The Investigation of Purity Improvement for the Production of Methyl Propionate in Different Types of Batch Distillation Systems

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ministry of Oil, South Refineries Company, Basra, Iraq

2 Department of Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq

3 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.