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Design of membrane cascades according to the method of McCabe-Thiele: An organic solvent nanofiltration case study for olefin hydroformylation in toluene

Abstract : The method of McCabe-Thiele is widely used for the design of distillation columns. At a given pressure, this graphical method is only based on 3 equations: (i) the partitioning curve linking the liquid and gas phases for a given component at a given plate thanks to a unique set of thermodynamic data and (ii) two operating lines, each one describing the liquid/gas equilibrium of two consecutive plates either in the enrichment section or in the stripping one. In this paper, the method has been adapted to the membrane separation processes aiming at the easy selection of a first set of appropriate designs of cascades that fulfill given separation targets, especially in the case of a binary mixture of components having both intermediate rejections and very different concentrations. Membrane cascades involving several recyclings of the permeate and retentate streams are proposed according to a similar but more sophisticated methodology than for distillation, since for a selected membrane and for given hydrodynamic conditions (pressure, velocity, temperature), several proposals can be made for each equation mentioned above. In short, a set of operating lines is generated varying with the volume reduction ratio (VRR) either for the permeate or the retentate retreatment sections. The method is applied to the OSN separation of a final synthesis medium of a homogeneous catalyzed reaction, namely olefin hydroformylation achieved in toluene. This example is a typical one dealing with the more general case of a product to be extracted in the permeate and a catalytic system to be recovered in the retentate for further recycling in the synthesis reactor aiming at a greener production process. The initial concentration ratio of the two components to separate in OSN is 1/1000 and both compounds have intermediate rejections of 30% and 88%. Thanks to this method, the design of several membrane cascades is proposed and discussed according to different goals of separation (target product purity or recovery, enrichment of component to be recycled, energy consumption, etc.).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 3:13:39 PM
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A. Lejeune, M. Rabiller-Baudry, T. Renouard. Design of membrane cascades according to the method of McCabe-Thiele: An organic solvent nanofiltration case study for olefin hydroformylation in toluene. Separation and Purification Technology, Elsevier, 2018, 195, pp.339-357. ⟨10.1016/j.seppur.2017.12.031⟩. ⟨hal-01695558⟩

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