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CHAPTER 2

PROCESS MODELING AND FLOWSHEETING

2.1

Introduction

The process overview illustrates the urea plant process design. This diagram
is a layout of all units operation, which are needed in proper sequence to convert the
raw material to desired product, ethylene glycol.

The plant is to produce a total amount of 100,000 metric ton ethylene glycol
per annum. The operating day for this plant is 335 days per year and 24 hours a day.
The purity of the urea in the market is 99.8% for glycol industrial grades and 98%
for glycol antifreeze grade.

In this ethylene glycol plant design, several main synthesis and other process
will involve there are :-

Mixing section

Ethylene Glycol synthesis

Ethylene Glycol purification

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2.2 Preliminary Process Synthesis Step

2.2.1 Eliminate Differences in Molecular Type

There are several ethylene glycol synthesis methods but those synthesis
methods have different raw material and yield different composition as well as the
product composition.

These are the synthesis methods that have been discussed in Chapter 1:

Pathway 1 = Hydrolysis of Ethylene Oxide


Pathway 2 = OMEGA Process

As been discussed in Chapter 1, eventhough, the gross profit for pathway 2 is


mostly desirable compared to Pathway 1, we will be choosing the synthesis 1 that is
hydrolysis of ethylene Oxide. It is because Pathway 1 is profitable, widely use and
the conversion of reaction in Pathway 2 is higher compared to the conversion of
reaction in Pathway 1 at optimum condition of temperature and pressure.

2.2.2 Distribute the Chemicals


Reaction path:
CH2CH2O + H2O HOCH2CH2O
ethylene glycol
2CH2CH2O + H2O HOCH2CH2OCH2CH2OH
diethylene glycol

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3CH2CH2O + H2O HOCH2CH2OCH2CH2OCH2CH2O


triethylene glycol

Conversion of reactant (Ethylene Oxide) =90%

From the stoichiometry of the reaction, to produce 1 mole of ethylene glycol,


we need 1 mole of ethylene oxide and 1 mole of water. In this reaction, due to
conversion of toluene is only 90%, the excess ethylene oxide is present in the
product stream. However, for this reaction to successfully performed, there is
ethylene oxide water ratio which is 1:12. Hence, there will be several side reaction
which is ethylene glycol will react with water to form diethylene glycol and the
diethylene glycol will react with water to form triethylene glycol.

In order to produce 203.58 kgmol/hr of Ethylene Glycol, the flow rate of the
reactant that we need to obtain the desired product is shown below :
Ethylene Glycol production rate = 203.58

Ethylene Oxide feed rate

= 230.73

Water feed rate

= 2768.72

Hence, to produce 203.58 kmol per hour of Ethylene Glycol, we need 230.58
kmol per hour of Ethylene Oxide and 2768.72 kmol per hour of Water in the reactor
feed stream.

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2.2.3

Eliminate Differences in Composition

According to the third synthesis step, there are several product stream components
which involves with separation process.

Flash Drum

Monoethylene
Glycol

Ethylene Oxide

Diethylene
Glycol
Triethylene
Glycol

Flash Drum
Monoethylene
Glycol

Ethylene Oxide
Water

Diethylene
Glycol
Triethylene
Glycol
Water

Multiple Effect Evaporator

Monoethylene
Glycol

Water

Diethylene
Glycol
Triethylene
Glycol
Water

Evaporator
Monoethylene
Glycol
Diethylene
Glycol
Triethylene
Glycol

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Distillation Column
Monoethylene Glycol
Monoethylene
Glycol
Diethylene
Glycol

FC1

Triethylene
Glycol

Diethylene Glycol
Triethylene Glycol

Table 2.1: Boiling Point of Product Stream


Component

Boiling Point (oC)

MonoEthylene Glycol

197.0

DiEthylene Glycol

245.0

TriEthylene Glycol

288.0

Ethylene Oxide

10.7

Water

100.0

Based on the heuristic for determining favorable sequences:


1. Remove final product as a distillate one by one.
2. Sequence separation in order of decreasing relative volatility so that the most
difficult splits are made in absence of the other components.
3. A sequence separation point to remove is based on the greatest molar
percentage of the components in the feed.
4. Remove thermally the unstable component in the sequence.

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2.2.4

Eliminate Differences in Temperature, Pressure

Figure 2.1: Process Flow Diagram of Production of Ethylene Glycol

From the figure 2.1, we can see that, to eliminate the difference between
temperature, pressure and phase, we are using temperature changer which is heat
exchanger and for pressure, we are using compressor and pump to change the
pressure.

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2.3

Process Description

This process produced ethylene glycol by the hydrolysis of ethylene oxide in


the presence of excess water. After the hydrolysis reaction is completed the glycol is
separated from the excess water and then refined to produce monoethylene glycol
(MEG). Water and ethylene oxide are both fed at temperature of 25oC and 5oC
respectively at pressure of 1 atm. The reaction will occur in gas phase at a
temperature of 120oC and pressure of 1 atm. Before entering the reactor we need to
increase temperature to reactor conditions.

2.3.1 Mixer

Figure 2.2: Schematic diagram of Mixer

The multiple input streams are mixed well before they are entering reactor to
ensure that all the reactant is perfectly mix each other. The mixer helps to maximize
the reaction in Plug Flow Reactor on the next stage operation point. Feed to the
reactor is a fresh raw material and recycle stream of ethylene oxide and water.

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2.3.2 Reactors (PFR)

Figure 2.3: Schematic diagram of Plug Flow Reactor

The plug flow reactor model (PFR, sometimes called continuous tubular
reactor, CTR) is a model used to describe chemical reactions in continuous, flowing
systems of cylindrical geometry. It runs at steady state with continuous flow of
reactants and products.

(R-001) Operating condition:

Operating temperature : 120C

Operating pressure : 1 atm

Overall conversion : 90%

Limiting reactant : ethylene oxide

Ratio ethylene oxide to water is 1:12

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2.3.3 Vapor-liquid separator (Flash Column)

Figure 2.4: Schematic diagram of Flash Column

A vaporliquid separator may also be referred to as a flash drum to separate


vapor-liquid mixture. A liquid mixture feed is pumped through a heat exchanger to
meet the operating temperature required by flash drum to separate mixture. It then
flows through a vertical vessel where gravity is utilized causing the liquid to
vaporize.

Because the vapor and liquid are in such close contact up until the "flash"
occurs, the product liquid and vapor phases approach equilibrium. So it can separate
ethylene oxide from ethylene glycol and water of the stream S-7. One more flash
separator is operates to separate ethylene oxide and water from mono, di and
triethylene glycol of the stream S-20. The main advantage of flash drum is the
relatively low cost.

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2.3.4 Distillation Column

Figure 2.5: Schematic diagram of Distillation Column

In order to separate mixture based on the component boiling point, a


distillation column is used. The stream S-23 contains MEG, DEG and TEG. The
boiling points of MEG, DEG and TEG are 197.3oC, 245oC and 285oC respectively.
DIST-100 separates MEG from DEG and TEG. The MEG being the lighter key is
obtained as distillate. The distillate stream S-26 is flow to MEG storage. The bottom
stream S-25 from DIST-100 contains DEG and TEG is flow to waste treatment
system.

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2.3.5

Evaporator

Figure 2.6: Schematic diagram of Evaporator

A multiple-effect evaporator is use as an apparatus for efficiently using the


heat from steam to evaporate water. In a multiple-effect evaporator, water is boiled
in a sequence of vessels, each held at a lower pressure than the last. In first effect
evaporator EVA-01, certain amount of vapor ethylene oxide and water is evaporates
and sends to waste treatment system via S-14.

While, the second effect unit evaporator evaporates the vapor ethylene oxide
and water which are not evaporate in EVA-01 and send to waste treatment system
via S-15. The boiling temperature of water decreases as pressure decreases, so the
vapor boiled off in first effect evaporator, EVA-01 is use to heat the second effect
evaporator, EVA-02.

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Same concepts apply to third effect evaporator EVA-03, the vapor boiled off
in EVA-02 is use to EVA-03 because multi-effect evaporator is a sequence of
vessels. The water vapor is evaporates in this unit and recycle back to S-16 before
entering mixer MIX-01. Then, the liquid components stream, S-13 entering the flash
column V-002.

2.3.6

Compressor

Figure 2.7: Schematic diagram of Compressor

This isothermal compressor is use to increase pressure of water recycle


stream S-16 from 0.0987 atm to 1 atm by compressing the water vapor. Water
stream S-16, change phase from vapor to liquid before entering cooler.

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2.3.7

Pump

Figure 2.8: Schematic diagram of Pump

This is isothermal pump increasing the pressure of stream S-13 from 0.0987
atm to 1 atm by moving the fluids. Pump is identical to compressor but differ only in
the phase involves. Pump is dealing only with liquid phase while compressor is only
for gas phase.

2.3.8

Heat Exchanger

Figure 2.9: Schematic diagram of Heat Exchanger

Heat exchanger used to transfer heat into or from the stream to the process
fluid. In most chemical reaction process heat transfer is required to heat up or cool
down the stream of fluid.

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In this plant we used several heat exchanger shell and tube type such as
Heater (HX-01), (HX-05), (HX-06) and Cooler (HX-02), (HX-03), (HX-04).

Heater (HX-01): This is heater that increases the temperature of the stream S-4 to
120oC. Ethylene oxide and water stream S-4, change phase from liquid to vapor
before entering plug flow reactor R-001.

Cooler (HX-02): This is cooler that decrease the temperature of the ethylene glycol
stream S-6 to 98oC.

Cooler (HX-03): This is cooler that decreases the temperature of the recycle
ethylene oxide stream S-8 to 5oC. Ethylene oxide stream S-9, change phase from
vapor to liquid before entering mixer MIX-01.

Cooler (HX-04): This is cooler that decreases the temperature of the recycle water
stream S-17 to 5oC and fed to mixer MIX-01.

Heater (HX-05): This is heater that increases the temperature of the stream S-19 to
160oC.

Heater (HX-06): This is heater that increases the temperature of the stream S-22 to
197.3oC.

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2.4

Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of Ethylene Glycol Plant

Figure 2.10: Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of Ethylene Glycol Plant