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Miranda J.C.C.,Laboratory of Optimization | Ponce G.H.S.F.,Laboratory of Optimization | Arellano-Garcia H.,University of Bradford | Filho R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization | Wolf M.R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2015

Synthesis gas (syngas) is mostly known by its use on ammonia and hydrocarbons (Fischer-Tropsch process) production. However, a less explored route to produce chemical products, among them alcohols and other oxygenates, from syngas is gaining attention over the last few years. In this route, an initial feedstock as biomass is firstly gasified to synthesis gas, which is reformed, cleaned, compressed and finally catalytically converted in a mixture of alcohols and oxygenated products that after separation steps attain sufficient purity to be sold. In this case of study, the commercial simulator ASPEN Plus v7.3 is used to evaluate the application of a Rh-based (Rh-Mn-Li-Fe/SiO2) catalyst in a small scale plant with processing capacity of 100 kmol/h of pure syngas. This plant, besides methane, water, and CO2produces 8 oxygenated products: methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, methyl and ethyl acetates, being necessary 9 further separation or concentration steps in order to obtain the products in their desired purity. The main goals of this work were to design and optimize a process so as to produce alcohols and other oxygenates using syngas as feedstock. After conceiving the process, an optimization was performed, which started by evaluating the reactor conversion/selectivity in order to produce more add-value products. Then, the downstream separation processes were optimized searching for less energy consumption and recovering as much as possible addvalue products. Lastly, we aimed at possible solutions and improvements concerning sustainability, feedstock and energy integration, and utilities consumption. Copyright © 2015, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


Miranda J.C.C.,Laboratory of Optimization | Ponce G.H.S.F.,Laboratory of Optimization | Arellano-Garcia H.,University of Bradford | Rubens Maciel F.,Laboratory of Optimization
Computer Aided Chemical Engineering | Year: 2015

Synthesis gas (syngas), mainly constituted by carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen gas (H2), is produced mostly through biomass gasification and methane reforming. In the last decade, the thermochemical route to produce ethanol and higher alcohols from syngas has been gaining space as a possible route to produce synthetic fuels and additives. This kind of process presents a series of advantages as: short-time reaction, abundant and lower-price feedstocks, the use of lignin and the almost complete conversion of syngas, having the potential to exceed ethanol production by fermentative route. Aiming to produce ethanol through thermochemical route, a singular process (a small-scale plant with capacity to process 100 kmol/h of syngas) was proposed for a first evaluation using the commercial simulator ASPEN Plus v7.3. Four different Rh-based catalysts were tested in the process (RhFe, RhLa, RhLaV, and RhLaFeV), trying to take advantage of the characteristics of Rh-based catalysts as high ethanol selectivity and hydrocarbons production. The process design took into account the reactor selectivity and conversion. Through sensitivity analysis, the downstream process were configured searching for the best possible design of separation steps, making possible to obtain ethanol (>99 % wt.), methanol (>90 % wt.), Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG, mixture of C2H6, C3H8 and C4H10, > 99 % wt.) and pentane (>95% wt.). © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Cohen L.M.,Laboratory of Optimization | Quintero H.I.,Laboratory of Optimization | Ramirez R.,Laboratory of Optimization | Filho R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization | Atala D.I.P.,Sugar Cane Technology Center
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2011

The ethyl alcohol has positive characteristics for being used as fuel in large scale: relatively low cost, less polluters and can be produced from renewable matrix by fermentation of vegetable source products. By means of process simulation using ASPEN PLUS® V.7, it was evaluated a configuration based on the extractive fermentation vacuum concept coupled to an adsorption column, in which, the alcohol is extracted from fermentation environment while it is produced, as a result, a more productive process is obtained due to a decrease in the inhibition effect on the microorganism caused by the ethanol and at the same time, this configuration allows using a more concentrated must. It was found that the proposed configuration provides a bigger production and recovery of the ethanol contributing to the improvement and intensification of the process. © 2011, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


Ponce G.H.S.F.,Laboratory of Optimization | Miranda J.C.C.,Laboratory of Optimization | Alves M.,Laboratory of Optimization | Wolf M.R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2014

The major problem associated with the bioconversion of ethanol for industrial fuel purposes is the ethanol inhibition in the fermentation process. One way to solve this problem is couple fermentation to a continuous product removal technique. The gas stripping in situ removal process has a number of advantages over other techniques, for example: it is simple, inexpensive to operate and do not harm the culture. In this work, the feasibility of in situ gas stripping fermentation process was studied using ASPEN PLUS® V.7.3. The process conditions were evaluated according to the existing laboratory scale design. The main process variables were investigated in order to achieve the best conditions to carry out an experimental plant, which is the planning of further work. The results show that such technique can lower ethanol concentration in a reactor making it below of inhibitory ranges. A correct choice of the optimized variables of the process provides a larger recovery of ethanol, contributing to the improvement and intensification of the fermentation process. Copyright © 2014,AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


Miranda J.C.C.,Laboratory of Optimization | Ponce G.H.S.F.,University of Bradford | Arellano-Garcia H.,University of Bradford | Filho R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization | Wolf M.R.M.,Laboratory of Optimization
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2015

Higher alcohols production from syngas through chemical route has gained attention over the last decade because of characteristics such as: short-time reaction, abundant and lower price feedstocks, the use of lignin (a biomass component that is hardly used) and the almost complete conversion of the initial feedstock. In this route, cleaned and reformed synthesis gas (syngas), formed of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) is catalytically converted into a mixture of alcohols that after purification can be used as fuel, solvent, or as feedstock for other processes. In this particular case study we use a Cu-based (Cu-O-ZnO-Zr-Fe-Mo-Th-Cs) catalyst, which consists of a modified methanol synthesis catalyst, so as to conceive, simulate, optimize, and analyze a small scale syngas-to-higher alcohols production plant (process capacity of 100 kmo/h of pure syngas). We assume that the WGS (water-gas-shift) reaction reaches equilibrium conditions and the alcohols production follows the ASF (Anderson-Schulz-Flory) distribution. The main advantage shown by this catalyst is the absence of water production, since all the water is consumed by the WGS reaction, on the other hand, the same reaction produces CO2that can be recovered only coupling another process in order to produce more CO. The final product separation (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol and pentanol) is facilitated by the absence of water. After process design and optimization, an energy and yield analysis is discussed while pointing possible solutions and next steps regarding the sustainability of the process. Copyright © 2015, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

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