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Keywords:

  • solvent extraction;
  • RDC;
  • lubricating base oil;
  • co-solvent;
  • energy saving

Abstract

Background

A mathematical modeling approach was used to obtain a simulation model to predict the performance of an industrial rotating disc contactor (RDC) in the extraction of lubricating base oils by furfural. The field data of a lube-oil producing plant was used to validate the model. This model can be used for the parametric study of the RDC column and to investigate the effect of operational data such as solvent and feed temperatures, solvent to feed ratio, and agitation rate on the yield of extraction and on the energy saving value of the extraction.

Results

The mathematical modeling of RDC shows good agreement with the plant data with an accuracy of 95% and the model was used to investigate the effect of adding a co-solvent.

Conclusion

Results show that by using furfural with added 2,2,4 trimethylpentane it is possible to perform the extraction process at a lower process temperature, 363.15 K, compared with 393.15 K using furfural as solvent, and also at a lower 1.3 solvent/feed ratio, compared with 1.5 when furfural alone was used for as the solvent. This process modification leads to saving of 38% of the consumed energy per cubic meter of product in the extraction process.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry