Enhancing the Separation Efficiency in Acetic Acid Manufacturing by Methanol Carbonylation

Alexandre C. Dimian, Anton A. Kiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Acetic acid is an essential chemical used in the production of many chemical products. Using methanol as bio-building block, the acetic acid produced may be incorporated in bio-based products. This study deals with enhancing the efficiency of separations in a process using a homogeneous catalyst, which is the most applied today industrially. Several configurations for downstream processing by distillation are investigated using effective combinations of fully thermally coupled columns, namely, dividing-wall columns, alone or combined with heat pumps. The results indicate that the three-column direct sequence may be effectively replaced by a two-column sequence. Overall, the total annual cost is reduced by 34 %. The cost of compressor may be paid back in 1.5 years by the saved energy. Low energy intensity is achieved by tight integration with the reaction section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1792-1802
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Acetic acid manufacturing
  • Chemical process design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Process simulation
  • Sustainable chemical process


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