Operation, validation and model comparison for a reactive dividing wall column
The reactive dividing wall column (RDWC) is a highly integrated apparatus that combines the features of reactive distillation and dividing wall column technology. The high degree of integration results in complex interactions between vapour-liquid equilibrium, chemical reaction and component distribution. This leads to a considerably more complex column design and operation than for conventional distillation columns. Therefore, precise simulation models are a prerequisite for a successful implementation and operation of this technology. A newly developed rate-based (NEQ) RDWC model for packed columns is presented and a detailed investigation on the influence of separation modeling was carried out. Comprehensive experimental RDWC data are presented for the reference system of the butyl acetate transesterification with hexanol and employed for a model validation. The validation results for the NEQ model are compared to the well-known equilibrium stage (EQ) approach. The rate-based model is shown to predict the inner flows and concentrations of the column with higher precision. Furthermore, an analysis of the validation results enhances the understanding of the interactions between separation, chemical reaction and reactant conversion.
Non-equilibrium stage model
Reactive dividing wall column