Novel method for mapping the applicability of reactive distillation

Rahma Muthia, Arjan G.T. Reijneveld, Aloijsius G.J van der Ham, Antoon J.B ten Kate, Gerrald Bargeman, Sascha R.A. Kersten, Anton Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reactive distillation (RD) is a great process intensification concept applicable to equilibrium limited reaction systems, but how can anyone decide quickly if RD is indeed worth applying? To answer this question, this study proposes a mapping method for checking the applicability of reactive distillation (RD). The initial development is for one of the most relevant subset of quaternary reversible reactions (A + B ⇄ C + D, with boiling points Tb,C < Tb,A < Tb,B < Tb,D), by using only basic chemical (equilibrium and kinetics) and physical (relative volatilities) parameters. Generic cases, assuming ideal thermodynamics and constant parameters, are used to obtain a set of RD applicability graphs that provide broad insights into the RD operation. In addition, the new mapping method provides reasonable estimates of the RD applicability to real (non-ideal) chemical systems based on the available pre-defined maps (which are actually applicability graphs of the generic ideal cases). This new approach leads to a straightforward estimation of the applicability of RD to real systems, prior to performing any rigorous process simulations and without any clear-cut decision making (as used in previous studies).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-275
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Reactive distillation
  • applicability evaluation
  • process intensification
  • Conceptual design


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