Mixed succinic acid/acetic acid esterification with ethanol by reactive distillation

Alvaro Orjuela, Aspi Kolah, Carl T. Lira, Dennis J. Miller

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    • 22 Citations

    Abstract

    Esterification of mixtures of succinic acid and acetic acid, commonly produced via fermentation of biomass carbohydrates, with ethanol in a continuous reactive distillation unit has been studied. Experiments were carried out in a 6 m tall, 51 mm diameter pilot-scale stainless steel column with the reactive zone consisting of Katapak-SP11 structured packing containing Amberlyst 70 cation exchange resin as catalyst. Noncatalytic BX structured gauze packing was used in stripping and enrichment sections. Steady-state experiments were performed under different conditions by varying the composition and number of inlet streams, the column pressure, the reboiler power, and the reflux ratio. Conversions approaching 100% for both succinic acid and acetic acid were verified experimentally; succinate esters were obtained as bottom products with purities of diethyl succinate as high as 98%, and ethyl acetate was recovered in the distillate. Computer simulations based upon experimental phase equilibrium data and chemical kinetics were performed in Aspen Plus using RadFrac to reproduce steady-state results. Good agreement between experiment and simulation was observed under diverse operating conditions. The model developed here can be used to design commercial-scale systems for succinic acid production when acetic acid is also formed during the fermentation.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages9209-9220
    Number of pages12
    JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
    Volume50
    Issue number15
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 3 2011

    Profile

    Esterification
    Acetic acid
    Distillation
    Ethanol
    Acids
    Experiments
    Succinic Acid
    Acetic Acid
    Fermentation
    Reboilers
    Carbohydrates
    Reaction kinetics
    Phase equilibria
    Ion exchange
    Esters
    Biomass
    Stainless steel
    Resins
    Positive ions
    Catalysts

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Chemistry(all)
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

    Cite this

    Mixed succinic acid/acetic acid esterification with ethanol by reactive distillation. / Orjuela, Alvaro; Kolah, Aspi; Lira, Carl T.; Miller, Dennis J.

    In: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 50, No. 15, 03.08.2011, p. 9209-9220.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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