Purity is a necessary requirement in producing pharmaceutical grade acetone. The manufacturing process is optimized to ensure that the yield of the product is high, economically feasible, and is more cost-effective to produce than other grades available in the market. Following process safety and environmental protection standards is critical for the operation. This design project studies the process of making Acetone at 99.9% purity using the method of catalytic dehydrogenation of isopropanol (IPA), at a production rate of 30,000 tons per operating year. Modifications applied to the plant including the use of molten salt instead of high pressure steam among others allowed for a reduction of the size of the reactor and its heat duty. Thus leading to a more cost effective plant.
Mandalorian Acetone Processes
Shayma Toujani Mersani
Design, simulation, and economic analysis of a hydrocarbon chemical plant for the production of pharmaceutical grade acetone.
Acetone can be produced via the dehydrogenation of IPA. The reversible endothermic gas-phase reaction converts IPA to acetone and hydrogen. An azeotropic mixture of IPA and water is combined with an IPA/water recycle stream, vaporized, and fed into a vapor-phase tubular plug flow reactor that is heated by high-temperature molten salt. The reactor will have a packed bed of high-temperature, heterogeneous, metal oxide catalyst with a high forward rate constant that is thermodynamically, and kinetically favored. The reactor effluent is subsequently cooled via two condensers and fed into a phase separator. The phase separator splits the stream into a gas stream, composed mainly of hydrogen and small amounts of acetone, and a liquid stream, composed mainly of acetone and small amounts of IPA. The gas stream is fed to a stripper to recover acetone. The separator’s liquid stream and the stripper’s liquid stream are combined and processed through the first distillation column which results in the production of high-purity 99.9 wt% acetone through the top of the column. A small vapor stream leaving the column reflux drum removes dissolved hydrogen in the column’s feed which decreases acetone losses. The first column’s bottoms are further processed through a second distillation column to produce an azeotropic mixture of IPA and water that can be recycled back into the process via the vaporizer, and high-purity wastewater as bottoms. The wastewater can be treated and recycled to the feed. Team Ace aims to optimize the preliminary base process design for the production of 30,000 tonnes of high-purity pharmaceutical-grade acetone per year.
The Dream Team
The production of pharmaceutical grade acetone through the dehydrogenation of isopropanol is reported herein. Specifically, this involves an exploration of multiple dimensions of the safety of this process, an extensive plant simulation using ASPEN Plus software, and an economic evaluation of the practicality of this plant.
Our project focused on designing a chemical plant to produce pharmaceutical-grade acetone via the dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol. Our design focused on the optimization of such a plant for economic efficiency, and we considered environmental and safety ramifications.