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Comparative analysis of esterification reaction in continuous stirred tank and plug-flow reactors
* 1 , 1 , 2 , 1, 3
1  Shahrisabz branch of the Tashkent Institute of Chemical Technology
2  Tashkent State Technical University
3  Tashkent Institute of Chemical Technology
Academic Editor: Letizia De maria


In this study, a comparative study was conducted on the two reactor types (the plug flow and continuous stirred tank reactor) employed for the traditional esterification process to investigate their potential applications to the esterification reaction with the ethanol-rich feed. Aspen Plus software was used to conduct a sensitivity analysis on the temperature profiles in the axial and radial directions, focusing in particular on the reactor and feed stream temperatures, operating parameters, and ethyl acetate yields for the reactors. The energy analysis for esterification process with the different reactor types have also been evaluated. Compared with the continuous stirred tank reactor, the plug-flow reactor process with the ethanol-rich feed exhibited reduced hotspot temperatures. The simulation results showed that the hotspot temperatures in the continuous stirred tank reactor can be within the operating temperature range of 90-100°C. Regarding the comparison of these reactor types for the esterification process, the plug-flow reactor showed advantages in terms of efficient hotspot temperature with the operating temperature range of 45-55°C. On the other hand, the yield of ethyl acetate product from the continuous stirred tank reactor is slightly higher than from the alternative esterification process with excess ethanol feed.

Keywords: esterification reactor; reaction kinetics; sensitivity analysis; continuous stirred tank reactor; plug-flow reactor; simulation