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Allyl Chloride Production A Case Study In Debottlenecking, Retrofitting, And Design

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.62.1 - 2.62.7



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Paper Authors

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Ph.D., Richard H. Turpin

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Joseph A. Shaeiwitz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3513

Allyl Chloride Production A Case Study in Debottlenecking, Retrofitting, and Design

Richard Turton, Joseph A. Shaeiwitz West Virginia University

A recent graduate’s first assignment in industry often deals with an existing chemical process. The problems encountered typically involve prediction of problems before they occur, diagnosis of problems after they occur, and dealing with the day-to-day operation of a portion of a chemical process. Problems which must be solved are constrained by the performance characteristics of existing equipment. Traditional undergraduate coursework and standard capstone design courses do not normally provide student experiences with these types of problems.

In the two-semester, capstone design course in chemical engineering at West Virginia University, a three-part case study is used to develop skills in solving process performance problems leading up to the typical process design problem. The production of ally1 chloride discussed here is an example of such a case study. In the first step, the production in a portion of the process must be increased. In the second step, a process retrofit based upon the result of debottlenecking is implemented. Finally, in the third step, a new process design is required. In other case studies, the first step might be a troubleshooting problem,1 but the second and third steps remain the same.

The skills required in each step must be mastered before proceeding to the next step. In the first step, the process and its component units must be visualized, and a rudimentary analysis is required. In the second step, visualization is assumed, and analysis and rudimentary synthesis are required. In the third step, the ability to do analysis is assumed, and synthesis and optimization are required. The description of the ally1 chloride problem which follows illustrates the sequence of skills development described here. More details and another process example are presented elsewhere.2

Case Study Part 1: Identification of Maximum Scale-up

The first case involves identification of the first bottleneck to scale-up the feed section of an ally1 chloride process, shown in Figure 1. Though the feed section looks simple, it is very rich. The scenario is that a similar plant elsewhere in the company has been shut down for environmental violations associated with burning high-sulfur fuel. Our plant, which only uses natural gas and poses no environmental problem, must scale up production so that contracts can be fulfilled. The job is to determine the maximum possible scale-up. A second portion of the assignment is to suggest potential cost saving strategies to enhance profitability. Equipment specifications are provided for each unit on the flowsheet in Figure 1. Students must analyze the performance of each piece of equipment to identify the limit of operation. Once the limit of each

Turpin, P. R. H., & Shaeiwitz, J. A. (1997, June), Allyl Chloride Production A Case Study In Debottlenecking, Retrofitting, And Design Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6418

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