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Journal of Flow Chemistry

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 43–57 | Cite as

A new reactor concept for the combined production of ammonia and methyl ethyl ketone

  • Roozbeh Ghani
  • Davood IranshahiEmail author
Full Paper

Abstract

In this study, simultaneous production of ammonia and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in a multi tubular thermally coupled reactor is presented. Based on this new configuration, the released heat from the ammonia synthesis reaction as an extremely exothermic reaction in the inner tube is employed to supply the required heat for the endothermic 2-butanol dehydrogenation reaction in the outer tube. MEK and hydrogen are produced by the dehydrogenation reaction of 2-butanol and the produced hydrogen is used to supply 30.72% of the required hydrogen for the ammonia synthesis. Furthermore, in spite of the conventional ammonia synthesis and 2-butanol dehydrogenation plants, interstage coolers and furnace are not required for the proposed configuration. Therefore, operational costs, energy consumption and furnace emissions like CO, CO2 and NOx are significantly decreased. It should be also stressed that the multi-objective optimization is employed to enhance the performance of the reactor with the aid of maximizing the summation of the production rate and yield for each side of the reactor. Besides, the effect of the main process parameters variation on the reactor performance has been studied.

Keywords

Energy consumption minimization Ammonia synthesis process Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) production 2-butanol dehydrogenation Thermally coupled reactor Multi-objective optimization 

Nomenclature

ai

Activity of component i

\( {A}_c^{Exo} \)

Cross-section area of inner tube, m2

\( {A}_c^{Endo} \)

Cross-section area of outer tube, m2

Ai

Inside area of inner tube, m2

Ao

Outside area of inner tube, m2

\( {C}_{P_{N_2}} \),\( {C}_{P_{H_2}} \),\( {C}_{P_{NH_3}} \)

Specific heat capacity of nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia, kJ kmol−1 K−1

\( {C}_{P_j}^0 \)

Heat capacity of component j in endothermic side, J kmol−1 K−1

CP

Specific heat of the gas at constant pressure, J mol−1

\( {C}_{P_{mix}}^{Endo} \)

Specific heat of gas mixture in endothermic side, kJ kmol−1 K−1

\( {C}_{P_{mix}}^{Exo} \)

Specific heat of gas mixture in exothermic side, kJ kmol−1 K−1

C

Rate constant

dp

Particle diameter, m

Do

Tube outside diameter, m

Di

Tube inside diameter, m

fi

Fugacity of component i, atm

Fi

Molar flow rate of component i in exothermic side, kmol hr.−1

Fj

Molar flow rate of component j in endothermic side, kmol hr.−1

Fii

Fugacity coefficient of component i

h

Heat transfer coefficient between fluid phase and reactor wall, W m−2 K−1

ΔHExo

Heat of reaction in exothermic side, kJ kmol−1

ΔHEndo

Heat of reaction in endothermic side, kJ kmol−1

Ka

Equilibrium constant of reaction

KA

Adsorption equilibrium constant for 2-butanol

K

Chemical equilibrium constant

KAK

Rate constant

Kw

Thermal conductivity of reactor wall, W m−1 K−1

Kf

Fluid thermal conductivity, W m−1 K−1

L

Reactor length, m

m

Number of components in endothermic side

mExo

Mass flow rate of the feed in exothermic side, kg hr.−1

mEndo

Mass flow rate of the feed in endothermic side, kg hr.−1

MExo

Mean molecular weight in the flow in exothermic side, kg kmol−1

MEndo

Mean molecular weight in the flow in endothermic side, kg kmol−1

n

Number of components in exothermic side

P

Total pressure, atm

\( {P}_{A_i} \)

Partial pressure of 2-butanol at interface, atm

\( {P}_{K_i} \)

Partial pressure of MEK at interface, atm

\( {P}_{H_i} \)

Partial pressure of hydrogen at interface, atm

RA

2-butanol dehydrogenation reaction rate, lbmol ft.−2 h−1

\( {R}_{NH_3} \)

Ammonia synthesis reaction rate, kmol m−3 h−1

Rg

Gas constant, J mol−1 K−1

ri

Inside tube radius, m

TExo

Temperature of exothermic reaction side, K

TEndo

Temperature of endothermic reaction side, K

uExo

Axial velocity in exothermic side, m s−1

uEndo

Axial velocity in endothermic side, m s−1

ug

Velocity of gas phase, m s−1

U

Overall heat transfer coefficient, W m−2 K−1

X

Conversion of nitrogen

yi

Mole fraction of component i

Z

Axial reactor coordinate, m

Superscript

Exo, Endo

Exothermic and endothermic reaction sides

Subscript

i

Numerator for component in exothermic side

j

Numerator for component in endothermic side

Greek letters

μ

Fluid viscosity, pa sec

ρ

Density, kg m−3

φs

Sphericity

η

Effectiveness factor

νi

Stoichiometric coefficient of component i in exothermic side

νj

Stoichiometric coefficient of component j in endothermic side

Notes

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringAmirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)TehranIran

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