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Glycol Ethers

 TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF GLYCOL ETHERS


PROCESS FEATURES
Glycol ethers are produced through an homogeneous catalytic reaction of ethylene oxide with an alcohol (methyl, ethyl or butyl).
The process is based on a catalyst readily available on the market and characterized by a very low consumption.
The reaction products formed are mono-di-tri- and higher homologues.
The design of the reactor ensures great flexibility in the distribution of the products.
This flexibility allows to adapt the design and the operation to the market requirements.
The high efficiency of the distillative separation section reduces the consumption of energy.

REFERENCES
CONSER has developed the glycol ethers technology in cooperation with SULZER CHEMTECH (Switzerland) and the Institute Ciezkiej Synthezy Organicznej Blachownia (ICSO-Poland).
Reference plant:

Company Location Capacity T/y
GLYCOLS LIMITED India   10000

 

FLOW SHEET

Glycol ethers process R


PROCESS DESCRIPTION
The glycol ethers technology consists of the following main steps:

•  Catalytic reaction
•  Alcohol recovery
•  Purification

Reaction

The reaction takes place at relatively low temperatures and pressures, which minimizes the formation of by-products. The reaction is exothermic: the reactor therefore is cooled to ensure close to isotherm conditions.
The quantity of alcohol fed to the reactor influences the distribution of the end products.
The design of the reactor ensures great flexibility in the distribution.
A further advantage of the process is the possibility of producing ethylene glycol ether from various alcohols in the same plant, for which a suitable catalyst is required.

Alcohol recovery

Excess alcohol is recovered from the reaction products by atmospheric distillation.
Depending on product distribution, the amount of alcohol recycled to the reactor is adjusted. The section is characterized by high yields of recovery, high alcohol purity and low energy consumption.

Purification

The glycol ether mixture is separated in a three-stages vacuum distillation, equipped with very high efficiency structured packing and with low pressure drop condensers.
The lower boiling mono-glycol ether is distilled under vacuum in the first column. The pressure is progressively lower in the other two columns, where di- and tri-glycol ether are separated as overhead products.


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