Natural Detergent Alcohols Process by Davy Process Technology

To produce natural detergent alcohols from fatty acids using esterification, hydrogenolysis and refining.

Natural Detergent Alcohols Process by Davy Process Technology

Fatty acids are fed to the esterification section (1) where they are esterified to methyl esters in a reactive distillation column. Water released by this reaction is removed by excess methanol, which is treated in a methanol purification column. This column produces a clean water effluent and recycles methanol to the reactive distillation column. Methyl esters are fed to a low-pressure, vapor-phase hydrogenation section (2) where the esters are vaporized into a circulating hydrogen stream followed by conversion to fatty alcohol over a fixed catalyst bed. Crude alcohol product is condensed, and the gas is re-circulated with a low-head centrifugal compressor.

Crude alcohol passes to the refining section (3) where low levels of residual methyl esters are converted to wax esters and recycled to the hydrogenation section (2). A refining column removes light and heavy impurities, and the refined fatty alcohol product is polished to convert any residual carbonyls to alcohols.

Licensor: Davy Process Technology, UK

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