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Microwave-assisted continuous reactive distillation process for preparation of ethyl acetate

Hui Ding, Jin-Long Qi, Yu-Jie Gao, Ru-Ru Chen, She-Jiang Liu, and Xu Han

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin 300072, China



Abstract: As a novel process intensification technology, microwave-assisted continuous reaction distillation (MRD) was proposed for the esterification reaction and separation of ethyl acetate (EtOAc). The effects of reflux ratio, mole ratio of acetic acid (HOAc) to ethanol (EtOH), reboiler duty, microwave power on EtOH conversions, EtOAc purity and mass ratio of distillate to feed (D/F) were explored. In comparison with conventional heating, the experimental results revealed that the EtOAc purity in the distillate under microwave conditions (MC) was improved. Computer simulations for conventional and MRD systems were performed using the Aspen Plus non-equilibrium stage model to substantiate the experimental results. The model predictions are in good agreement with the experimental data, revealing the accuracy and reliability of the non-equilibrium model. This new MRD process can be an effective and productive method of ester production.

Keywords: microwave – continuous reaction distillation – ethyl acetate – process intensification – nonequilibrium model

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2016-0069


Chemical Papers 70 (10) 1380–1388 (2016)

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