Project Synopsis

Predict the vented off gas rate and composition of a new batch reactor product for a specialty chemical manufacturer.

Project Summary


The client, an international process engineering company, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to execute a vent characterization study for the ultimate client, a specialty chemical manufacturing company.  Specifically, PROCESS was tasked with providing an estimate for the vent gas evolved during the production of two of their products manufactured at a facility located in Eastern Europe.  More specifically, PROCESS was asked to determine the rate and composition of off gas emitted from a batch reactor system during the initial raw material charge and heat up cycle.  This evaluation required the development of a dynamic batch simulation.

The process was modeled using PROCESS' licensed commercial computer process simulation software, CHEMCAD.  The model was constructed to emulate the fixed volume contained by the system and was initiated with a nitrogen charge, which is used to inert the system between batch runs.  As the raw materials, including 2-ethylhexanol, p-xylene, trimethyl-1,3-petanedial (TMPD) and other specialty chemicals are charged, excess vapors displaced by the liquid feed and due to fluid expansion during heat up are purged.  The gas stream containing nitrogen and any evaporated charge stock then passes through a condenser and the outlet gas composition is recorded.

A Visual Basic (VB) interface between CHEMCAD and Excel was created to allow for the control of operating conditions (e.g., charge rate, heat input) and to permit the recording of process parameters and compositions over discrete time intervals.  By plotting the results, it was possible to determine the maximum concentration, maximum mass rate, and total mass of gas contaminants discharged over the time period studied.  These results were submitted to the client in a final project report and used in planning for an emission control system for the process.

Industry Type

  • Batch Chemical Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Dynamic process simulation
  • Predictive process simulation

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