2016-27-01-bsc-project-proposal-llx-of-c7-hydrocarbons

BSc-project description tutor: Thomas Brouwer

Supervisor: Boelo Schuur

Comparing Solvents for Liquid-Liquid Extraction of Similar Hydrocarbons

Sometimes, distillation is impractical to separate mixtures due to high energy consumption, or even it might be impossible due to azeotropes. Alternatively, affinity separation processes such as extractive distillation (ED) and liquid-liquid extraction (LLX) can be applied. The separation of aromatic from aliphatic compounds is one example where ordinary distillation can be impractical.

This BSc-project is part of a larger project where we try to understand molecular interactions between solvents and mixtures that we want to separate. In order to do so, we study both common solvents such as sulfolane that have been industrially used for decennia already and innovative new solvents.

During this BSc-project the extraction behavior of three C7 hydrocarbons is evaluated;

Figure 1: The similar, C7 hydrocarbons, under investigation.
a) methylcyclohexane (MCH), b) toluene , c) cyclopentylmethylether (CPME)

As can be seen in the table below all three C7 hydrocarbons have a similar boiling point. The objective of this assignment is to evaluate the influence of different functional groups on the extractive performance of sulfolane. In parallel a predictive tool, COSMO-RS, will be used to uncover the underlying mechanisms at play.

Tasks

1.1.

Literature study on aromatic-aliphatic separation.

1.2.

Liquid-liquid extraction experiments of various ternary or quaternary systems:

1.2.1.

Toluene – MCH – Sulfolane

1.2.2.

Toluene – CPME – Sulfolane

1.2.3.

MCH – CPME – Sulfolane

1.2.4.

Toluene – MCH – CPME - Sulfolane

1.3.

Performing COSMO-RS simulations to uncover the underlying extraction mechanisms.

 

MW

(g/mole)

Boiling point

(°C)

Dipole moment

(D)

Toluene

92.17

111

0.36

Methylcyclohexane

(MCH)

98.19

101

(-)

Cyclopentylmethylether (CPME)

100.16

106

1.27