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Chementator: Significantly slash investment costs with this oxidation reactor

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (Tokyo; www.m-kagaku.co.jp/index_en.htm) has developed a plate-in-frame reactor for performing oxidation reactions, such as for the partial oxidation of propane to form acrylic acid. Because of the reactor’s enhanced heat transfer to the catalyst — sandwiched between the plates — the reactor size can be as small as half that of a conventional shell-and-tube reactor with the same capacity, says the company. Furthermore, the new reactor technology can double the upper production-capacity limit — currently limited to about 80,000 to 100,000 ton/yr for shell-and-tube reactors — by simply operating multiple reactors in parallel. The company estimates that the reactor accounts for 15–20% of the total investment costs for acrylic acid production, and as much as 50% for phthalic acid production, so its smaller size can significantly reduce capital costs. Mitsubishi Chemical has completed pilot-plant studies at its Yokkaichi site, and is now planning to demonstrate the reactor technology in its commercial acrylic-acid-production plant there. The firm also plans to license the technology after the demonstration, and will further develop the technology for other oxidation reactions. Click…
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