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University of Maiduguri

Faculty of Engineering Seminar Series


Volume 6, december 2015

PINCH ANALYSIS OF BENZENE PRODUCTION PROCESS VIA THE


HYDRODEALKYLATION OF TOLUENE
I. M. Idriss*, H. I. Mohammed and B. K. Highina
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
*iimainakaina@unimaid.edu.ng; +2348035370318

Abstract
Chemical process industry has been facing increasing cost of energy, growing
competition driven by rapid globalization, rising public concern for the environment,
and increasing regulatory efforts of governments concerning the environment, health,
and safety. In response to these conditions and with regard to the capital intensive nature
of chemical process industries, constant optimization through redesign of existing
production plants has emerged as a key strategy. In this study a typical process plant for
production of benzene via hydrodealkylation of toluene is considered. Pinch analysis
was carried out, energy flows and requirements were determined. Composite curve was
generated. The results of the study show that the net temperature rise required by the
heat exchangers collectively is 675 oC and the temperature of process streams collectively
was in excess by 2587.3 oC which shows energy is wasted in the plant.
Keywords: Composite curve, Heat Exchangers, hydrodealkylation of toluene, Pinch
Analysis.

1.0 Introduction
The increasing cost of energy and stringent environmental regulations force chemical
process industries to search for possible ways of reducing energy consumption for its
operations (Piagbo and Dagde, 2013). Energy saving in plant design has essentially been
a trial-and-error procedure between changes in structure and simulation until
satisfactory reductions are achieved. A step by step system-oriented, thermodynamics-
based, integrated approach to the analysis, synthesis and retrofit of process plants is
desired. Over the past two decades, the design tools of process integration has been
developed to achieve process improvement, conservation in mass and energy resources,
productivity enhancement, and reductions in the operating and capital costs of chemical
processes using pinch analysis which is a very well recognized and proven technique for
analysis of hydrogen, water and energy usage in industries such as chemicals,
petrochemical, pulp and paper, oil refining and steel and metallurgy. The use of capable
software is usually applied for analyzing large amount of data contained in pinch
analysis. The application of software in the analysis offers many advantages like speedy
design and modification of heat exchanger networks, eliminates avoidable errors from
manual calculations, increase accuracy of results among others.
Process revamp came into existence as the result of quest for energy savings and
efficiency in production process. Retrofitting includes division of a process system into
three subsystems: separation, heat exchange, and utility subsystems for proper heat
integration within each subsystem and subsequent coordination between each
subsystem. To carry out retrofitting of a process system, firstly there is need to perform
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of Toluene
heat exchanger network (HEN) analysis starting by finding out the Pinch temperature of
the HEN according to the relative position of the endothermic and exothermic
temperatures with the Pinch temperature, different retrofit strategies for separators will
be used (Feng and Liang, 2013).

2.0 Process Integration


To describe the systematic activities related to the design of chemical processes a holistic
design of complete production system through the analysis and linkages of individual
units to the overall system called process integration is used (Gundersen, 2000).
Therefore, process integration applies the design, optimization and operational
optimization of chemical and biochemical processes with strong emphasis on effective
energy utilization and adherence to environmental laws. Hence, four major areas are
identified as the pillars of process integration-efficiency: the use of raw materials, energy
efficiency, minimization of waste emissions and good process operations (Hallale, 2001).
Pinch analysis is defined as a systematic technique used in analyzing heat flow in an
industrial process by maximizing the utilization of hot and cold utilities available within
the process, this therefore reduces the use of external utilities based on fundamental
principles and knowledge of thermodynamics, as the second law of thermodynamics
requires that heat flows naturally from hot to cold body objects (Rossiter, 2010; Deepa
and Ravishankar, 2013). The principal objective of the pinch technology is to match cold
and hot process streams with a network of exchangers, so that demands for externally
supplied utilities are minimized. Therefore the starting point for the analysis is to
identify in the process of interest, the process streams that requires heating and those that
are for cooling. Identifying the streams flow rates and thermal properties, phase changes
and the range of heating and cooling temperature is very essential in the analysis. The
method is also used to counter-current heat exchange between the hot streams to be
cooled down and cooled streams to be heated up in order to produce energy in the
system. The judicious use of hot and cold streams within a given process with the aim of
reducing or avoiding the use of external utilities is termed pinch analysis. It is method of
minimizing energy consumption of a chemical process plant (Deepa and Ravishankar,
2013). Pinch technology proffers systematic methods of energy analysis for energy
savings in processes to total sites based on the principles of thermodynamics. The role of
pinch technology in the overall process design cannot be over emphasized
(Linnhoff,1998).

3.0 Materials and Method


The material used in this study is the design of Production of Benzene via the
Hydrodealkylation of Toluene. Figure 1 shows the process flow diagram (PFD) of the
plant (Turton et al. 2012). Aspen Energy Analyzer was used as the tool for the analysis.

3.1 Process Description


The production of Benzene via the hydrodealkylation of Toluene is a process whereby
Toluene and Hydrogen are charge into a furnace where they are been heated before

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Idriss et al., Pinch Analysis of Benzene Production Process via the Hydrodealkylation
of Toluene
being fed into a reactor. The reactor product is cooled and the unreacted toluene and
hydrogen recycled back to the reactor while the end product is channeled to the
separator, the unit that separates the benzene from a flue gas. Equation 1 shows the
reaction of the process.

Figure 1: Process Flow Diagram for the production of benzene via


Hydrodealkylation of Toluene (Turton et al. 2012).

By observing the PFD of the process we can highlight a significant enthalpic content of
outlet stream from the reactor. Such stream is quenched to block any further side
conversion of toluene to biphenyl and its enthalpic content is exploited to preheat the
inlet stream to the reaction section (although it is not sufficient and some further heating
is provided in the furnace to comply with the process specification).

Table 1: Cold and Hot Streams data for production of benzene via Hydrodealkylation
of Toluene (Turton et al. 2012).
Stream 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Temp(oC) 25 59 25 225 41 600 41 38 654 90
Hydrogen(kmol/h) 0.0 0.0 286 735.4 449 735.4 25.2 651.9 652.6 0.02
Methane(kmol/h) 0.0 0.0 15 317.3 302.2 317.3 16.95 438.3 442.3 0.88
Benzene(kmol/h) 0.0 1.0 0.0 7.6 6.6 7.6 0.37 9.55 116.0 106.3
Toluene(kmol/h) 108 143.2 0.0 144 0.7 144 0.04 1.05 36.0 35.0

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of Toluene
Stream 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Temp(oC) 147 112 112 112 38 38 38 38 112
Hydrogen(kmol/h) 0.0 0.0 0.02 0.0 0.0 178 0.67 0.02 0.02
Methane(kmol/h) 0.0 0.0 0.88 0.0 0.0 123 3.10 0.88 0.88
Benzene(kmol/h) 1.1 184 289 289.46 105.2 2.85 0.26 106.3 0.0
Toluene(kmol/h) 34.6 0.88 1.22 1.22 0.4 0.31 0.03 35.0 0.0

4.0 Results and Discussion


The summary of the results extracted from the work book of aspen energy analyzer is as
shown in table 2 and also the composite curve generated is depicted in figure 2. Looking
at the composite curve, the results shows that there exists energy difference that gives
way for energy integration. Table 2 shows that in one of the heat exchangers the stream is
heated from 592.1 oC to 600 oC, so also in many of the process streams the heating needed
is not that much. Figure 2 shows that the maximum temperature required in the process
is in excess of 600 oC but not up to 700 oC. However table 2 shows that a higher
temperature as 1831 oC is been realized by certain hot stream which is wasted without
utilization. The difference between the hot and cold composite curves indicates the
possibility of heat recovery in the process.

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of Toluene
Table 2: Data summary of the pinch analysis of the process
Heat Cold Cool Tie Cold Tied Hot Hot Tie Hot Tie Load dT dT
Exchanger Stream T in d out Stream in out d (kJ/h) Min Min
(oC) (oC) (oC) (oC) Hot Cold
E-107 H/M/B/ 592.1 T 600.0 T Fired 2000 1831 1.59e+14 1400 1239
T Heater
E-109 Cooling 24.00 25.00 H/M/B/T 612.5 T 245.0 1.106e+14 587.5 220.2
Water 3
E-111 Cooling 23.22 24.80 H/M/B/T 245.0 T 79.0 8.981e+14 220.2 55.78
Water 3
E-108 H/M/B/ 225.0 T 592.1 T H/M/B/T 612.5 T 245.0 5.394e+15 20.36 20.00
T 3
E-113 H/M/B/ 600.0 T 654.0 T Fired 1831 677.7 7.934e+14 1177 77.69
T2 Heater
E-105 H/M/B/ 37.00 T 90.00 T H/M/B/T 654.0 T 612.5 4.385e+14 564.0 575.5
T4 3
E-114 Cooling 20.00 22.13 B/T2 112.0 T 38.00 T 1.204e+15 89.87 18.00
Water
E-112 Cooling 22.13 23.22 H/M/B/T 79.0 T 38.00 T 6.141e+14 55.78 15.87
Water 3
E-106 H/M/B/ 90.00 T 112.0 T H/M/B/T 654.0 T 612.5 1.836e+14 542.0 522.5
T5 3
E-110 B/T 59.00 T 225.0 T H/M/B/T 245.0 T 79.00 1.586e+15 20.00 20.00
3

Figure 3: Composite curve of the process

5.0 Conclusion
The results show that there is excess heat emitted from the system, this can be seen from
table table 2 and the plot in figure 2 as well. This shows that the analysis has established
that that some energy streams are wasted. The cumulative temperature requirement of
the process streams was 675 oC and the total outlet temperature attained by the entire

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Idriss et al., Pinch Analysis of Benzene Production Process via the Hydrodealkylation
of Toluene
process was 2587.3 oC, which gives excess temperature of 1912 oC. It can be concluded
that the entire process revamp is feasible in order to make some energy savings.

References
1. Deepa and Ravishankar (2013) Reducing Hot and Cold Utility Requirements for
Finishing Column Section Using Pinch Analysis Techniques, International Journal of
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2. Feng X. and Liang C. (2013) Strategy for Total Energy System Retrofit of a Chemical
Plant,Chemical Engineering Transactions, 35, 145-150.

3. Gundersen T. (2000) A Process Integration PRIMER, SINTEF Energy Research Dept.


of Thermal Energy and Hydro Power Trondheim, Norway- IEA Tutorial on Process
Integration.

4. Hallale N. (2001) Burning Bright Trends in Process Integration, ASPENTECH LTD.

5. Linnhoff M. (1998) Introduction to Pinch Technology, Targeting House Gadbrook


Park Northwich, Cheshire CW9 7UZ, England.

6. Piagbo B. K.and Dagde K. K. (2013) Heat Exchanger Network Retrofit Design by


Eliminating Cross Pinch Heat Exchangers), American Journal of Engineering
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7. Rossiter A. P. (2010) Improve Energy Efficiency via Heat Integration, American


Institute of Chemical Engineers (AlChE).

8. Turton R., Bailie R. C., Whiting W. B., Shaeiwitz J. A. and Bhattacharyya D. (2012)
Analysis, Synthesis and Design of Chemical Processes, Fourth Edition,
Prentice Hall International Series in the Physical and Chemical Engineering Series.

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