Published April 1983
This study presents preliminary designs and estimated costs of maleic anhydride processes, either commercialized or in the development stage, that use benzene, n-butane, or n-butene feeds, fixed bed or fluid bed reactors, and water or organic-solvent recovery systems. Portions of the report also summarize and discuss the patents on maleic anhydride (and associated subjects) that have issued sincew1973. [Report 46Al was issued in 1973.1 In addition, the report includes a section on the present status of the maleic anhydride industry, with a listing of estimated plant capacities, and a section on the chemistry entailed in the various manufacturing processes.
The results of the evaluations lead to the following generalizations if the commercial/developmental status of the various processes is disregarded:
- With n-butane (96 wt%), n-butenes (w90 wt%), and benzene (100 wt%) valued at 16, 17.3, and 21�/lb, respectively, the relative economic attractiveness of processes that are otherwise equivalent is:
- Fluid bed processes are more attractive economically than fixed bed processes.
- The relative economic attractiveness of the three recovery systems we have considered is:
organic solvent>axeotropic distillation>direct dehydration.
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