Kinetic study and reactor modeling of ethylene oxychlorination
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Oxychlorination of ethylene to 1,2-dichloroethane is a vital step in the productionof polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic polymer thatis widely used, especially in construction. The reaction is usually catalyzedover a CuCl2/γ-Al2O3 catalyst. The neat catalyst is volatile and have limitedactivity. The addition promoters, mainly alkali metals and rare earthmetals have shown to have an advantageous effect on the stability, selectivityand activity of the catalyst. The kinetic of the reaction is complicatedas the catalyst changes from CuCl2 to CuCl and back again during the reaction.The dynamics of the catalyst causes complications when developingkinetic reaction models. A kinetic model previously developed which utilizes the oxidation state ofthe catalyst was implemented in three different pseudo-homogeneous reactors:A dynamic laboratory scale reactor, a steady state industrial reactorand a steady state industrial test reactor which contains additionalexperimental data. The reactor simulations for the laboratory reactor andindustrial reactor were done with kinetics from a neat catalyst and a Kpromotedcatalyst. The industrial test reactor were only simulated with theK-promoted catalyst. The simulations for the laboratory scale reactor matched well with the experimentalvalues. The model was able to predict the spatial-time Cu2+decently well for both catalysts. However due to lack of reliable experimentaldata the validation of the model is uncertain. The industrial scalesimulations are hard to validate as the experiments are done for differentcatalysts from the simulated. Some modifications are believed to be neededand preferably the model should be made heterogeneous to give best results.