Ethanol dehydration via azeotropic distillation with gasoline fractions as entrainers: A pilot-scale study of the manufacture of an ethanol–hydrocarbon fuel blend

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Gomis Yagües, Vicente ; Pedraza Berenguer, Ricardo ; Saquete Ferrándiz, María Dolores ; Font, Alicia ; Garcia-Cano, Jorge (2015)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.fuel.2014.09.041
  • Subject: Ethanol | Dehydration | Azeotropic | Distillation | Hydrocarbon | Ingeniería Química

We establish experimentally and through simulations the economic and technical viability of dehydrating ethanol by means of azeotropic distillation, using a hydrocarbon as entrainer. The purpose of this is to manufacture a ready-to-use ethanol–hydrocarbon fuel blend. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of this proposition, we have tested an azeotropic water–ethanol feed mixture, using a hydrocarbon as entrainer, in a semi pilot-plant scale distillation column. Four different hydrocarbons (hexane, cyclohexane, isooctane, and toluene) that are representative of the hydrocarbons present in ordinary gasoline have been tested. Each of these hydrocarbons was tested separately in experiments under conditions of constant feed rate and variable reboiler heat duty. The experimentally obtained results are compared with results calculated by a simulator. Finally, the proposed and traditional ethanol dehydration processes are compared to ascertain the advantages of the former over the latter.
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