Process Intensification for the Production of Cyclic Macrolactones: Identification of Safe Operating Conditions in Tubular Reactors

Sabrina Copelli, Marco Barozzi, Linda Vitaloni, Federico Florit, Julià Sempere, Rosa Nomen

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In this work, the possibility to shift from a batch to a continuous production of 16-hexadecanolide, one of the main components of the white musk essence, was theoretically studied. The selected synthesis was an upgraded version of that proposed by Story in 1968, who obtained macrocyclic compounds from the decomposition of ketone peroxides (in this case the involved peroxide was tricyclohexylidene triperoxide). But such reaction presents some huge criticalities: 1) high exothermicity and, 2) production of carbon dioxide, which are known to both modify the kinetics of the desired reaction and lead to a pressure increase inside the reactor whether the gases are not vented. For such reasons, to implement any safe continuous production of this chemical compound, two main points must be addressed: 1) determination of the system runaway boundaries and 2) identification of the optimal operating conditions to make sustainable the production of 16-hexadecanolide (that is, the theoretical design of a tubular reactor capable of continuously discharging the produced incoercible gases). For what concerns the first point, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to determine the safe operating range of the most important operating variables (that is, coolant temperature and reactant inlet temperature) possibly taking into account the effect of radial dispersion; for the second point, as carbon dioxide is produced over the decomposition and needs to be continuously vented to avoid reactor pressurization, a Teflon tube, highly permeable with respect to carbon dioxide, was proposed and its theoretical performances was investigated trying to maximize 16-hexadecanolide productivity also maintaining safe operating conditions. Results showed the theoretical possibility of developing a continuous production process capable of being also commercially sustainable.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)709-714
Nombre de pàgines6
RevistaChemical Engineering Transactions
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2023


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