Summary: Chemical Engineering Science 57 (2002) 50395050
Comparative control study of ideal and methyl acetate
Muhammad A. Al-Arfaj, William L. Luyben
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA
Received 28 February 2002; received in revised form 11 June 2002; accepted 15 July 2002
The control of an ideal reactive distillation column is compared with that of a similar, but somewhat di erent, real chemical system, the
production of methyl acetate. Similarities and di erences are observed. Three control structures are evaluated for both systems. A control
structure with one internal composition controller and one temperature controller provides e ective control of both systems for both high
and moderate conversion designs. A two-temperature control structure is e ective when the system is overdesigned in terms of number of
reactive trays, holdup and/or catalyst load. Direct control of product purity for the high-conversion/high-purity design is di cult because
of system nonlinearity and interaction. Tray temperature control avoids the nonlinearity problem.
? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Reactive distillation; Process design and control; Methyl acetate
Reactive distillation combines both separation and reac-
tion in one unit. It has been used in a small number of in-
dustrial applications for many years, but the last decade has