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Keywords:

  • chromatography;
  • catalysis;
  • mathematical modeling;
  • membrane separations;
  • reactor analysis

Abstract

A new technology, the simulated moving bed membrane reactor (PermSMBR), was presented and applied for the production of the green solvent ethyl lactate and of the biofuel 1,1-diethoxyethane. Its conception was a result of process reintensification for oxygenates production, by integrating the simulated moving bed reactor with hydrophilic membranes to enhance the water removal, leading to high process performance. For ethyl lactate synthesis, the PermSMBR technology proved to have better performance than the reactive distillation (RD) and the simulated moving bed reactor (SMBR) processes; the RD and SMBR processes require more 152 and 165% of ethanol consumption than the new technology, respectively. For the 1,1-diethoxyethane production, the PermSMBR also leads to a decrease in ethanol consumption of 69% and a productivity enhancement of 53%, when comparing with the SMBR. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 57: 000–000, 2011