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Raw Material Storage Chlorine, oxygen and ethylene are fed as gases into the respective reactors. These feed gases are stored in spherical tanks under pressure. Chlorine is stored in T01, Ethylene in T02 and Oxygen in T03. It is from these storage tanks that t he feed gases are pumped to the oxychlorination and direct chlorination reactor vessels.
Direct Chlorination Reactor Section The direct chlorination reaction takes place in a liquid phase reactor (R01). Chlorine and ethylene are mixed with liquid EDC at 1200C and 15psig pressure1. This reaction is an exothermic reaction and the heat of reaction is -180KJ/mol. The heat of reaction is removed by circulating cooling water around an external heat exchanger (HE-01). In some commercial processes liquid EDC is used as a cooling medium instead of cooling water. The reaction is catalysed by ferric chloride. The reaction is normally run with excess ethylene to make sure most of the chlorine reacts to form EDC and to maintain the vent gases fuel rich for incineration1. Conversion of Chlorine is usually 100%, and EDC selectivity is always above 99% 1. After the reactor (R01) the product stream goes through a condenser (HE-04). There it is cooled down most of the EDC is cooled down to its liquid state. The Condenser uses cooling water to cool down the product stream. After the Condenser the stream goes into the Knock out Drum (S01), where the liquid EDC is separated from the unreacted excess ethylene and other gaseous by-products. The gas stream goes to the incineration unit (E01) where it is burnt to generate steam for the use in the distillation columns. The liquid stream containing mainly of EDC is pumped (P03) to the EDC storage tank (T04).
Oxychlorination Reactor Section
EDC Purification Section The EDC still contains chlorinated by-products at this stage therefore it has to go through a purification process. The top product of this column is EDC of over 99% purity. In this column water is separated from EDC. At the column. . Cooling water is used as cooling medium and it is converted to high pressure steam. The liquid stream containing water and EDC is sent to a dehydrator column (C01). Ethylene. The reactor is a fixed bed type reactor utilising cupric chloride as catalyst with potassium chloride additive. The gaseous stream goes on to a scrubbing Vessel (V01) where unreacted HCl and chlorine are absorbed out of the flue gases before they are sent to an incineration Unit. Hydrogen Chloride and Oxygen are reacted together at 2900C and 90psig pressure. The reaction is exothermic and the heat of reaction is removed by an internal heat exchanger (HE-02). the waste water stream goes on to a waste treatment unit which is not shown in the process flow diagram. The EDC joins the EDC recycle stream from the VCM purification section to get combined with the EDC from the direct chlorination section in the EDC storage tank (T04).In the oxychlorination reactor (R02). The bottom Product from the column (C02) is pumped (by P05) into a second distillation column referred to as the Heavy Ends Column (C03). From the EDC storage tank (T04). tars and water make up most of these impurities that are removed as a bottom product of the column (C03). The condenser uses cooling water which is converted to steam for use in distillation columns. Impurities in EDC inhibit the pyrolysis reaction and cause fouling therefore the EDC must be above 99% purity before it can be cracked1. Highly chlorinated hydrocarbons. At the Heavy ends Column. all lower boiling point impurities are separated as an overhead product. EDC is pumped (by P04) to the Light Ends column (C02). From the condenser the product stream is pumped (by P01) to a knock out drum (S02) where the liquid EDC and water are separated from the unreacted HCl and other gaseous by-products. The product stream passes through a condenser (HE-03) where it is cooled and all of the EDC and water is converted from gas to Liquid. high boiling point impurities are separated from the EDC.
. The bottom product of C04 contains unreacted liquid EDC and liquid VCM. The pressure at the top of the HCl column (C04) is 135psig and a top temperature of -310C1. EDC is broken down into VCM and HCl. The bottom product of the HCl recovery column (C04) is pumped (by P08) to another distillation column. Therefore the product stream from the pyrolysis reactor contains almost equimolar proportion of EDC. where it is cooled to about 25-500C1. where all the Hydrogen chloride is recovered and recycled back to the oxychlorination reactor. it goes on to the VCM purification section. In the pyrolysis reactor (PYRO-REAC). The HCl is recovered as a top product because it is a gas at the stream temperature (20-500C). VCM Purification Section The product stream from the quench unit above enters the HCl recovery Column (C04). In the reaction only about 50-60% of the EDC fed to the pyrolysis reactor is reacted. After the stream is condensed. The reaction takes place at temperatures around 5000C and 200psig1 pressure. The product stream is passed through a quenching heat exchanger (HE05). all the unreacted EDC is separated and recycled (pumped by P07) to the EDC purification section. The VCM product has a purity of above 99%. EDC Pyrolysis/Cracking The pyrolysis reactor is a gas-fired furnace and the flue gases released from the combustion of the fuel gas (normally natural gas) are released directly into the atmosphere.The pure EDC is pumped (by P06) to the cracking furnace also referred to in the PFD as the Pyrolysis reactor (PYRO-REAC). At the VCM recovery column (C05). The Heat exchanger utilises cooling water to cool down the product stream and the cooling water is converted to high pressure steam for use in distillation columns. where it combined with crude EDC from the Oxychlorination and direct chlorination sections. The EDC is the bottom product and the VCM is the top product. VCM and HCl1. The column (C05) has a top pressure of around 65psig1. referred to as the VCM recovery Column (CO5).
edu/CAPE/simsci_vcm.ucsd.The VCM is condensed at the top of the column and sent to the VCM storage tanks (T05 and T06). It is from these storage tanks that the VCM is pumped to tankers and transported to the customer.Anonymous. (1992). Vinyl Chloride monomer (VCM Plant). Available online from: http://chemelab.pdf. References: 1. (last accessed: 4/12/11) . NB: All distillation columns specified in this process are tray columns.