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Simulated Moving Bed Reactors: An Instructional Module for Incorporation of Process Intensification Concepts into the Senior Reactor Design Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Focus on Capstone Experiences in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1295.1 - 22.1295.10



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Paper Authors


Rebecca K. Toghiani Mississippi State University

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Dr. Rebecca K. Toghiani is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MSU. She received her B.S.Ch.E., M.S.Ch.E., and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She received the 1996 Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award and the 2005 Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Southeastern Section. A John Grisham Master Teacher at MSU, she is an inaugural member of the Bagley College of Engineering Academy of
Distinguished Teachers. She has also been recognized at MSU with the 2001 Outstanding Faculty Woman Award, a 2001 Hearin Professor of Engineering award, and the 1999 College of Engineering Outstanding Engineering Educator Award.

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Carlen Henington Mississippi State University

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Dr. Carlen Henington is a nationally certified School Psychologist and is an associate professor in School Psychology at Mississippi State University. She completed her doctoral work at Texas A&M University and her internship at the Monroe Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. She received the Texas A&M Educational Psychology Distinguished Dissertation Award in 1997, the Mississippi State University Golden Key National Honor Society Outstanding Faculty Member Award in 2000, and the Mississippi State University Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Teaching Award in 1998. She has worked as a consultant to Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to address disproportionality and has provided technical assistance to schools across the state. She has assisted with MDE on monitoring visits and has presented nationally on effective academic and behavioral interventions with children in the schools.

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Simulated Moving Bed Reactors - An Instructional Module for Incorporation of Process Intensification Concepts into the Senior Reactor Design Course The combination of reaction and separation in a single process module is one of the basictenets of process intensification. With this coupling, constraints arising from thermodynamicequilibrium may be overcome and the combined process may be more efficient as well as moreeconomical. With rising energy prices and the need for the chemical industry to remain globallycompetitive, consideration of process alternatives including these hybrid processes will berequired of practicing chemical engineers in the coming years. Due to the compartmentalized mode of instruction in most chemical engineeringdepartments, separations and reactor design are typically taught in separate courses. As a result,hybrid processes combining reaction and separation are generally relegated to coverage duringthe senior year, either in a capstone design course or in a reactor design course. Fogler [1]examined membrane reactors as well as reactive distillation in Chemical Reaction Engineering,and has developed web modules for instruction on these topics. The availability of theinstructional content in the text as well as the web modules provide other instructors with toolsthat can be easily incorporated into their courses. The simulated moving bed reactor exemplifies process intensification through the couplingof separation and reaction. The separation process is adsorption, with separation accomplishedusing a solid phase adsorbent that has an affinity for one or more reaction products. As thereaction proceeds in the SMBR, products are removed from the reaction phase, and in the case ofan equilibrium-limited reaction, this allows the reaction to proceed and achieve greaterconversion. The SMB technology for separation has been successfully employed commerciallysince the 1960s by UOP [2]. Its use coupling reaction with separation is relatively recent [3-5].This module will provide instruction on the basic configuration of a simulated moving bedreactor, constraints/limitations on its use, and will provide an overview of representativetechnology applications. Through comparison of process variables such as relative affinity of theadsorbent for reactants/products, process flow rates, reactor temperature, and feed stoichiometry,the student will gain insight into the impact of these variables on SMBR performance comparedto a conventional packed bed reactor.[1] Fogler, H.S. Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, (4th edition, Prentice Hall International Series in the Physical and Chemical Engineering Sciences, Upper Saddle River, NJ: 2006).[2] UOP, “Making MTBE, ETBE, DIPE, TAME from Light Olefins for Gasoline Blending”,,. [3] Lode, F.; Mazzotti, M.; Morbidelli, M.; “A New Reaction-Separation Unit: The Simulated Moving Bed Reactor” Chimia, 55, 883-886, (2001).[4] Zhang, Z.; Hidajat, K.; Ray, A.K.; “Application of Simulated Countercurrent Moving-Bed Chromatographic Reactor for MTBE Synthesis” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 40, 5305-5316, (2001).[5] Ching, C.B.; Lu, Z.P.; “Simulated Moving-Bed Reactor: Application in Bioreactions and Separation” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 36, 152-159, (1997).

Toghiani, R. K., & Henington, C. (2011, June), Simulated Moving Bed Reactors: An Instructional Module for Incorporation of Process Intensification Concepts into the Senior Reactor Design Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18368

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