Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 264–270 | Cite as

Improvement of separation process of synthesizing MIBK by the isopropanol one-step method

  • Zhigang Lei
  • Jianwei Li
  • Chengyue Li
  • Biaohua Chen


The separation process of synthesizing MIBK (methyl isobutyl ketone) by an isopropanol one-step method, in which the multi-component mixture contains AC (acetone), IPA (isopropanol), water, MIBK, MIBC (methyl isobutyl carbinol), DIBK (di-isobutyl ketone), etc., was studied. As a high-purity of MIBK over 99.5 wt% is required in industry, the development of an effective separation method is urgent. In this work, first, by means of VLE (vapor-liquid equilibrium) experiments and PROII simulation, the possible azeotropes formed in the investigated system were tested. Then, the separation process was simulated with the result that the calculated and designed values were in good agreement, which indicated that the calculated results were reliable. On this basis, the original separation process was improved. In the original separation process, the yield of MIBK for a concentration of MIBK over 99.5 wt% was small, only 32.5%. In the improved separation process (step two), two columns (one extractive distillation column and the other solvent recovery column) were added and some simplification was made so as to recycle MIBK. In this case the yield of MIBK was 91.7%. Moreover, about 27.6% water stream per kilogram MIBK product is saved.

Key words

Isopropanol MIBK One-step Method Process Improvement Distillation 


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Copyright information

© Korean Institute of Chemical Engineering 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhigang Lei
    • 1
  • Jianwei Li
    • 1
  • Chengyue Li
    • 1
  • Biaohua Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina

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