflux ratio is being held constant. Notice that product purities improve.
purities, which are not controlled, change inversely with These results illustrate that inferential temperature
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000 2943

Figure 10. Temperature setpoint changes.

control can be used in the single-column process to reflux ratios are controlled in both columns. A tray
control product purities. Higher reflux ratios and higher temperature is controlled in each of the columns by
control-tray temperatures must be used in order to keep manipulating the two vapor boilups. In the reactive
products at or above specifications. However, on-line column the distillate is the product stream, so a tem-
composition measurement of conditions inside the col- perature in the rectifying section is chosen. Tray 18 is
umn may be required to satisfy the component balance. in a region where the separation is primarily between
The need for this on-line composition measurement is the lightest component C and component B (see Figure
the principal disadvantage of the one-column process. 4). There are small amounts of A in this region also,
The possible use of inferential methods to estimate but temperature is influenced mostly by the purity of
internal column compositions is an area of future C. In the second recovery column the product stream is
research. the bottoms, but the feed composition is high in D with
4.2. Two-Column Process. Figure 2 gives the con- only a small amount of B. The temperature profile is
trol structure used with the two-column process. The flat throughout most of the lower part of the column
2944 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

Figure 11. Higher purities; changes in FOA.

but shows a significant break at about Tray 15, so this purity of the D product (xB2,D). Decreasing throughput
is selected as the control tray. The setpoint of the total causes a transient drop in the purity of the D product.
B flow controller (the sum of FOB + D2) is ratioed to the An increase in the reflux ratio in the second column, as
FOA fresh feed flow rate. shown in Figure 9, improves the dynamic response.
Figure 8 shows the responses of the process to (20% Reflux ratio is increased 20%, and the same changes in
step changes in FOA, the production rate handle. There FOA are made. Now the purity of the D product is above
are immediate changes in FOB because of the ratio specification.
controller. Temperatures are returned to their setpoints The responses of the system to changes in tempera-
within about 60 min, but product compositions take over ture controller setpoints are shown in Figure 10. De-
3 h to come to their new steady states. Increasing creasing the temperature on Tray 18 in the first column
throughput causes a slight decrease in the purity of the increases the purity of the C product, while increasing
C product (xD1,C) but causes a larger decrease in the the temperature on Tray 15 in the second column
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000 2945

Figure 12. Comparison of flowsheets; changes in throughput.

increases the purity of the D product. One set of curves recovery column has increased from 13.34 to 19.40 mol/s
gives the response to a -2K step change in the Tray 18 (compare Figure 11 with Figure 8). Products purities
temperature controller setpoint. The other set of curves remain above their specification values despite the
gives the response to simultaneous changes of -2K in changes in throughput.
Tray 18 in the first column and +2K in Tray 15 in the These results demonstrate that the two-column pro-
second column. cess is controllable and that product qualities can be
The system was converged to a new steady-state maintained using simple temperature controllers if
condition with the modified control tray temperatures reflux ratios and tray temperature controller setpoints
and 20% higher reflux ratio in the second column. Then, are selected to handle the worst-case conditions. No on-
(20% changes in FOA were made. Results are shown in line composition measurements are required.
Figure 11. The initial product purities are now xD1,C ) A direct comparison of the dynamic responses of the
0.9538 and xB2,D ) 0.9841. The vapor boilup in the two flowsheets is given in Figure 12. The disturbances
2946 Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 39, No. 8, 2000

are (20% step changes in throughput (FOB for the kB ) specific reaction rate of reverse reaction (kmol s-1
single-column system and FOA for the two-column kmol-1)
system). The reflux ratios and tray temperature set- Ln ) liquid flow rate from tray n (kmol/s)
points have been adjusted so that the initial product Mn ) liquid holdup on tray (kmol)
purities are above the specified values (95 mol %). Note NFk ) feed tray in column k (counting from the bottom)
that the initial product purites are slightly different in NR ) number of rectifying trays in reactive column
Figure 12 than those used in Figure 11. NRX ) number of reactive trays in reactive column
Both systems are controllable. The two-column sys- NR ) number of stripping trays in reactive column
tem (FS2) is slower as expected because of the recycle NTk ) total number of trays in column k
stream. For the +20% increase the two-column process P ) total pressure (bar)
exhibits a dynamic dip in the B2 product stream purity Psj ) vapor pressure of component j (bar)
after about 80 min (see the xB2,D plots in Figures 11 and Rk ) reflux flow rate in column k (mol/s)
12). Thus, the dynamics of the two-column process are R ) perfect gas law constant (cal mol-1 K-1)
more complex and slightly inferior to the one-column RC ) rate of production of C (kmol of C/s)
process. Tnk ) temperature on tray n in column k (K)
TAC ) total annual cost (1000$/year)
Conclusion Vnk ) vapor flow rate from tray n in column k (mol/s)
VSk ) vapor boilup in column k (mol/s))
A quantitative comparison of the steady-state eco- xknj ) composition of component j in liquid on tray n in
nomics and the dynamic controllability of two alterna- column k (mole fraction)
tive reactive distillation systems has been presented. yknj ) composition of component j in vapor on tray n in
There is a significant steady-state penalty in using the column k (mole fraction)
two-column process, but the need for an on-line analyzer xBkj ) bottoms composition of component j in column k
is eliminated. The one-column process is more efficient, (mole fraction)
but its operation depends on having a reliable composi- xDkj ) distillate composition of component j in column k
tion measurement. The dynamic performance of the two- (mole fraction)
column process is not as good as the one-column process. Rj ) relative volatility of component j
This work represents the initial phase of an extensive ∆Hv ) heat of vaporization (cal/mol)
investigation of the control of reactive distillation λ ) heat of reaction (cal/mol of C produced)
columns. Our future research will focus on a number of
specific chemical systems of different types. There are Literature Cited
a variety of systems, depending on the chemistry, the
(1) Al-Arfaj, M.; Luyben, W. L. Comparison of Alternative
vapor-liquid equilibrium, the existence of inert com- Control Structures for an Ideal Two-Product Reactive Distillation
ponents, one or two products, etc. A variety of control Column. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2000, in press.
structures will probably be required for effective control (2) Roat, S.; Downs, J. J.; Vogel, E. F.; Doss, J. E. Integration
of the individual systems. of Rigorous Dynamic Modeling and Control System Synthesis for
Distillation Columns. Chemical Process ControlsCPC III; Elsevi-
er: Amsterdam, 1986; pp 99-138.
(3) Bock, H.; Wozny, G.; Gutsche, B. Design and Control of a
aB ) pre-exponential factor for reverse reaction (kmol s-1 Reaction Distillation Column Including the Recovery System.
kmol-1) Chem. Eng. Process. 1997, 36, 101-109.
ACk ) heat-transfer area in condenser of column k (m2) (4) Kumar, A.; Daoutidis, P. Control of an Ethylene Glycol
Reactive Distillation Column. AIChE J. 1999, 45, 51.
aF ) pre-exponential factor for forward reaction (kmol s-1
(5) Vora, N.; Daoutidis, P. Dynamics and Control of an Ethyl
kmol-1) Acetate Reactive Distillation Column. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.,
ARk ) heat-transfer area in reboiler of column k (m2) submitted.
A ) reactant component (6) Sneesby, M. G.; Tade, M. O.; Smith, T. N. Two-Point Control
B ) reactant component of a Reactive Distillation Column for Composition and Conversion.
Bk ) bottoms flow rate in column k (mol/s) J. Process Control 1999, 9, 19-31.
C ) product component (7) Bartlett, D.; Wahnschafft, O. Dynamic Simulation and
D ) product component Control Strategy Evaluation for MTBE Reactive Distillation. Paper
Dk ) distillate flow rate in column k (mol/s) presented at FOCAP, 1999.
DCk ) diameter of column k (m2) (8) Luyben, W. L.; Tyreus, B. D.; Luyben, M. L. Plantwide
Process Control; Mc-Graw Hill: New York, 1999.
EB ) activation energy of reverse reaction (cal/mol)
EF ) activation energy of forward reaction (cal/mol)
Received for review January 6, 2000
FOA ) fresh feed flow rate of reactant A (mol/s)
Revised manuscript received May 5, 2000
FOB ) fresh feed flow rate of reactant B (mol/s) Accepted June 9, 2000
kF ) specific reaction rate of forward reaction (kmol s-1
kmol-1) IE000004C