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Design1
Fromprocessdesign

TeamBATFinalReport

Authors:AnneDisabato,TimHanrahan,BrianMerkle

Instructors:FengqiYou,DavidWegerer,DavidChen

DatePresented:March14,2014

Contents
1ExecutiveSummary
2Introduction
3DesignBasis
4ProjectEconomics
5PlantLocation
6ProcessOverview
6.1ProductionSchedule
6.2DesignConsiderations
6.2.1BatchPurification
6.2.1.1RawMaterials
6.2.1.2ModelingandSizingtheBatchProcess
6.2.1.3BatchProcessAssumptionsandLimitations
6.2.1.4BatchOptimization
6.2.2ContinuousConversiontoPropyleneGlycol
6.2.2.1RawMaterials
6.2.2.2Reactor
6.2.2.2.1ModelingandSizing
6.2.2.2.2Catalyst
6.2.2.3DesignofHeatTransferEquipment
6.2.2.3.1E201:HeatingReactorFeed
6.2.2.3.2E202:CoolingReactorEffluent
6.2.2.4ProductPurification
6.2.2.4.1LiquidGasSeparator
6.2.2.4.2C201DistillationColumn
6.2.2.4.3C202DistillationColumn
6.2.2.4.4C203DistillationColumn
6.2.2.5AssumptionsandLimitations
6.3SensitivityAnalysis
6.4SafetyandEnvironment
7Conclusion
8References
9AppendixI:EquipmentCosts
10AppendixII:EconomicAnalysis
11AppendixIII:ProcessFlowDiagrams
12AppendixIV:MassandEnergyBalances
13AppendixV:EquipmentSpecification
14AppendixVI:BatchProcessGanttChart
15AppendixVII:DesignBasis

ExecutiveSummary
InanefforttobuildanewbioproductfacilityforEvanstonChemical,TeamBATisconsideringproducing99.7%propyleneglycolsolution.TeamBAT
designedasmallscaleprocesstousethecrudeglycerinwastefromanupsteambiodieselfacility.Itwasassumedthatcapitalisavailableat12%.

Researchonanindustriallyavailablepropyleneglycolmanufacturingprocess,patentedbyGTCTechnology,andauniversalprocessforpurifyingcrude
glycerinwereusedguidedthefinaldesign[1],[2].Thefacilityisdividedintotwosubprocesses:pretreatmentofcrudeglycerinandcontinuous
hydrogenolysisofglycerintopropyleneglycol.MicrosoftVisioandAspenHYSYSwereusedtodesigntheprocessflowdiagramandsimulatethe
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production.AllothercalculationswereperformedinMicrosoftExcel.Theplantwasdesignedtooperatesafely,andhaveminimalenvironmentalimpact.

TeamBATsplantproduces18.6tonnesperyearof99.7%propyleneglycol.Economicanalysispredictsanetpresentvalueof$4.2milliononatwenty
yearbasis.Basedonthisanalysis,theproposedpropyleneglycolproductionfacilitywouldbenotbeeconomicallyviablewithoutconsiderablescaleup
andoptimization.

Introduction
Propyleneglycol,C3H8O2,isanoncorrosive,nontoxic,lowvolatilityliquid,usedaschemicalfeedstockfortheproductionofunsaturatedpolyester
resins,andinthefood,beverage,cosmetic,andpharmaceuticalindustry[3].Thefreezingpointofwaterisloweredwhenmixedwithpropyleneglycol,and
thelatteristhereforeusedasanantifreezeanddeicingfluid.Propyleneglycolalsolowersvaporpressure,makingitanidealburstprotectionfluidin
pipesandvessels.Asacleaningproductadditive,propyleneglycolactsasastabilizerforthedirtremovingingredientsandhelpsretaintheirfunctionat
lowtemperatures.

Infoodandbeverageproducts,propyleneglycolismainlyusedasasolventandcarrierofflavorandcolor,orasathickener,clarifier,andstabilizerin
itemssuchasbeer,saladdressing,andbakingmixtures.Itprovideslipstickwithitsconsistenttexture,preservesthehomogenousconsistencyofbody
lotionscontainingbothoilandwater,andensuresthatshampoosfoamnicely.Inthepharmaceuticalsindustry,propyleneglycolisusedtosolubilizeand
provideequaldistributionoftheactiveingredientintheformulation.

ThemarketforpropyleneglycoliscurrentlydominatedbyDowChemicalandBASF,with1.8milliontonnesproducedgloballyin2011[4].Assuminga
priceof$1.16perlb,thecurrentmarketvalueis$3.97billionperyear[3].EvanstonChemicalTechnologyDivisionchallengedtheiremployeestodesigna
bioproductsfacilityinBlueIsland,ILcapableoftakingadvantageofasmallfractionofthismarket.

ThegoalofthisreportistoevaluateTeamBATsdesignofapropyleneglycolplant,todetermineifEvanstonChemicalshouldinvestinindependent
production.Thedesignofourplantwasdrivenbycurrentmanufacturingprocessesfoundinliterature.Thedesignissplitintotwosectionsforsimplicity:
batchpurificationofcrudeglycerinandcontinuoushydrogenolysisofglycerintopropyleneglycol.Thefacility,projecteconomics,andprocessflow
diagramweremodeledonAspen,AspenProcessEconomicAnalyzer,andMicrosoftVisio,respectively.

DesignBasis
AsapartofEvanstonChemicals,TeamBATstudiedanindustrialmethodofproducingpropyleneglycolthroughcontinuoushydrogenolysisasdescribed
intheGTCTechnology2013patent.EvanstonChemicalscorrespondingbiodieselfacilityproduces4,700lbs/weekcrudeglycerinasabyproduct.With
crudeglycerinbeingacommodityinexcess,theoptionofsellingcrudeglycerinwillbeignoredandtheavailable4,700lbs/weekwillbeconsideredfree.
Ourprocesswasdesignedtoincreasebiodieselfacilityprofitsbytakingadvantageoftheunwantedcrudeglycerinbyproduct.

TeamBATalsoconsideredtheDavyProcessTechnologyLimitedpatent,whichusesminimalhydrogenandcarriedoutthereactioninmultiplestages[5].
Aftercarefulprocessandmarketconsiderations,theGTCprocesswaschosenbasedonlowcapitalcosts,possiblereducedoperatingcostsduetomultiple
energyintegrationoptions,highselectivityinaonestepreaction,andrelativelylowtemperatures.

IftheGTCstylefacilityproducesthemaximumpossible18.6tonnesperyearofpropyleneglycol,EvanstonChemicalwillaccountforlessthan0.01%of
themarket.TeamBATdecidednottoproduceandmarketadditionalpropyleneglycolbecauseitisnottheprimaryobjectiveofthelargerbiodieselfacility.

ProjectEconomics
Thetotalfixedcapitalcostofthecurrentdesignis$1.3MM.TheISBLis$800K,andtheOSBLis$300K,withanengineeringandcontingencycostof
$200K.Thiscost,andallotherpricedata,wereadjustedforUSMidwestand2014dollars.Thepropyleneglycolproductrevenueisanetof$73K.Thecost
ofrawmaterialis$109K,assumingcrudeglycerolisfree,andtheannualcostofhydrogen,37wt%HClandNaOHpelletsis$60K,$1K,and$42K,
respectively.Othervariablecapitalcostsinclude$5Kincontinuousprocessutilities,$500Kinsalariesandoverhead,and$10Kinmaintenance.The
catalystcostsapproximately$1,170peryear,andwouldneedtobechangedduringtheannualscheduleddowntime.

Usinga10yearMACRSdepreciationmethod,ataxrateof28%andcapitalavailableat12%,theprojectisnoteconomicallyfeasible,withthe10and20
yearNPVcominginat$3.2MMand$4.2MM,respectively.

SeeAppendixIandIIfortheequipmentcostsandfulleconomicanalysis,respectively.ThemajorityofequipmentcostingwasdoneonASPENEconomic
Evaluation,withsomesmallerequipmentcostsfoundonNorthernTool&Equipment,GlobalIndustrial,andPKGEquipment[6],[7],[8].Utilitycostsfor
waterandsteamwereestimatedfromtheCityofChicagowebsiteandDailyFinance.com,respectively,[9],[10].

PlantLocation
Thepropyleneglycolplantwillbelocatedat13636WesternAve,BlueIsland,Illinois60406.The10,000squarefootsiteincludes:atruckloadingdock,
potentialrailaccess,andconnectionstoelectric,water,andnaturalgas.Theleasecostis$1,400permonth.Duetootheroperationsatthesite,includingthe
biodieselprocess,only2,000squarefeetwillbeallocatedtothePGprocess.TheeffectiveleasecostwillbespatiallyproratedforthePGprocessat
$280/month.

ProcessOverview
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Inordertoobtainpurifiedglycerin,crudeglycerinfromtheupstreambiodieselisbatchpurifiedinanetworkofvessels.Afterinitialmicrofiltration,the
glycerinissenttoavesselthatundergoesfivestages(AE)ofpurification.InStageA,itissenttoavacuumevaporationunit,wheremethanolandwater
areremoved.InStageB,impuritiesareconvertedtomoreeasilyseparatedsubstancesviasaponification.Aftercooling,StageCconsistsofacidificationto
furtherconvertimpurities.InstageD,thebatchisneutralized.InstageE,thebatchundergoesvacuumevaporationforasecondtimetoremovewater.
Subsequentstagesincludeasettlingtanktoseparateliquidphasesandextractionviapetroleumetheranddenaturedethanol.

IntheGTCTechnologyprocess,afeedmixturecomprisingofpurifiedglycerin,hydrogen,andmethanolispreheatedinaheatexchanger,andfedtoa
fixedbedreactor.Thereactoreffluentissenttoaheatexchanger,wherethestreamiscooled.Itisthenseparatedintoavaporphasestreamandaliquid
phasestream.Thevaporphasestreamisreleasedintotheatmosphere.Theliquidphasestreamisdistilledinthreedistillationcolumnstoobtainpurified
propyleneglycol.

Thefollowingsectionsexplaintheaboveprocessindetail,outliningtheresultsfromHYSYSsimulationsandtherationalefordesignchoices.See
AppendixIIIforProcessFlowDiagramofboththebatchpurificationandcontinuousprocess.

ProductionSchedule
Calculationsassume8,424hr/yroperation,implyingapproximately351daysofcontinuousoperation,leavingadequatetimeformaintenance.Theprimary
maintenanceconsiderationremainsthecatalystregeneration,whichmustoccureveryyear.Thisinvolvesemptyingthereactortubesandrefillingwithnew
catalyst.Asecondmaintenanceconsiderationiscleaningthebatchequipment.Thisissueisnotpressingasthebatchsubprocessisnotrunatfullcapacity.
Theshutdown,cleanup,andrefillingshouldnotrequiremorethanaweek,ensuringcompliancewiththeproductionschedule.

DesignConsiderations
BatchPurification

Thebatchpurificationofcrudeglycerinisessentialinachievingreactorefficiencyandfinalproductpurity.Inordertoaccomplishthis,ethanolmustbe
addedtoremovesalts.Ethanolhasanadverseaffectonglycerolsolubilitysaltshavelowersolubilityinanethanolglycerolsolutionthanthe
correspondingsoleglycerolsolution.Ethanolallowsasignificantamountofsalttoprecipitateoutthesolution,whichcanthenberemovedby
microfiltration.Thepresenceofsaltscanbedetrimentaltocatalystactivity,makingthisprocessimportantinfollowingtheproductionschedule.

RawMaterials

Therawmaterialsusedinthebatchpurificationprocessincludesodiumhydroxidepellets(balancewatertomake12.5Mbasicsolution),37%hydrochloric
acid,water,petroleumether,anddenaturedethanol.Thesodiumhydroxidepelletsandhydrochloricacidarelaboratorygrade.Petroleumetherand
denaturedethanolarecompletelyrecycledinthebatchprocess.Duetothisasanimperfectassumption,thetwosolventswillneedtobereplenishedtwice
peryear.

ModelingandSizingtheBatchProcess

MassbalancesonthebatchsubprocessarebasedasimilaranalysisbyXiaoetal.(2013)publishedinIndustrial&EngineeringChemistryResearch[2].In
thepaper,thecompositionsofvarioussampleswereanalyzedatdifferentstagesofthelaboratoryscaleprocedure.Thosecompositionswereassumedtobe
identicalourscaledupbatchprocess,andmassbalancesweresubsequentlyconductedaroundeachstage.FattyAcidMethylEsters(FAMEs)and
GlycerideswereconvertedintosoapinthesaponificationstageandFreeFattyAcids(FFAs)intheacidificationstage.Theconversionwasdeterminedby
analyzingthesamplecompositionsbeforeandaftertherespectivestages.Themassandcompositionsofimportantstreamsinvolvedinthebatchsub
processcanbefoundinAppendixIV.

Theamountofsodiumhydroxideandhydrochloricacidaddedinthesaponification,acidification,andneutralizationstageswascalculatedfromasaltmass
balance.TheproceduresareatpH=11,pH=1,andpH=7,respectively.Ratherthancalculatetheamountofacidandbaserequiredtoreachthese
conditions,theamountofsaltineachsamplereportedbyXiaoetal.wasusedtobackcalculatehowmuchacidandbasewasneeded.Thismethodology
makesthemassbalancecompleteandcomprehensive,butslightlyinaccurate.

TheGlycolPackageinAspenHYSYSwasusedtoevaluatevariousbatchprocessstreamdensities.Denaturedethanol,alongwithamixtureofethanol,
methanol,andotheradditives,weremodeledaspureethanol.Petroleumether,asolutionofhydrocarbons,wasmodeledasndecane.FAMEs,FFAs,and
GlyceridesweremodeledasMethylOleate,OleicAcid,andTriolein,respectively.Whiletheseassumptionsaffectthereportedsolutiondensity,theresults
haverelativelylowdependenceoncompositional.ThebatchvesselvolumeswerefoundusingphysicalpropertiesfromHYSYSandafactorforvapor
spaceof1.5,orstoragecapacityof10dayswhereapplicable,seeAppendixVforequipmentspecification

BatchProcessAssumptionsandLimitations

Alongwiththeassumptionsstatedintheprevioussections,thefollowingsimplificationsweremadeinordertomodelthebatchprocess.First,adynamic
modelwasnotconstructedtosimulatethesaponificationandacidificationreactions.Instead,weassumedthelaboratoryprocedureconductedbyXiaoetal.
couldbescaledup[2].Inadditionweassumeda30minutecooldowntimebecausethisinformationwasnotreported.Liquidpumpswereassumedto
transferliquidfromtanktotankin5minutes.AGanttchartfortheproposedtimescheduleofthebatchsubprocesscanbeseenbelow,seeAppendixVI.

Second,completerecoveryofglycerolwasassumedthroughouttheprocess.Theamountofglycerollosttovacuumevaporationcanbeconsidered
negligible,butlossesassociatedwithliquidliquidextractionandseparationcanbesignificant.Thisassumptionwillhavetheeffectofoverestimatingthe
amountofglycerolpurified,althoughitshouldhaveanegligibleeffectonthecompositionsstatedinAppendixIV.Third,weassumedperfectremovalof

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water,methanol,ethanol,andpetroleumether.Fourth,thefirstfilterwasassumedtohavenoeffectontheoverallmassbalance.Theamountofsalts
removedinthesecondfilter,inactuality,wouldbethesumofsaltandashremovedbyFilters101and102.

Boththemassrelatedassumptionsanddynamicassumptionslistedabovearejustifiablewhenthebatchprocessistreatedasasingleentity,directlyscaled
upfromthelaboratoryprocedure.Itisasubstantiallimitation,however,whenattemptingtomakebeneficialchangesnecessarytooptimizetheprocess.
Onesuchexampleistheextremeconditionsassociatedwiththesaponificationandacidificationstages.Theconditionsarenotonlydangerous,butproduce
adifficultandpotentiallyexpensivematerialdecisionregardingvesselV101.Theshortsolutionwastolineastainlesssteelvesselwithanacidicandbasic
resistantlinerthatcanwithstandelevatedtemperatures.AquotefromthemanufacturerPKGEquipmentInc.andcanbefoundinAppendixI.Reducing
theseextremeconditionscouldbebeneficialtothecapitalcost,operatingcost,andsafetyconditions.

BatchOptimization

Thereexistnumerousopportunitiesforoptimizationinthebatchpurificationprocess.Overthecourseofourdesign,thebatchPFDwasoptimizedas
follows:theneutralizationstagewastemporallymovedfrompostextraction(viapetroleumether)todirectlyafteracidification.Thisdecisionisbeneficial
becauseitreducescapitalcostsandimprovesthesafetyconditionsoftheextremelyacidicconditionsfoundintheacidificationstagetoVesselV101.

ThecurrentbatchPFDsuggestsnineliquidpumpsareneeded.Inactuality,thenumberofpumpscanbeconsolidated,astheyareneverrunning
simultaneously.Thiswillreducethecapitalcost.Similarrationalecanbeusedtoconsolidatethenumberofcondensersandvacuumpumps.

AsseeninthecurrentGanttchart,thebatchprocesstakesasubstantialamountoftimetoconduct.Thefirststepinscalingupthebatchprocesswouldbeto
conductlaboratoryexperimentstoaccuratelymeasuretheeffectsofpHonsaponificationandacidification.Likewise,experimentswouldbeconductedto
analyzethenecessarytimeateachstageofthebatchprocess.Consequently,adynamic,semiempiricalmodelcouldbecreatedtoanalyzeandoptimizethe
process.

Otheroptimizationopportunitiesinclude:1.adaptingthebatchprocesstoaccommodateanupstream,unusedglycerolstream,2.analyzingthetradeoff
betweenbatchvesselsbeingoperatedundervacuumandheatingthemtoelevatedtemperaturesand3.usinglessexpensive,industrialgradereagents.

ContinuousConversiontoPropyleneGlycol

Asmentionedintheprocessoverview,thecontinuousconversionismodeledfromtheGTCTechnologypatent.Purifiedglycerinisheated,senttoareactor
whereitisconvertedtopropyleneglycol,cooled,andthenpurified.SeeTable1forasummaryoftheequipment.Inthefollowingsections,thecontinuous
processisexplainedindetail.

Table1:EquipmentSummaryforContinuousSubprocess

RawMaterials

Therawmaterialinputstothesecondpartoftheprocess,theconversionofpurifiedglyceroltopropyleneglycol,includepurifiedglycerolandhydrogen
gas.Thepurifiedglycerolisproducedfromthebatchprocessdescribedearlier,andispumpedinfromalargestoragetank.Thehydrogengas,suppliedata
pressureof30atmospheres,isfedinexcessatarateof1kg/hourandissuppliedbyPraxairat$7/kg[10].

Reactor

ModelingandSizing

ThereactorusedtoconvertglyceroltopropyleneglycolismodeledfromtheGTCTechnologypatent[1].Thereactorisafixedbedreactorpackedwith
catalyst,andoperatesat190Cand30atmospheres.ThereactorwasmodeledinHYSYSasagenericconversionreactorusingconversionandselectivity
datafromthearticleKineticsofHydrogenolysisofGlyceroltoPropyleneGlycoloverCuZnOAl2O3CatalystsbyZhouetal[12].Thereactorisableto

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achieve81.5%conversionofglycerolwithselectivitytowardspropyleneglycolof93%.

UsingaLHSVof4.6hr1andareactantfeedofjustunder5kg/hour,TeamBATdeterminedthesizeofthereactortobe0.39metersindiameterwitha
tangentlengthof1.17meters,resultinginatotalvolumeof0.141cubicmeters.Thereactorwasdesignedasastainlesssteel304pressurevesselaccording
toASMEstandards,givingashellthicknessof13millimeters.

Catalyst

TeamBATdecidedtouseaCuZnOAl2O3catalystwithaCu:ZnO:Al2O3molarratioof1:1:0.5.Thiscatalystwaschosenbecauseofitsrelativelyhigh
conversionofglycerol(81.5%)andextremelyhighselectivitytowardspropyleneglycol(93%)[12].Thecatalystwasmodeledasacollectionofspherical
particles,eachwithadiameterof0.34millimeters.Usingavoidfractioninthereactorof0.5,thetotalamountofcatalystneededis467kg.

DesignofHeatTransferEquipment

Therearetwomainpiecesofheattransferequipmentinthecontinuouspartoftheprocess:aheatexchangertoheatthereactorfeedtothedesiredoperating
conditionsaswellasaheatexchangertocoolthereactoreffluentbeforetheseparationequipment.

E201:HeatingReactorFeed

Thefirstheatexchangerinthecontinuousreactionprocessusingsuperheatedsteamat600psiand300Ctoheatthemixtureofglycerolandhydrogento
thedesiredreactoroperatingtemperatureof190C.TheheatexchangerwasdesignedfollowingTEMArecommendationsasanAELtypeexchangerwith
thereactantfeedbeingheatedonthetubesidebythehighpressuresteamontheshellside.

Thisunitrequiresaheattransferareaof0.018squaremetersandconsistsof157tubes(stainlesssteel304)witha12mminnerdiameter,17mmouter
diameterandalengthof0.5meters.Thesetubesarearrangedinasquarepitchresultinginashelldiameterof0.4meters.Theshellisalsoconstructedfrom
stainlesssteel304andhasawallthicknessof20mm.

E202:CoolingReactorEffluent

Thesecondheatexchangerinthecontinuousprocessusescoolingwaterat10Ctocoolthereactoreffluentfrom222Ctoroomtemperature.Areducein
temperatureincreasesseparationefficiency.ThisheatexchangerisalsoanAELtypeexchangerwiththecoolingwateronthetubesideandreactoreffluent
ontheshellside.

Thisunitrequiresaheattransferareaof0.043squaremetersandconsistsof215stainlesssteel304tubeswithan8mminnerdiameter,13mmouter
diameterandalengthof1.5meters.Theshell,alsoconstructedfromstainlesssteel304,hasadiameterof0.31metersandhasawallthicknessof11mm.

ProductPurification

Aftertheglycerolisconvertedtopropyleneglycolinthefixedbedreactor,thedesiredproductmustbeseparatedfromtheothercomponents,including
water,unreactedhydrogenandglycerol,aswellasunwantedsideproducts,suchasmethanol,acetolandethyleneglycol.Thisisachievedusingfour
differentpiecesofequipment:aliquidgasseparatorandthreedistillationcolumnsinseries.

LiquidGasSeparator

Afterthereactoreffluentiscooled,itissenttothefirstoffourseparationunits.Thefirstunittakesthemultiphasestreamandseparatesthevapor
components(unreactedhydrogenandothertracecomponents)fromtheliquidproducts.Theliquidgasseparatorwasdesignedasapressurevesselthatcan
hold30minutesworthofproduct.Theunithasadiameterof1.35metersandaheightof4.05meters,givingthevesselatotalvolumeofjustover5.8cubic
meters.Thevesselisconstructedfromstainlesssteel304andhasawallthicknessof4.7mm.Thevaporstreamisventedtotheatmosphereandtheliquid
productsaresenttoaseriesofthreedistillationcolumns.

C201DistillationColumn

Thefirstofthreedistillationcolumnsseparateswaterandalcohols(methanolandacetol)fromtheunreactedglycerol,ethyleneglycol,andthepropylene
glycolproduct.Thecolumnoperatesatatmosphericpressureandhas6sievetrays,withthefeedenteringonthesecondtrayfromthetop.Thecolumnhasa
heightof1.8metersandadiameterof0.11meters,andtheenergyconsumedandgeneratedfromthereboilerandcondenserare1.63kWand1.14kW
respectively.

C202DistillationColumn

Theseconddistillationcolumnseparatestheunreactedglycerol,whichcanbesentbacktothebatchprocesstobepurified,fromtheunreactedethylene
glycolandpropyleneglycolproducts,whichcomeoffthetopofthecolumnandarecondensedandpumpedtothelastcolumn.Thecolumnoperatesat
atmosphericpressureandhas10sievetrays,withthefeedenteringonthefifthtrayfromthetop.Thecolumnhasaheightof3metersandadiameterof5.6
centimeters,andtheenergyconsumedandgeneratedfromthereboilerandcondenserare1.29kWand1.25kW,respectively.

C203DistillationColumn

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Thelastdistillationcolumnseparatesthepropyleneglycolproductfromtheethyleneglycol.Thecolumnoperatesatatmosphericpressureandhas16sieve
trays.Thefeedtothethirdcolumncomesfromtheoverheadofthesecondcolumn,andentersonthesixthtrayfromthetop.Thecolumnhasaheightof4.8
metersandadiameterof0.19meters,andtheenergyconsumedandgeneratedfromthereboilerandcondenserareeach3.73kW.Thepropyleneglycolis
takenoffthetopofthetowerandhasapurityof99.7wt%.

AssumptionsandLimitations

Anumberofassumptionsweremadeindesigningthecontinuouspartoftheprocess.Inthereactor,itwasassumedthattheconversionandselectivity
presentedbyZhouetalareapplicablefortheslightlyscaledupprocessdiscussedabove.Itwasalsoassumedthattheproductionofsideproductsother
thanacetolandethyleneglycolisnegligible,thoughinrealitythatmaynotbetrue.Itwasalsoassumedthatthedesignofeachpieceofequipmentis
applicabledespitetheextremelysmallscaleoftheproposedprocess.

SensitivityAnalysis
Asensitivityanalysisisnecessarytoanalyzetheviabilityofanyprocess.Whileourprocessisnoteconomicallyfeasible,asensitivityanalysiswas
conductedtoexaminetheeffectsofuncertainparameters.Ifthesalepriceofpropyleneglycolincreasesby20%,thechangetoourNPVisnegligiblethe
processisstillunfeasible.Similarly,iftheISBLcapitalcostsorOSBLcapitalcostaredecreasedby20%,theprocessisstillunabletomakeaprofitinthe
first20years.Ifthemainproductrevenueincreasesto$900K,theNPVwillbepositiveafter7years.

SafetyandEnvironment
ChemicalplantsafetyisoneoftheprimaryrequirementsinprocessdesignatEvanstonChemical.Fromthedeliveryofrawmaterialstofinalproduct
transport,theemployeesofEvanstonChemicalhavetherighttoasafeworkplace.AllOSHAstandardsforexposure,personalprotectiveequipment,and
operationcontrolwillbestrictlyfollowed.Pressuresarekeptlowandshouldnotconstituteamajorhazardmoreover,vesselwallthicknessexceedsASME
BPVcoderequirementsformaximumsafety.Allprocessequipmentwillbefittedwithpressurereliefvalvesforsafety.Thehighesttemperatureis275C,
foundintheseconddistillationcolumnbottoms.Intheeventofasuddentemperatureincrease,thevalvescanbeshutoff.

Neitherglycerinnorpropyleneglycolconstitutesamajorthreattosafety.Asadditivestoconsumerproducts,thechemicalsareonlyslightlydangerousin
largequantities[13].Eyecontactmayresultintemporaryirritationcornealinjuryisunlikely.Prolongedskincontactisunlikelytocauseirritation.
Inhalationofvaporsappearstopresentnosignificanthazardinordinaryapplications,andthisisreflectedinthefactthatOSHAhasnotfounditnecessary
toestablishapermissibleexposurelevelintheworkplace.

Thelifecycleofpropyleneglycolproductionisrelativelyenvironmentallyfriendly.Thefundamentalrawmaterial,glycerin,isobtainedfromaupstream
facilitywhichconvertslocalrestaurantvegetableoilintobiodiesel.Theenvironmentalcostoftransportationisminimized.

Theproduct,propyleneglycol,isconsideredtobepracticallynontoxictofishonanacutebasis(LC50>100mg/L)andpracticallynontoxictoaquatic
invertebrates[13].Additionally,theproductsofPGdegradationarelesstoxicthantheproductitself.

Conclusion
TeamBATsproposedplantwillproduce18.6tonnes/yrof99.7wt%propyleneglycol.Economicanalysisoftheproposedplant,onatwentyyearbasis,
yieldsanetpresentvalue(NPV)of$4.2MM.Hence,thecurrentprojectisnoteconomicallyfeasible.PleaseseeaboveDesignConsiderationsectionson
optimizationforpossiblewaystoimproveprofitability.Whileoptimizationcanimproveefficiencyandreducecosts,scalinguptheprocessis
recommended.

References
1.DingZ,ChiuJ,JinWGTCTechnologyUSLLC.ProcessforConvertingGlycerinintoPropyleneGlycol.USPatent8,394,999B2.Mar.12,2013
2.XiaoY,XiaoG,VarmaA.AUniversalProcedureforCrudeGlycerolPurificationfromDifferentFeedstocksinBiodieselProduction:Experimental
andSimulationStudy.Industrial&EngineeringChemistryResearch201352(39),1429114296
3.Cefic.PropyleneGlcyol.(http://www.propyleneglycol.com/)Accessed1/21/2014
4.DowChemical.PropyleneGlycol.(http://www.dow.com/propyleneglycol/about/)Accessed1/22/2014
5.WilliamsM,TuckMDavyProcessTechnologyLimited,assignee.ProcessfortheHydrogenationofGlyceroltoPropyleneGlycol.USpatent
8,227,646Br.Jul.24,2012
6.Vessels,NorthernTool&Equipment
7.Tanks,GlobalIndustries
8.PKGEquipmentInc.
9.CityofChicago,WaterManagement.(http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/water/provdrs/cust_serv/svcs/know_my_water_sewerrates.html)
10.DailyFinance,(http://www.dailyfinance.com/)
11.Praxair,(http://www.praxair.com/)
12.ZhouZ.,LiX.,ZengT.,HongW.,ChengZ.andYuanW.KineticsofHydrogenolysisofGlyceroltoPropyleneGlycoloverCuZnOAl2O3
Catalysts.ChineseJournalofChemicalEngineering.2010.18(3)384390.
13.DowChemical.PropyleneGlycolMSDS(http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_01ad/0901b803801ade92.pdf?
filepath=productsafety/pdfs/noreg/23300490.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc)
14.PropyleneGlycolMSDS.https://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927239

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AppendixI:EquipmentCosts

AppendixII:EconomicAnalysis

AppendixIII:ProcessFlowDiagrams
BatchSubprocessPFD:

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ContinuousSubprocessPFD:

AppendixIV:MassandEnergyBalances
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ForMassandEnergyBalancesforboththebatchandcontinuoussubprocesses,pleaserefertothehardcopyofthefinalreport.

AppendixV:EquipmentSpecification

AppendixVI:BatchProcessGanttChart

AppendixVII:DesignBasis

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