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Design Project

Ethylene Oxide
Review 1
Amarjit Jena (13BCH00)
Bhaghesh Godhwani (13BCH00)
Sudiv Gulla (13BCH0027)

where the practice is to build up the complex Molecular structures needed from relatively simple building units. synthetic fibers. . solvents. which forms the keystone of products as diverse as detergents.Introduction With the advancement of modern technology. it is becoming increasingly feasible economically to synthesize and produce on a large scale The development of new technologies also plays a role in the petrochemical Industry. and pharmaceutical bases. Such a building unit is the compound ethylene oxide. paints.

forming a ring. and anaesthetic gas The chemical reactivity that is responsible for many of ethylene oxide's hazards has also made it a key industrial chemical. Because of its special molecular structure. opening its ring and thus easily polymerizing.)  At room temperature it is a flammable.. . carcinogenic. irritating.Properties of Ethylene Oxide  It is a cyclic ether. Ethylene oxide is isomeric with acetaldehyde and with vinyl alcohol. e. ethylene oxide easily participates in addition reactions.g. (A cyclic ether consists of an alkane with an oxygen atom bonded to two carbon atoms of the alkane. mutagenic.

Market Survey (2013) The market for Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Glycol (EG) is being driven by strong demand in the downstream applications and end-user markets especially in Polyester fibers and PET resin Ethylene glycol based polyester fibres are broadly used in the textile industry. an important raw material Producers will increase their prices and pass the burden of rising feedstock costs to the buyers that could hamper the market. . With the crude oil prices moving upwards the price trends are expected to reflect in the ethylene prices.

The business focus of EO producers is in one of three areas: Ethylene Glycol Producers. . glycol ethers. EO Derivatives Producers. These companies are in the business of manufacturing ethylene glycols and purified EO. EObased surface-active agents etc Full-Portfolio Producers/Sellers of Glycols and EO Derivatives. Some large petrochemical companies are in the business of manufacturing high-purity EO (HPEO) and ethylene oxide derivatives. which may include any or all of the following: ethanolamines. These petrochemical producers are in the business of manufacturing ethylene glycol. for internal production of EO derivatives and often for other customers of purified EO. they are low-cost suppliers.

growing at a CAGR of 7.3 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $37.8 million by 2016.865.0 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $39. Polyester fibers are the largest application for ethylene glycol.3% of the overall market in 2010 .620. Asia Pacific is the largest consumer and producer. accounting for 56. accounting for 65.Trends in consumption The global market for ethylene oxide in terms of revenue was estimated to be worth $27.524.3 million in 2016.0% from 2011 to 2016.7% from 2011 to 2016.4% of the overall market in 2010. growing at a CAGR of 6. (as predicted in 2013) The global market for ethylene glycol in terms of revenue was estimated to be worth $23.430.

. The process involves the reaction of ethylene with hypochlorous acid followed by dehydrochlorination of the chlorohydrin with lime to produce ethylene oxide and calcium chloride.Methods of production From Ethylene chlorohydrin: The chlorohydrin process was first introduced during World War I inGermany by Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik (BASF).

Most of the ethylene oxide plants currently in operation are based on the original process chemistry discovered by Lefort in 1931. The AIR-based process and the OXYGEN based process. . In the first. as the name implies. The process can be divided into two categories depending on the source of the oxidizing agent. utilizes the catalytic oxidation of ethylene with oxygen over a silver based catalyst to yield ethylene oxide.Direct oxidation process: The direct oxidation technology. In the second high purity oxygen stream (>98 mol%) from an air separation unit is employed as the source of the oxidizing agent. air or air enriched with oxygen is fed directly to the system.

water.Chemistry of the process C2H4+ ½ O2 =>C2H4O The only significant by-products are carbon dioxide and water. carbon dioxide. Energy recovery and integration is a prime concern in process design. small quantities of acetaldehyde and traces of formaldehyde are also produced A large amount of heat is released by the ethylene oxide reactions. the ethylene conversion is typically between 20-30% for ethylene oxide. . In addition to ethylene oxide. which are formed either by complete combustion of ethylene: C2H4 + 3O2 => 2CO2 + 2H2O Or by further oxidation of ethylene oxide: C2H4O+2½ O2 => 2CO2+ 2H2O To prevent the further oxidation of ethylene oxide.

Selection of process The main disadvantage of the direct oxidation process is the lower yield or selectivity of ethylene oxide per unit of feed ethylene consumed. Thus the chosen process for the design thesis is the air based oxidation method. Consequently the operating conditions must be carefully controlled to maximize selectivity. . The main inefficiency in the process results from the loss of 20-25 mol% of the ethylene to carbon dioxide and water.


. The effluent gases from the reactor are washed with water under pressure in an absorber. At a pressure of 4-5 atmosphere and temperature of 270-300C. 25% of the ethylene is converted to ethylene oxide. about 50 % of ethylene is converted. Generally an anti catalyst such as ethylene dichloride (about 2% based on the weight of ethylene) is added to the ethylene feed to suppress the formation of carbon dioxide.Process Description Ethylene (95-98% purity) and oxygen (air with 95 mole % of oxygen) are mixed in a ratio of 1:10 by weight and passed over a catalyst consisting of silver oxide deposited on an inert carrier such as corundum. when a contact time of 1 sec is used.

The water. per pass conversion. 20-50 mm inside diameter. The overhead product from the desorber is sent to a steam stripper to remove the dissolved gases.ethylene oxide mixture with small amount of ethylene and other impurities are fed to a fractionating column to purify the ethylene oxide to 99 mole%. reactor design and normally a large number of other process variables.The ethylene is absorbed and sent to a desorber to desorb the water. which is used for the absorption. . The reactor is of shell and tube type comprised of several thousand mild steel or stainless steel tubes. This water is recycled. The yield (moles of product formed per moles of ethylene consumed in the process) is normally 70-80% depending on catalyst type.

SAFETY MEASURES Explosion and Fire control  Pure ethylene oxide vapor or ethylene oxide vapor mixed with air or inert gases can decompose explosively. special insulating material with a low specific surface and closed cells (glass foam) is used. ethylene oxide may be hydrolyzed to ethylene glycol and subsequently polymerize with evolution of heat. The organic material gets collected in the insulation and forms hot spots. These can trigger an explosive decomposition of ethylene oxide vapour. A gap between the outer wall of the apparatus and the insulation prevents accumulation of organic material in the insulation and allows monitoring of organic compounds in the gap. .  In the presence of water. Blanketing agents with higher thermal conductivities suppress explosions more effectively.  Explosive decomposition of ethylene oxide in closed containers can be suppressed by blanketing with an inert gas until the total pressure of the non explosive range is reached.  To avoid these risks.

boots.PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENTS   To avoid skin contact with ethylene oxide.   Leather articles must be discarded at once when contaminated with ethylene oxide. . and their duration of use is restricted according to the ethylene oxide concentration. As ethylene oxide permeates easily through most materials. suits. aprons) have to be used. Other clothing contaminated with ethylene oxide must be taken off immediately and discarded or decontaminated because the severe and slowly healing damage to the skin appears only after a induction period of many hours.   Gas masks are permitted only up to certain exposure limits. goggles as well as protective clothing (gloves.