Simulation and Optimization of the CWPO Process by Combination of Aspen Plus and 6-Factor Doehlert Matrix: Towards Autothermal Operation
This work aims to present an industrial perspective on Catalytic Wet Peroxide Oxidation (CWPO) technology. Herein, process simulation and experimental design have been coupled to study the optimal process conditions to ensure high-performance oxidation, minimum H2O2 consumption and maximum energetic efficiency in an industrial scale CWPO unit. The CWPO of phenol in the presence of carbon black catalysts was studied as a model process in the Aspen Plus® v11 simulator. The kinetic model
... tic model implemented, based on 30 kinetic equations with 11 organic compounds and H2O2 involvement, was valid to describe the complex reaction network and to reproduce the experimental results. The computer experiments were designed on a six-factor Doehlert Matrix in order to describe the influence of the operating conditions (i.e., the different process temperatures, inlet chemical oxygen demands, doses of H2O2 and space time) on each selected output response (conversion, efficiency of H2O2 consumption and energetic efficiency) by a quadratic model. The optimization of the WPO performance by a multi-criteria function highlighted the inlet chemical oxygen demand as the most influential operating condition. It needed to have values between 9.5 and 24 g L−1 for autothermal operation to be sustained under mild operating conditions (reaction temperature: 93–130 °C and pressure: 1–4 atm) and with a stoichiometric dose of H2O2.