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Toluene Methylation to Para-xylene

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    Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

    Senior Design Reports (CBE)University of Pennsylvania Year 2009

    TOLUENE METHYLATION TO

    PARA-XYLENE

    Thomas Dursch Ramy KhalilUniversity of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

    Annika Khine Francisca MutahiUniversity of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania

    This paper is posted at ScholarlyCommons.http://repository.upenn.edu/cbe sdr/7

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    TOLUENE METHYLATION

    TO PARA-XYLENESenior Design Project

    Thomas Dursch

    Ramy Khalil

    Annika Khine

    Francisca Mutahi

    Submitted to

    Professor Leonard Fabiano

    Mr. Bruce Vrana

    April 14, 2009

    Department of Chemical Engineering

    School of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of Pennsylvania

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    April 14, 2009

    Department of Chemical EngineeringSchool of Engineering and Applied SciencesUniversity of Pennsylvania220 S. 34 th StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19104

    Dear Professor Fabiano and Mr. Vrana,

    This report describes the design of a full-scale plant that produces para- xylene from methylation

    of toluene using new reaction technologies outlined in U.S. Patent 7,321,072 B2. In this highly

    exothermic reaction, toluene converts to xylene when mixed with methanol under high temperatures. The

    new technology introduced in this patent allows both for 100% converstion of methanol and 99.9%

    selectivity of para -xylene isomer formation. This technology is a significant improvement over current

    methods of para- xylene formation that involve far lower selectivity towards para -xylene formation and

    demand complex, downstream separation technologies such as crystallization and membrane separation.

    It is less capital intensive, more environmentally sound, more energy efficient, and results in less

    equipment maintenance.

    This design converts 400MM pounds per year of toluene purchased at $2.50 per gallon from an

    adjacent production facility. Likewise, methanol is available on-site for $1.00 per gallon. This plant

    currently produces 447,132,011 pounds of product 99.9% pure in para- xylene. This can currently be sold

    at $0.60 per pound. The plant requires a total capital investment of $63,170,900 and has a net present

    value of $60,468,500. This design provides an investors rate of return of 28.8%. Our design

    team strongly recommends that this design be considered for implementation following further

    investigation into the scale-up of the reactor technology.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas Dursch Ramy Khalil Annika Khine Francisca Mutahi

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ABSTRACT ......................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ....... 1

    INTRODUCTION .............................................. ........................... ........................... ........................... .. 2

    Para- xylene Overview and Market Analysis ........................................ ........................... .................... 2

    Industrial Value of Para -Xylene During PET Formation .......................... ........................... ................ 4

    Existing Methods for Production .......................... ........................... ........................... ......................... 4

    A New Method for Production .................................. ........................... ........................... .................... 6

    Effect of Catalyst Contact Time on Para -xylene Selectivity ........................ ........................... ............ 7

    PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAMS AND MATERIAL BALANCES ..................... ........................... ...... 9

    Process Overview ...................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ......................... 9

    Process Flow Diagrams ................................................. ........................... ........................... .............. 11

    Process Section 100: Methylation reaction .. ........................... ........................... .......................... ...... 18Introduction .......................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ....................... 18Reactor Feed ........................ ........................... ........................... ........................... ....................... 19Reactor Temperature Control .................. .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 19Reactor Geometry .......................... .......................... ........................... ........................... .............. 20Additional Reactor Considerations ....................... ........................... ........................... .................. 21

    Process Section 200: Heat Exchanger Network............................................. ........................... .......... 23 Introduction .......................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ....................... 23Heat Exchanger Network............................. ........................... ........................... ........................... 23Economic Justification of Heat Integration ............... ........................... ........................... .............. 24

    Process Section 300: Separation and Purification..................................... ........................... ............... 26 Decanter ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... 26

    Introduction ................................ .......................... ........................... ........................... .............. 26Operating Conditions and Geometry ....................... ........................... ........................... ............. 26

    Distillation Column .............................................. ........................... ........................... .................. 29Introduction ................................ .......................... ........................... ........................... .............. 29Design ...................................................................................................................................... 29

    UNIT DESCRIPTIONS ......................... .......................... ........................... ........................... .............. 31

    UNIT SPECIFICATIONS ........................ ........................... ........................... ........................... .......... 38

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    UTILITY REQUIREMENTS ................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 63

    Introduction ............................................ ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 63

    Utilities: ....................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 63Cooling Water ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... .................. 63Electricity .................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 64Steam ........................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 64Coal ............................................................................................................................................. 65Waste Water Treatment ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 65

    PROCESS CONTROL .......................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ............. 66

    Introduction ............................................ ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 66

    Mechanism ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... 66

    CATALYST REGENERATION ........................ ........................... ........................... ........................... 68

    Introduction ............................................ ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 68

    Decoking .......................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 68

    START UP ........................... ........................... .......................... ........................... ........................... ..... 70

    DESIGN ALTERNATIVES ........................................ ........................... ........................... .................. 71

    SAFETY .......................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ........................... ......... 73

    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS ........................ ........................... ........................... ......... 74

    MATERIALS OF C

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