Reactive an intermediate product is desired in the

Reactive distillation incorporates
separation and reaction in a single operation which is a multifunctional unit operation,
attracting considerable interest in research from academics and industry in
past years. Reactive distillation
can be effectively used to improve the selectivity of a reaction especially
when an intermediate product is desired in the series or combination of series
and parallel reactions. The concepts of developed algorithm
in this paper can be advantageously used in reactive distillation for multicomponent
mixtures having multi-azeotropes and inerts provided reaction takes place in
the liquid phase with constant molar flow assumption. In our present work we
have demonstrated a generalized algorithm based on graphical simulation approach
using attainable region concept for series reaction system with multi-azeotropes
and inert component. This work is the continuation of our earlier work on
selectivity engineering with simple and complex RD columns 2,3,4,5,6 & 7
in which we have shown that hybrid RD columns are useful when the reactant is
intermediate boiling or saddle in the residue curve map of the reacting mixture.
We have extended the applicability of the developed algorithm to complex
reaction schemes to investigate the effect of inert on the developed algorithm
for reactive systems having activity coefficient based kinetics with
multi-azeotropes. Although the
inert components do not participate directly in the selectivity factor but
their presence influences the composition profiles in the Reactive distillation
column, thus the column configuration depends on the relative volatility of the
inert as well Amte et.al.2013. For
the same total number of stages, the performance of the column drops with an
increase in the percentage of inert present in the feed. This is because the
composition profiles in the column get adjusted accordingly to the feed to the
reboiler and a higher percentage of inert in the feed means a higher
concentration of inert on the reactive stages at any given conversion. In case of azeotropic
systems, non-ideal vapor-liquid equilibrium and distillation boundaries are
responsible for the contraction of the feasible reactive stage composition
region required for the design of hybrid RD column. Therefore, this is very challenging task to
achieve feasible composition for the current reacting system containing inert
and azeotropes.