Document Type: Research Paper
Ministry of Oil, South Refineries Company, Basra, Iraq
Department of Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq
Faculty of Engineering and Informatics, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
Methyl propionate, also known as methyl propanoate, is a clear colourless liquid with a characteristic odour (fruity smell and taste). In this study, the formation of methyl propionate through the esterification of propionic acid and methanol was investigated in the reactive distillation system using a conventional (CBD), single feed (SF-SBD), and double feed semi-batch distillation (DF-SBD) columns for the first time. The performances measure of these distillation systems were evaluated in terms of minimum batch time for a given separation task. The optimization results clearly showed that the DF-SBD system is a more attractive operation in terms of reaction conversion, and maximum achievable purity as compared to the SF-SBD, and CBD processes.