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Project title

Preparation of acetone via the dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol (IPA).

Problem Statement

Acetone is typically produced in commercial quantities as a by-product during the formation of


phenol. However, acetone manufactured thus generally contains small amounts of the reactant
benzene and the desired product phenol. In the past, these impurities were deemed to be within
allowable limits. However, recent downward revisions of these limits by the US Food and Drug
Administration has made alternative processes (which do not involve benzene) more attractive.
We wish to design of one such alternative process to produce 45000 tons of 99.9 mol% pure
acetone per year, using isopropyl alcohol as the reactant (via the dehydrogenation of isopropyl
alcohol). Design a simplified chemical reactor for the production of acetone.

2.3, 4.3, 4.3.1 & 8 (1)

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1. Acetone Introduction
 Acetone belongs to ketone family (dimethyl ketone) with scientific name 2-Propanone.

 In 2010, the worldwide production capacity


for acetone was estimated at 6.7 million tons
per year.

 The United States had the highest


production capacity with 1.56 million tons
per year (2010)

 The second largest production is in Taiwan


and followed by China (2010).

 It is a common building block in organic


chemistry. (Structural formula of
acetone)

1.1 Product Description:

Acetone is a clear, colorless, low-boiling, flammable and volatile liquid characterized by rapid
evaporation and a faintly aromatic, sweetish odor. It readily mixes with most organic solvents and
mixes completely with water.

1.2 Product Uses:

Roughly 75% of the available acetone is used to produce other chemicals, and 12% is used as a
solvent. Applications range from surface coatings, films and adhesives to cleaning fluids and
pharmaceutical applications.

Some consumer and commercial applications include

 Lacquers for automotive/furniture finishes.


 Cellulose acetate films and fibers.
 Photographic films and plates casting.
 Coatings and inks.
 Resin thinners and clean-up operations.
 General purpose cements.
 Degreasing and degumming agents.
 Paint, varnish, lacquer strippers.
 Nail polish removers.

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1.3 Physical Hazard Information:

Acetone is a highly flammable material in both the liquid and vapor forms, has a relatively high
vapor pressure, and should be handled only with adequate ventilation and in areas where ignition
sources have been removed (e.g. matches and unprotected light switches). The flash point for
acetone is -4ºF /-20ºC.

1.4 Projected demand for acetone:

There is about 7% increment in the requirement of the acetone worldwide. With this increasing
demand the requirement of the acetone in some upcoming years is:

Year Project Demand


(million Tones)
2010 6.7

2011 7.2

2012 7.9

2013 8.4

2014 9.0

2015 9.63

2016 10.3

2017 11.02

1.5 Capacity:

The capacity of the desired plant to produce acetone is 45000 tons per year. The capacity data of
some previous years is:

Year Quantity (Tones) Year Quantity (Tones)

2004 31000 2008 39000

2005 32000 2009 40000

2006 34000 2010 42000

2007 36000 2011 45000

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2. Methods for the preparation of acetone:
Acetone is prepared by following of the three methods:

2.1 Cumene Process for Phenol and Acetone:

This process converts two relatively cheap starting materials, benzene and propylene, into two
more valuable ones, phenol and acetone. Other reactants required are oxygen from air and small
amounts of a radical initiator. Cumene process is a process of producing phenol (C6H5-OH) and
acetone (CH3-CO-CH3) from benzene (C6H6) and propene (C3H6).

The term stems from isopropyl benzene or cumene (C6H5-CH(CH3)2), the intermediate
material during the process.

2.2 By the direct oxidation of propylene using air:

Acetone can also be produced by the direct oxidation of propylene using air. In this process
the catalysis consists of a solution of copper chloride containing small quantities of palladium
chloride. The reaction takes place under a moderate pressure and at 100°C. It is exothermic
by 61 kcal/mole of acetone produced. The overall reaction is as follows:

2𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻 = 𝐶𝐻2 + 𝑂2 → 2𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝑂 − 𝐶𝐻3

Propylene Oxygen Acetone

2.3 By the dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol:

In this process, an aqueous solution of isopropyl alcohol is fed into the reactor, where the stream
is vaporized and reacted over a solid catalyst. The reactions occurring within the reactor are as
follows:
𝐶𝑢/𝐶
𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻𝑂𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 → 𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝑂 − 𝐶𝐻3 + 𝐻2

Isopropyl alcohol acetone hydrogen

The primary advantage of this process is that the acetone produced is free from trace aromatic
compounds, particularly benzene. For this reason, acetone produced from IPA is favored by the
pharmaceutical industry.

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3. Comparison between processes and selection of process:
Cumene process Propylene oxidation process Isopropyl alcohol
dehydrogenation process
Primary product is phenol Acetone is the primary Acetone is the primary
Acetone is by product product product
Purity of acetone is low Purity is high Purity is high
--- Propylene used should be Aqueous solution of the
99% pure isopropyl alcohol can be used
Conversion to acetone is low Conversion to acetone is low Conversion to acetone is high
Worldwide production Not used worldwide Worldwide production
method method
Unconverted benzene present Not a dangerous compound Not a dangerous compound
along with acetone is present along with acetone present along with acetone
dangerous to some process
To purify acetone large Less separation process Less separation process
number of separation required and production cost required and production cost
processes are required which is low is low
increase the production cost

 Major disadvantage of the production of acetone from cumene process is that some amount
of reactant benzene is present along with desired product which is toxic.
 The disadvantage of production of acetone from propylene oxidation process is that
propylene required for the process should be 99 % pure.

 So our process for the production of acetone is dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol.

4. Introduction of desired process:


4.1 Chemical reaction:

The reaction occurs in vapor phase at a temperature of 350 °C and a pressure of 1.8 – 2 bars in the
presence of catalyst.
𝐶𝑎𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠𝑡
𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻𝑂𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 (𝑣) → 𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝑂 − 𝐶𝐻3 (𝑣) + 𝐻2 (𝑔) ∆𝐻 = +62.9𝐾𝐽/𝑚𝑜𝑙

Isopropyl alcohol Acetone Hydrogen

4.2 Side reactions:

At a temperature lower than 325 °C the following reaction is more expected to occur, and ether
(di-isopropyl ether) is obtained as the product instead of acetone.

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2𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻𝑂𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 (𝑣) → (𝐶𝐻3 )2 𝐶𝐻 − 𝑂 − 𝐶𝐻(𝐶𝐻3 )2 (𝑎𝑞) + 𝐻2 𝑂(𝑙)

Isopropyl alcohol Di-isopropyl ether Water

At the higher temperature (>350 °C), dehydration reaction is expected to be significant and
propylene is formed.

𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻𝑂𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 (𝑣) → 𝐶𝐻2 = 𝐶𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 (𝑣) + 𝐻2 𝑂(𝑣)

Isopropyl alcohol Propylene Water

So the suitable temperature conditions for the reaction is between 325 °C to 350 °C

4.3 Selection of catalyst:

Trial and error experimentation and scientific analysis provide guidance for the selection of the
catalyst. There are some categories of the catalyst which are suitable for some purpose. For
example platinum, copper and related metals elements such as palladium are known to catalyze
hydrocarbon oxidation and dehydrogenation. Since our desired reaction is the dehydrogenation
reaction of hydrocarbon (isopropyl alcohol), so the catalyst used for the process belong to this
category.

One of the factors considered in the selection of catalyst is their turn over frequency (TOF).
4.3.1 Turn over frequency: Turn over frequency of the catalyst is defined as the amount of reactant
converted into product by the catalyst in the unit time. For most relevant industrial applications,
the turnover frequency is in the range of 10−2 - 102 s−1
 The turnover frequency of cu chromites catalyst is 0.026 per second
 The TOF of carbon supported copper is 0.052 per second double than that of the cu
chromites catalyst.
 Platinum (with a turnover frequency of 0.66 per second) metal has the high TOF for this
process but it is expensive.
 So the suitable catalyst for this process is carbon supported copper.

4.4 Reaction kinetics:


The reaction to form acetone from isopropyl alcohol is endothermic with a standard heat of
reaction 62.9 kJ/mol. The reaction is kinetically controlled and occurs in the vapor phase over a
catalyst. The reaction kinetics for this reaction is first order with respect to the concentration of
alcohol and can be estimated from the following equation:

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−𝐸𝑎
−𝑟𝐼𝑃𝐴 = 𝐾𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑝 [ ]𝐶
𝑅𝑇 𝐼𝑃𝐴
With Ea = 72.38 MJ/Kmol and ko = 3.51 × 105 m3 gas/m3 bulk catalyst. s

5. Physical properties of reactants and products:


Property Water Acetone Isopropyl Hydrogen
alcohol

Molecular 18 58 60 2
Weight(kg/kmol)

Freezing Point(°C) 0 -95 -88.5 - 259.2

Boling Point(°C) 100 56.2 82.2 -252.8

Critical 647.3 508.1 508.3 33.2


Temperature (°C)

Critical Pressure 220.5 47 47.6 13


(bar)

Critical Volume 0.056 0.209 0.220 0.065


(m3/min)

Liquid 998 790 786 71


Density(kg/m3)

Heat of 40683 29140 39858 904


Vaporization(J/mol)

Standard Enthalpy -242.0 20.43 -272.60 0


of Formation
at 298K(kJ/kmol)

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Standard Gibbs -228.77 62.76 -173.5 0
Energy of
Formation at 298K
(kJ/kmol)

6. Conversion with temperature change


The conversion of isopropyl alcohol to acetone with temperature is:

Temperature (°C) Conversion %


300 46.3
310 55.4
320 64.6
330 73.4
340 83.5
350 90.0

7. Flow sheet:

7.1 Description of the process:

7.1.1 Feed drum: Feed drum is a kind of tank used for the mixing of the recycle stream and feed
stream. Recycle stream concentration is assumed to be same with the feed stream. Feed stream is

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at room temperature (25 °C) and at a pressure of 2 bars, which is assumed to be constant. The
temperature of recycle stream calculated as 111.50 °C from the energy balance around the
isopropyl alcohol distillation column. The temperature of the leaving stream from the feed drum
calculated as 32.890 °C, by the energy balance around feed drum.

7.1.2 Vaporizer: In the vaporizer molten salt is used for heating. The temperature at the entrance
of the unit is the temperature of the mixture leaving the feed drum, which is 32.890 °C. And the
leaving temperature is the bubble point temperature of the mixture, which is 109.50 °C. The
pressure is 2 bars, and assumed to be constant.
7.1.3 Heater: Since the temperature leaving the vaporizer is not enough for the reaction to carry
out. Due to which a pre-heater is used to maintain the temperature of the feed stream to the reaction
temperature of 350 °C which is the reaction temperature. The unit is working at 2 bars, and
assumed to be constant. The entrance and leaving temperatures are 109.50°C and 350 °C.

7.1.4 Reactor: The reactor is the starting point for the calculations. The temperature values for the
entering and leaving streams is 350 °C, (i-e the process is isothermal). The reaction takes place
inside is endothermic, for this reason the reactor has to be heated. For heating, molten salt is used
from the furnace.

7.1.5 Cooler: The entrance temperature of the cooler is 350 °C and leaving temperature is 94.70
°C. (Temperature is calculated by using energy balance). For cooling purpose water is used. By
using refrigerant better results may be obtained. But since it costs too much, due to which it isn’t
chosen as the cooling material. From the temperature values it’s easily seen that the load is on the
cooler not on the condenser, for this process. But in reality the unit cannot cool that much, and the
load is mostly on the condenser. In this process, the mixture cooled down to its dew point. The
pressure is 1.5 bars, and assumed to be constant.

7.1.6 Condenser: The temperature of the entering stream is the dew point and the leaving
temperature is the bubble point of the mixture. In the condenser water is used as cooling material.

7.1.7 Flash unit: Flash unit is operating isothermally, for this reason temperature is not changed.
It is 81 °C in the entrance and exit. From trial and error method, (V / F) value is found to be 0.2.
The entrance temperature of the unit is the bubble point of the mixture, but if it is its dew point the
(V/F) value should be much higher. In the flash unit the hydrogen is flashed out from the mixture
of isopropyl alcohol, water and acetone. Along with hydrogen some amount of acetone and
isopropyl alcohol is also flashed out. In order to recover these, a scrubber unit is used.

7.1.8 Scrubber: Scrubber operated adiabatically. Water entering the unit is at atmospheric
temperature (i-e 25 °C). The temperature of the off gas, including hydrogen and a very little amount

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of acetone, is between 40-50 °C. The temperature of the leaving stream (containing water, acetone
and isopropyl alcohol) is found to be 28.10 °C from the energy balance around the scrubber.
The streams leaving the scrubber and flash unit are mixed together before entering the acetone
column. The temperature leaving the flash unit and scrubber are 81 °C and 28.10 °C respectively.
The temperature of the mixture is found to be 45.0 °C. This result is obtained by using energy
balance around the mixing point.

7.1.9 Acetone distillation column: The acetone column is used to separate the acetone from the
mixture. The entrance temperature is 45 °C. The leaving temperatures for the top and bottom
product are 102.3 °C and 105 °C, respectively, which are the bubble and dew points. Top product
of the unit includes acetone (99wt% of acetone which is desired). From the bottom isopropyl
alcohol, water and a very little amount of, 0.1 %, acetone is discharged.

7.1.10 Isopropyl alcohol column: In this distillation column, isopropyl alcohol and water are
separated. The entrance temperature is 105 °C. The leaving temperatures of the top and bottom
products are both111.50 °C. The top product is recycled to the feed drum. For this reason it’s
assumed to have the same concentration with the feed stream. The bottom product is pure water
and it’s thrown away. Since its temperature is very high it cannot be recycled to the scrubber. But
if a cooler is used, a recycle can be used.

7.2 Description f the process in the reactor

The reaction occurring in the reactor is in


vapor phase. So the isopropyl alcohol is first
vaporized and then passed from the reactor.
The process is continuous. Since the
dehydrogenation of the isopropyl alcohol is
the endothermic reaction, so heat has o be
supplied to the reactor to maintain the
temperature at 350 °C. For heating purpose
the molten salt is used. The molten salt is
circulated through the small scale furnace where
it is heated and its temperature is raised above
the 350 °C and this heated molten salt is used to
provide the heat to the reaction during the
process. In order to heat the molten salt in the furnace, natural gas is burned in the furnace in the
limited amount and this amount of heat is used to heat the molten salt which in turn provides the
heat to the reaction.

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8. Selection of the type of reactor used in the process:
8.1 Choice of reactor (Batch, CSTR or PFR)

Selection of the reactor type for a given process is subjected to a number of considerations

a) Temperature and pressure of the reaction.

b) Need for removal or addition of the reactants and products.

c) Required pattern of the product delivery.

d) Catalyst use consideration such as requirement for solid catalyst particle and contact with
fluid reactants and products.

e) Relative cost of the reactor.

Some guideline for the reactor selection is:

 For conversion up to 90%, the performance of five or more CSTRs connected in series
approaches to that of PFR.

 Batch reactors are best suited for small scale production, very slow reactions or those
requiring intensive monitoring and control. For large operations CSTR or PER is used

 CSTRs are used for slow liquid phase and slurry reactions. For gas phase reactions PER is
more preferable.

 For endothermic reactions the plug flow reactor is used. For exothermic reaction that has a
large temperature raise during the reaction, recycle reactors are the best choice.

𝐶𝑝 𝐶
 For small ⁄−∆𝐻 mixed flow reactor is used. For large 𝑝⁄−∆𝐻 plug flow reactor is
𝑟 𝑟
best choice.

Since our reaction is the gaseous phase and endothermic reaction so the choice is the plug flow
reactor.

8.2 Choice of the bed (Fixed, fluidized or moving)

Use of the catalyst requires modifications to basic reactor design to fixed bed reactors, moving bed
reactors or fluidized bed reactors.

8.2.1 Fixed bed reactors: These are used in the heterogeneous catalyst reactions and pressure drop
across the bed is small. The design of the fixed bed reactor is very easy as compared to the moving

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bed and fluidized bed reactors. Their size is also compact as compared to other fluidized bed and
moving bed reactors. The energy requirement is also small because no amount of energy is needed
as in fluidized bed and moving bed required to fluidize or move the bed.

8.2.2 Fluidized bed reactors: These are the reactors with a gas phase working fluid that requires
gas flow around and across the fine particles at a rate sufficient to fluidize the particles suspended
within the reactor. Since the catalyst bed has to be fluidized so the energy requirement in these
reactors is large. Pressure drop is also large as compared to the fixed bed reactors because the
pressure is dissipated to fluidize the bed. The volume of the reactor required is also large as
compared to fixed bed reactor, because the void spaces between the fluidized beds occupy the
more volume.

8.2.3 Moving bed reactor: These units are fluid reactors used where the fluid contain solid particles
that can be separated from the suspension fluid. Mostly suitable for liquid phase reactions or where
the slurry travels through the reactor. Moving bed reactors are not preferred for the gas phase
reactions. In these reactors the pressure drop is the greater among all.

From above points we see that the suitable reactor for our process is fixed bed plug flow reactor,
with the reaction occurring in the tubes and the heat exchanging material flowing outside the tubes.

9. Design steps for the reactor:


Standard design steps for the reactor are given below:

a) Collect together all the kinetic and thermodynamic data on the desired reaction and the side
reactions (if present). The kinetic data required for reactor design will normally be obtained
from laboratory or pilot plant studies. Values will be needed for the rate of reaction over a
range of operating conditions: pressure, temperature, and flow-rate and catalyst
concentration.
b) Collect the physical property data required for the design.
c) Identify the predominant rate-controlling mechanism: kinetic, mass or heat transfer.
d) Choose a suitable reactor type, based on experience with similar reactions, or from the
laboratory and pilot plant work.
e) Make an initial selection of the reactor conditions to give the desired conversion and yield.
f) Size the reactor and estimate its performance. Exact analytical solutions of the design
relationships are rarely possible; semi empirical methods based on the analysis of idealized
reactors will normally have to be used.
g) Select suitable materials of construction.
h) Make a preliminary mechanical design for the reactor: the vessel design, heat-transfer
surfaces, internals and general arrangement.
i) Cost the proposed design, capital and operating, and repeat steps 4 to 8, as necessary, to
optimize the design.

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The design of the reactor must satisfy the following requirements:

i. Chemical factors:
The design must provide sufficient residence time for the desired reaction to proceed to the
required degree of conversion.

ii. Mass transfer factors:


For example with heterogeneous reactions the reaction rate may be controlled by the rates of
diffusion of the reacting species; rather than the chemical kinetics.

iii. Heat transfer factors:


Removal or addition of the heat of the reaction.

iv. Safety factors


The confinement of hazardous reactants and products, and the control of the reaction and the
process conditions.

10. Feed to the reactor:


Feed used for the preparation of the acetone is 87% weight solution of the isopropyl alcohol. Here
we are using the 87 weight percent solution of the isopropyl alcohol because commercially
isopropyl alcohol is available in two grades.

i. Anhydrous
ii. 87% by weight.

Due to which we are using the 87 weight percent solution of isopropyl alcohol.

11. Material balance across the reactor:


Start calculation from the reactor.

Basis: 100 kgmol/hr of the isopropyl alcohol are entering in the reactor.

Since the solution used for the preparation of acetone is 87%. So the number of moles of water
entering in the reactor is calculated as:

𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑒
𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡 =
𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛

𝑊𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝐼𝑃𝐴
0.87 =
(𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝐼𝑃𝐴 + 𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟)

100 × 60
0.87 =
100 × 60 + 𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟

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6000
𝑤𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = − 6000 = 896.55 𝐾𝑔/ℎ𝑟
0.87
896.55
𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑛 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 𝑛𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟,𝑖𝑛 = = 49.8 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟
18

𝐼𝑠𝑜𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑦𝑙 𝑎𝑙𝑐𝑜ℎ𝑜𝑙 (𝐼𝑃𝐴)


= 100 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟
𝑊𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 49.8 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟
Acetone
Hydrogen
Water
Isopropyl alcohol

𝐶𝑢/𝐶
𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝐻𝑂𝐻 − 𝐶𝐻3 → 𝐶𝐻3 − 𝐶𝑂 − 𝐶𝐻3 + 𝐻2

At a temperature of 350 °C the conversion is 90%. So

𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑛𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒,5

= 100 × 0.90 = 90 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟

𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑛ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛,5

= 100 × 0.90 = 90 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟

𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑛𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟,5

= 49.8 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟

𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑦𝑙 𝑎𝑙𝑐𝑜ℎ𝑜𝑙 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑛𝐼𝑃𝐴,5

= 100 × 0.10 = 10 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟

𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑛𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑛𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙,5

= 90 + 90 + 49.8 + 10 = 239.8 𝑘𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙/ℎ𝑟

90
𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑦𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒,5 = = 0.375
239.8

Chemical Reactor Design Page 14


90
𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑦ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛,5 = = 0.375
239.8
50
𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑦𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟,5 = = 0.2083
239.8
10
𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑠𝑜𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑦𝑙 𝑎𝑙𝑐𝑜ℎ𝑜𝑙 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑚 5 = 𝑦𝐼𝑃𝐴,5 = = 0.0417
239.8
From material balance

Mass in = Mass out

Mass of water in + Mass of IPA in = Mass of water out + Mass of IPA out +

Mass of acetone out + Mass of hydrogen out

6000 + 896.5 = 5220 + 180 + 600 + 896.5

6896.5 kg/hr = 6896.5 kg/hr

So the material balance is justified.

Summary of material balance:

Component Number of Mass of Number of Mass of component


moles entering component moles leaving leaving from
in reactor entering in reactor from reactor reactor
Acetone - - 90 kgmol/hr 5220 kg/hr
Hydrogen - - 90 kgmol/hr 180 kg/hr
IPA 100 kgmol/hr 6000 kg/hr 10 kgmol/hr 600 kg/hr
Water 49.8 kgmol/hr 896.5 kg/hr 49.8 kgmol/hr 896.5 kg/hr

From the 100 kmol/hr of the isopropyl alcohol entering in the reactor the amount of the acetone
produced per year is 45700 tons, which is very close to the desired amount of the product. So we
are not applying the material balance again, but using these calculations in the process.

So,

By using 100 moles of the isopropyl alcohol per hour the amount of acetone produced is 45700
ton per year.

Chemical Reactor Design Page 15


12. Energy Balance across the reactor:
The reaction occurring in the reactor is isothermal at the temperature of 350 °C

Temperature at inlet = 350 °C

Temperature at outlet =
350 °C

Component Number of moles Number of moles Heat of formation of


entering in reactor leaving from reactor components
Acetone - 90 kgmol/hr -216.685 KJ/gmol
Hydrogen - 90 kgmol/hr 0
IPA 100 kgmol/hr 10 kgmol/hr -272.290 KJ/gmol
Water 49.8 kgmol/hr 49.8 kgmol/hr -241.826 KJ/gmol

12.1 Calculations at the inlet of reactor

Reference temperature = 25 °C

Inlet temperature = 350 °C

Sensible heat at inlet


350

∆𝐻𝑖𝑛, 𝐼𝑃𝐴 = ∫ (32.427 + 1.886 × 10−1 𝑇 + 6.405 × 10−5 𝑇 2 − 9.261 × 10−8 𝑇 3 )𝑑𝑇
25
∆𝐻𝑖𝑛, 𝐼𝑃𝐴 = 20.014 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙

350

∆𝐻𝑖𝑛, 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = ∫ (33.46 + 0.6880 × 10−2 𝑇 + 0.7640 × 10−5 𝑇 2 − 3.593 × 10−9 𝑇 3 )𝑑𝑇
25

∆𝐻𝑖𝑛, 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 10.476 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙

Chemical Reactor Design Page 16


Components Moles In Standard Heat of Sensible ∆𝑯𝒊
In ni heat of phase change heats = 𝒏𝒊 (𝑯𝒐𝒇 + ∆𝑯𝒑.𝒄
formation ∆𝑯𝒑.𝒄 ∆𝑯𝒔 + ∆𝑯𝒔 )
𝑯𝒐𝒇
kgmol KJ/gmol KJ/gmol KJ/gmol KJ
IPA 100 -272.290 39.858 20.014 −2.1241 × 107
Water 49.8 -241.826 40.65 10.476 −9.4968 × 106

𝐸𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑝𝑦 𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑙𝑒𝑡 = ∆𝐻𝑖𝑛 = −2.1241 × 107 − 9.4968 × 106 = −3.073780 × 107 𝐾𝐽

12.2 Calculations at the outlet of reactor

Reference temperature = 25 °C

Outlet temperature = 350 °C

Sensible heat at outlet


350

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝐼𝑃𝐴 = ∫ (32.427 + 1.886 × 10−1 𝑇 + 6.405 × 10−5 𝑇 2 − 9.261 × 10−8 𝑇 3 )𝑑𝑇
25

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝐼𝑃𝐴 = 22.6 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙


350

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = ∫ (33.46 + 0.688 × 10−2 𝑇 + 0.764 × 10−5 𝑇 2 − 3.593 × 10−9 𝑇 3 )𝑑𝑇
25

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 11.388 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙


350

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒 = ∫ (71.96 + 20.1 × 10−2 𝑇 − 12.78 × 10−5 𝑇 2 + 34.76 × 10−9 𝑇 3 )𝑑𝑇
25

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, 𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒 = 33.940 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛
350

= ∫ (28.84 × 10−3 + 0.00765 × 10−5 𝑇 + 0.3288 × 10−8 𝑇 2


25
− 0.8698 × 10−12 𝑇 3 ) 𝑑𝑇

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡, ℎ𝑦𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛 = 9.466 𝐾𝐽/𝑔𝑚𝑜𝑙

Chemical Reactor Design Page 17


Components Moles Out Standard Heat of Sensible ∆𝑯𝒊
Out nout heat of phase change heats = 𝒏𝒊 (𝑯𝒐𝒇 + ∆𝑯𝒑.𝒄
formation ∆𝑯𝒑.𝒄 ∆𝑯𝒔 + ∆𝑯𝒔 )
𝑯𝒐𝒇
kgmol KJ/gmol KJ/gmol KJ/gmol KJ
Acetone 90 -216.69 30.2 33.940 −1.3729 × 107
IPA 10 -272.290 39.858 22.6 −2.0983 × 106
Hydrogen 90 0 - 9.466 8.51940 × 105
Water 49.8 -241.826 40.65 11.388 −9.4514 × 106

𝐸𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑝𝑦 𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑡 = ∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 = −1.3729 × 107 − 2.0983 × 106 + 8.51940 × 105

− 9.4514 × 106

∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 = −2.44267 × 107 𝐾𝐽

𝐻𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 = ∆𝐻𝑟 = ∆𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 − ∆𝐻𝑖𝑛

∆𝐻𝑟 = 6.3111 × 106 𝐾𝐽

Energy balance equation is:

∆𝐸 = −∆[ (𝐻 + 𝑃 + 𝐾) 𝑛] + 𝑄 − 𝑊

Here kinetic and potential energies are neglect able with no work done and no accumulation of
heat.

So the general energy balance equation becomes:

𝑄 = ∆𝐻𝑟

𝑄 = ∆𝐻𝑟 = ∑ ∆𝐻 𝑖 − ∑ ∆𝐻𝑖
𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛

𝑄 = ∆𝐻𝑟 = 6.3111 × 106 𝐾𝐽

This shows that in order to carry out the reaction we have to supply the 6.3111 ×106 KJ of heat on
the basis of 100 kg-mol of isopropyl alcohol entering in the reactor.

12.3 Supply of the heat:

From the energy balance calculations, it is also seen that the reaction is endothermic and we have
to supply the heat to the process. This heat is supplied by the use of the molten salt:

Chemical Reactor Design Page 18


From energy balance

Energy supplied by the molten salt = Energy absorbed by the reacting fluid

𝑄𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑑 = 𝑄𝑎𝑏𝑠𝑜𝑟𝑏𝑒𝑑

𝑄𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑑 = 6.3111 × 106 𝐾𝐽

𝑚𝐶𝑝 (𝑇 − 350) = 6.3111 × 106

The mass flow rate and the temperature are selected and
optimized and that values of the flow rate and temperature
are selected which makes the process most efficient at
minimum cost.

From this relation we see that the inverse relation exist


between the mass flow rate of the salt and the inlet
temperature of the salt. By increasing the inlet
temperature of the salt, mass flow rate has to be decreased
to exchange 6.3111 × 106 KJ of heat. Similarly if we
decrease the inlet temperature of the salt then mass flow
rate has to be increased to exchange this amount of heat.
So a suitable value of both temperature and mass flow rate
has to be selected to make the process optimum.

13. Design of reactor


The reactor used in the process is fixed bed plug flow reactor.

13.1 Performance equation for the reactor:

The performance equation for the fixed bed plug flow reactor is:
𝑋𝐴
𝑊 𝑑𝑋𝑎
= ∫
𝐹𝐴𝑜 −𝑟𝐴
0

Where W is the weight of the catalyst. FAo is the flow rate of the isopropyl alcohol.−𝑟𝐴 is the rate
of the reaction. The weight of the catalyst is found from this performance equation.

Since the rate equation of reaction is

−𝑟𝐼𝑃𝐴 = 𝐾 𝐶𝐼𝑃𝐴
In the form of conversion the rate equation becomes

Chemical Reactor Design Page 19


1 − 𝑋𝐴
−𝑟𝐴 = 𝐾 𝐶𝐴𝑜 ( )
1 +∈𝐴 𝑋𝐴

Where
−𝐸
𝐾 = 𝐾𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑝 [ 𝑅𝑇𝑎 ]

By putting the values of conversion from 0 to 1 in rate equation we obtain the values of−𝑟𝐴 . From
this we find the values of 1/−𝑟𝐴 . Plot the graph between and 1/−𝑟𝐴 , the weight of catalyst can be
calculated.

13.2 Table of and 𝑿𝑨 and −𝒓𝑨


From the rate equation:

𝑋𝐴 −𝑟𝐴 1⁄
−𝑟𝐴

0 0.0061 163.9344

0.1 0.004990909 200.3643

0.2 0.004066667 245.9016

0.3 0.003284615 304.4496

0.4 0.002614286 382.5137

0.5 0.002033333 491.8033

0.6 0.001525 655.7377

0.7 0.001076471 928.9617

0.8 0.000677778 1475.41

0.9 0.000321053 3114.754

Chemical Reactor Design Page 20


13.3 Graph between 𝑿𝑨 and 𝟏⁄−𝒓𝑨

Graph between XA and 1⁄−rA is:

3500

3000

2500

2000
(1/-rA)

1500

1000

500

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Conversion (XA)

From this the area under the curve = 730

So
𝑋𝐴
𝑑𝑋𝐴
∫ = 730
−𝑟𝐴
0

13.4 Weight of catalyst

Weight of catalyst = W = FAo × 730 = 100 × 730 = 73000 kg

13.5 Volume of catalyst

Chemical Reactor Design Page 21


𝐾𝑔
𝐷𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑠 = 𝜌 = 8940
𝑚3
𝑊 73000
𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑒𝑑 = 𝑉𝑐𝑎𝑡 = = = 8.16 𝑚3
𝜌 8940

From the general gas equation the concentration of IPA = 𝐶𝐴𝑜 = 0.025 𝑚𝑜𝑙/𝑚3

13.6 Space time

The time needed to treat the one reactor volume is called the space time.

𝑊𝐶𝐴𝑜 𝑘𝑔. ℎ𝑟
𝜏= = 18.25
𝐹𝐴𝑜 𝑚3

13.7 Catalyst particles size

The following shapes of catalyst are frequently used in applications:

 20-100 µm diameter spheres for fluidized-bed reactors.

 0.3-0.7 mm diameter spheres for fixed-bed reactors.

 0.3-1.3 cm diameter cylinders with a length-to-diameter ratio of 3-4.

 Up to 2.5 cm diameter hollow cylinders or rings.

The void fractions for the spherical particles is between 0.4 to 0.41

The diameter of the copper particles selected (from the literature) = 0.3 mm with the void fractions
(Porosity = φ) of 0.4

13.8 Volume of reactor

𝑉𝑐𝑎𝑡
𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 𝑉𝑟 =
1−𝜑

8.16
𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 𝑉𝑟 = = 13.6 𝑚3
1 − 0.4
13.9 Number of tubes

The preferred lengths of the tubes (according to the TEMA standard) should be is 6ft, 8ft, 12ft,
16ft, 20ft and 24ft (7.32 m).

So Length of tube selected = 20 ft = 7.32 m

To calculate tube diameter

Chemical Reactor Design Page 22


As we know that to prevent deviation from plug flow assumption

𝐷𝑡
⁄𝐷 > 15
𝑝

𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝐷𝑡 = 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐷𝑝 = 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑒

Assuming Diameter of tube = 70 mm

𝐷𝑡
⁄𝐷 = 70⁄3 = 23.3 > 15
𝑝

𝜋 2 𝜋
𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 = 𝐷 𝐿 = (0.07)2 × 7.32 = 0.028 𝑚3
4 4
𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 13.6
𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒𝑠 = = = 485 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒𝑠
𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 0.028

13.10 Height of reactor (Shell)

Allowance of the reactor height is 20% - 50% of the shell height.

For our system assuming the allowance for shell is 20% of the tube height.

So

𝑆ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙 ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 = 7.32 + 2 × 0.20(7.32) = 10.248 𝑚

13.11 Diameter of reactor

Diameter of the shell is calculated by using the Harvey equation. Harvey equation is:

[(𝐷𝑠 − 𝐾1 )2 ] − 𝑃𝑡 (𝐷𝑠 − 𝐾1 )(𝑛𝐾1 + 𝐾4 )


𝑁𝑇 =
1.23 (𝑃𝑡 )2

Where 𝑁𝑇 = 𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒𝑠 = 485

𝐷𝑠 = 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙 = ?

𝑃𝑇 = 𝑃𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 = 1.25 × 𝑇𝑢𝑏𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 = 0.0875

The tubes used in triangular form. For triangular form

𝐾1 = 1.08, 𝐾2 = −0.9, 𝐾3 = 0.69, 𝐾4 = −0.8

𝑛 = 𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑠 = 1

Chemical Reactor Design Page 23


By putting all these values in the Harvey and solving, we have

𝐷𝑠 = 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙 = 84.76 𝑖𝑛𝑐ℎ = 7.06 𝑓𝑡 = 2.15 𝑚

13.12 Verification of the assumptions

All the values assumed can be verified from the length to diameter ratio of the given reactor and
the pressure drop calculations. If the value of length to diameter ratio and pressure drop lies within
the limit of the fixed bed plug flow reactor then the design is accepted, otherwise we have to
perform the calculations again with the different assumptions.

13.12.1 Length to diameter ratio

For the plug flow reactor the length to diameter ratio lies between 3-5.

For the desired reactor

Length = 10.248 m

Diameter = 2.15 m

Length to diameter ratio for desired reactor = 10.248⁄2.15

= 4.766

For the desired reactor the length to diameter ratio is 4.766 lies between the allowable limit. So
the design is satisfactory.

13.12.2 Pressure drop calculation

For the fixed bed reactor to operate economically the pressure drop along the length of the reactor
should be less than the 10% of the operating pressure.

The pressure drop along the length of the packed bed is calculated by using the Ergun equation.
The Ergun equation is:

∆𝑃 150 𝜇 𝐺(1−∈)2 𝐺 2 (1− ∈)


= + 1.75
𝐿 𝐾. 𝑔. 𝜌 𝐷2 ∈3 𝐾. 𝑔. 𝜌 𝐷 ∈3

Where

∆𝑃 = 𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑝 𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = ?

𝐿 = 𝐿𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 10.248 𝑚

𝜇 = 𝑉𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑔𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑑 = 0.000564 𝑙𝑏⁄𝑓𝑡. ℎ𝑟

Chemical Reactor Design Page 24


𝐺 = 𝑀𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑦 = 906.42 𝑙𝑏⁄𝑓𝑡 2 . ℎ𝑟

𝜌 = 𝐹𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 = 0.1215 𝑙𝑏⁄𝑓𝑡 3

𝐷 = 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑒 = 3 𝑚𝑚 = 0.0009146 𝑓𝑡

∈= 𝜑 = 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 = 0.4

𝑔 = 𝐺𝑟𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡

𝐾 = 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟

By putting all the values in the Ergun equation:

∆𝑃 = 0.172 𝑏𝑎𝑟

The operating pressure is 2 bars.

The pressure drop along the length of the reactor is less than the 10% of the operating pressure. So
the design is accepted.

13.12.3 Volume of tubes

In plug flow reactor where the reacting fluid is inside the tubes, the volume of tubes should be
greater than the volume of the reactor. So

In the desired reactor

𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒𝑠 = 485

𝐿𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 = 7.32 𝑚

𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒 = 70 𝑚𝑚

𝑇𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑢𝑏𝑒𝑠 = 14.6 𝑚3

This is greater than the reactor volume. So all the conditions are satisfied and design is accepted.

14.Mechanical design of the reactor


14.1 Thickness of the reactor:

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An estimate of the thickness of the shell is obtained from the diameter of the shell. The wall
thickness of any vessel should not be less than the values given below; the values include a
corrosion allowance of 2 mm:

Vessel Diameter (m) Minimum thickness (mm)

1 5

1-2 7

2-2.5 9

2.5-3 10

3-3.5 12
Since the diameter of
the vessel is 2.15 m,
so from the above table the thickness of the shell is 9mm.

Thickness of the reactor shell = 9mm

14.2 Head selection and design

The ends of a cylindrical vessel are closed by heads of various shapes. The principal types used
are:

1. Flat plates and formed flat heads

2. Hemispherical head

3. Ellipsoidal head

4. Torispherical head

Flat head Torispherical head Ellipsoidal head Hemispherical head

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Applicable to low Used up to the Above 15 bars Used for very high
pressure operating pressure of ellipsoidal head is pressures
15 bar used
Cheapest from all Above 10 bars their Economical within Capital cost is high
types cost should be pressure limits
compared with that of
an equivalent
ellipsoidal head

So the right choice of head is Torispherical head.

Thickness of head is calculated by:

𝑃𝑖 𝑅𝐶 𝐶𝑆
𝑒=
2𝐽𝑓 + 𝑃𝑖 (𝐶𝑠 − 0.2)

Where

𝑒 = 𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙 = ?

1 𝑅𝐶
𝐶𝑆 = (3 + √ )
4 𝑅𝐾

𝑅𝑐 = 𝐶𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑠 = 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙 = 2.15 𝑚

𝑅𝑘 = 𝐾𝑛𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑙𝑒 𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑠 = 0.06 𝑅𝐶

𝐽 = 1 (𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑛𝑜 𝑗𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑)

𝑓 = 𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 = 80 (𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑏𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙)

So by putting the values of all the variables the value of thickness of head is:

𝑒 = 2.5 𝑚𝑚

14.3 Vessel Supports:

The method used to support a vessel will depend on the size, shape, and weight of the vessel; the
design temperature and pressure and the vessel location and arrangement.

Types of supports:

 Saddle support (for horizontal vessels)

 Brackets support (for vertical vessels)

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 Skirt support (for vertical vessels, particularly where
the length is high and effect of wind is prominent)

For the desired reactor “Bracket supports” are used.

Bracket Support

15. Specification Sheet

Equipment Reactor

Type of reactor Multi-tubular fixed bed reactor

Operating temperature 350 °C

Operating pressure 2 bar

Volume of reactor 13.6 m3

Volume of catalyst 8.16 m3

Weight of catalyst 73000 Kg

Number of tubes 485

Shell height 10.248 m

Diameter of shell 2.15 m

Thickness of shell 9 mm

Head type Torispherical head

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Support type Bracket support

16. References
 www.che.cemr.wvu.edu/publications/projects/acetone/acetone-a.PDF
 http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~ceng403/gr1998/acetone.html
 http://www.scribd.com/doc/30134032/Isopropyl-Alcohol
 www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/.../annurev.matsci.35.100303.12073
 www.jbrwww.che.wisc.edu/home/jbraw/chemreacfun/.../slides-masswrxn.p
 Gael D. Ulrich P. T. Vasudevan “A Guide to Chemical Engineering Process Design
and Economics” 2nd ed, Process publishing, 1993
 Plant design and economics for chemical engineers by Timmerhaus 5th edition
 Chemical engineering design by Coulson and Richardson’s volume 6, 4th edition

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