RD with Supercritical Fluids

Supercritical fluids are known to posses several useful characteristics required to achieve efficient separation and enhanced reaction rates. It is also quite likely that the introduction of the additional supercritical phase can be beneficial in certain cases (Tab. 1.3). Suitable candidates are the reactions that involve components having their critical properties close to the reaction conditions. The reaction pressure may be manipulated to fine-tune the required conditions. Hydration of ethylene, propylene, n-butenes and isobutylene, esterifications of carboxylic acids with these olefins, and even alkylations (e. g., cumene production, C8 alkylates from C4 streams) may be explored as potentially important reactions in this category.

Table 1.3 Potentially important candidates for RD with supercritical fluids.

Esterfication of acetic acid with ethylene, propylene, butenes and isobutylene

Hydration of ethylene, propylene, butenes and isobutylene

Alkylation of benzene with propylene

Alkylation of n-butenes with isobutane

Metathesis/disproportionation of olefins (C2 to C6)

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