To produce mono- (MMA), di- (DMA) and trimethylamines (TMA) from methanol and ammonia.
Anhydrous liquid ammonia, recycled amines and methanol are continuously vaporized (1), superheated (3) and fed to a catalystpacked converter (2). The converter utilizing a high-activity, low-byproduct amination catalyst simultaneously produces MMA, DMA and TMA. Product ratios can be varied to maximize MMA, DMA, or TMA production. The correct selection of the N/C ratio and recycling of amines produces the desired product mix. Most of the exothermic reaction heat is recovered in feed preheating (3). The reactor products are sent to a separation system where the ammonia (4) is separated and recycled to the reaction system. Water from the dehydration column (6) is used in extractive distillation (5) to break the TMA azeotropes and produce pure anhydrous TMA. The product column (7) separates the water-free amines into pure anhydrous MMA and DMA.
Methanol recovery (8) improves efficiency and extends catalyst life by allowing greater methanol slip exit from the converter. Addition of a methanol-recovery column to existing plants can help to increase production rates.
Anhydrous MMA, DMA and TMA, can be used directly in downstream processes such as MDEA, DMF, DMAC, choline chloride and/or diluted to any commercial specification.
Licensor: Davy Process Technology, UK