Industrialization of acetic acid hydrogenation to ethanol demonstration plant running smoothly

Recently, the 30,000-ton/year acetic acid hydrogenation to ethanol industrial demonstration plant designed and manufactured by China Wuhuan Engineering Co., Ltd. was designed using the catalytic technology and molecular sieve membrane dehydration technology of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as “Dalian Chemical Industry Institute”). , In Jiangsu Suopu (Group) Co., Ltd. to drive a successful and achieve smooth operation. At present, the purity of anhydrous ethanol products produced by the device reaches 99.6%, which is higher than the national standards for industrial ethanol in China.

Since 2008, acetic acid has become an important coal chemical product in China as domestic companies gradually master the relevant technologies for acetic acid production. With the rapid development of the industry, excess production capacity of acetic acid and low prices. The production capacity of acetic acid in China has exceeded 10 million tons per year, while the traditional downstream industrial chain of acetic acid is weak, and the downstream demand for acetate, vinyl acetate, terephthalic acid and acetic anhydride has grown slowly, and it is urgent to develop new downstream products. With the advancement of technology and the development of market conditions, hydrogenation of acetic acid to ethanol has become one of the options.

Ethanol is not only a basic organic chemical raw material and an important solvent, but also an ideal high-octane automotive fuel and its additives. With the improvement of the environmental quality requirements, the development of alcohol fuels and the addition of ethanol to gasoline has become one of the major ways to improve automotive fuels. The ethanol market is vast and the demand is huge. China has a large population, lacks of arable land, insufficient food, and relatively insufficient oil resources, while coal resources are relatively abundant. The replacement of traditional grain fermentation routes with the production of ethanol from coal by hydrogenation of acetic acid will have important strategic significance for reducing the industrial consumption of grain in China and alleviating the contradiction of shortage of oil resources. Hydrogenation of acetic acid to synthesize ethanol is the core unit of coal to methanol and acetic acid to ethanol technology.

Due to the phenomenon of azeotropy between ethanol and water, since the 1980s with the development of membrane separation technology, pervaporation and steam infiltration technologies have been applied to the production of industrial anhydrous ethanol. The key to pervaporation and vapor permeation technology is the development of high performance separation membranes. Zeolite membranes have a regular pore structure, unique selective adsorption properties, and high temperature and organic solvent resistance, which is an advanced technology for the dehydration of low-energy ethanol aqueous solutions. technology.

This demonstration of hydrogenation of acetic acid is an industrial technology that integrates efficient hydrogenation of acetic acid with low-energy molecular sieve membrane dehydration technology.

The industrial demonstration project for the hydrogenation of acetic acid to ethanol is a subtopic of the project of the “Strategic Technologies and Demonstration of Low-rank Coal Cleaner and High-efficiency Cascade Utilization” project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ strategic pilot technology project. Thorpe Group is the first company in China to successfully develop low pressure carbonyl synthetic acetic acid technology with independent intellectual property rights, and is currently the largest acetic acid producer in China. After the success of this trial run, it will not only create considerable economic benefits for the company, but also provide key technology and experience support for large-scale industrial plant construction, production and operation. (Reporter Yan Huimin)

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