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Experimental evaluation of simulated moving bed reactor for transesterification reaction synthesis of glycol ether ester

Authors
  • Tie, Shan1
  • Sreedhar, Balamurali2
  • Donaldson, Megan2
  • Frank, Timothy2
  • Schultz, Alfred K.2
  • Bommarius, Andreas S.1
  • Kawajiri, Yoshiaki1, 3
  • 1 Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Atlanta, GA, USA , Atlanta (United States)
  • 2 The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI, USA , Midland (United States)
  • 3 Nagoya University, Department of Materials Process Engineering, Furo-cho, Chikusa, Nagoya, 464-8603, Japan , Nagoya (Japan)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Adsorption
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Mar 11, 2019
Volume
25
Issue
4
Pages
795–807
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10450-019-00048-y
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This work presents an experimental evaluation of multi-column simulated moving bed reactor (SMBR) technology for transesterification of glycol ether ester for the first time. An industrially relevant solvent, propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (DOWANOL™ PMA) was produced using a laboratory-scale SMBR unit packed with a base catalyst. The catalyst selected in this study, a Type-II anion exchange resin, was found to be resistant to deactivation through our experimental runs. To design the SMBR process, single-column experiments were first carried out to develop a mathematical model and estimate model parameters. Using this model, the optimal SMBR process was found by a multi-objective optimization technique to maximize the productivity while achieving high conversions. The optimal operating conditions found in this manner were implemented in the lab-scale SMB unit, which achieved conversions ranging from 47.3 to 57.7%. Furthermore, using the experimental data obtained from these experimental runs, the prediction of the model was improved via Tikhonov regularization, which was successfully validated in an additional run at an even higher conversion of 74.6%.

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