Rethinking the design of a 2-methoxy-2-methyl-heptane process by unraveling the true thermodynamics and kinetics

Iulian Patraşcu, Costin Sorin Bîldea, Anton Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Among other fuel additives - such as MTBE, ETBE, or TAME - 2-methoxy-2-methyl heptane (MMH) can increase the fuel octane number and reduce the CO emission. MMH can be obtained through the exothermal etherification of 2-methyl-1-heptene and methanol. Lately, many researchers have developed more and more efficient processes considering the kinetics corresponding to an endothermal reaction. However, in this work we demonstrate that the reaction is actually quite exothermal, and this has strong impact on the designed process.
Also, the vapor-liquid equilibrium data predicted by UNIQUAC model for 2-methoxy-2-methyl heptane and 2-methyl-2-heptanol mixture reveals that product purification is more difficult, and it requires more energy to recover and obtain MMH with high purity.
Considering these aspects, the 54.87 ktpy process developed in this paper is more realistic and energy intensive (1.82 kWh/kg MMH), with a TAC of 5.3 M$/year. The controllability of the process is proven for ±20% changes of 2-methoxy-2-methyl-heptane production rate.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Engineering Research & Design
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2021

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