Kinetic Study of Oxychlorination Process
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The oxychlorination of ethylene is an important process in the petrochemical industry because it affords the opportunity to untilise HCl produced during the cracking of ethylene dichloride. In this project the influence of the partial pressure of ethyelene and oxygen was investigated. When the ethyelene pressures from 0.15atm and 0.25atm the rate of reaction increased according and hence the chlorine uptake but at partial pressures from 0.05 to .07, the was a deviation from what was expected. On the other hand the influence of the partial pressure of oxygen was as expected the higher the partial pressure of oxygen the faster the reaction rate. However, at low partial pressures of oxygen the reaction rates are fast initially but slow down as the reaction proceeds. During the steady state reaction, the EDC formation rate and selectivity showed a strong relationship with the partial pressure of ethylene and oxygen as well as HCl. The presence of potassium in the catalyst improved the performance of the catalyst by increasing the EDC formation rate and ethylene conversion but the selectivity of EDC decreased slightly. A combination of the reaction steps brought to bear the importance of HCl though it can cause the catalyst to deactivate. In the combined step 1 and step 2, ratio of ethylene to oxygen was 2:1 the reaction rate was the highest yet the selectivity of EDC was due to the combustion of ethyelene. A selectivity of 100% was recorded when steps 1 and 3 were combined. The EDC formation rate was highest when the ratio between ethylene and HCl was 2:1. The catalyst characterisation revealed that considerable change has occurred on the catalyst surface. For some the BET surface area has increased significantly relative to the fresh catalyst. At synchronisation of the MS and UV-vis data reveals a strong relationship for which a mathematical model was developed and used to estimate the amount of CuCl and Cu2OCl2 in the catalyst.