1990 Volume 23 Issue 3 Pages 354-359
Ion exchange resin tablets (7 mm diameter × 7 mm length) were molded from ion exchange resin beads and polyethylene powder in a furnace. 700 ml of the tablets was packed in a Pyrex glass tube of 36 mm diameter as a reaction zone and an Oldershaw column of 30 plates and 32 mm in diameter was employed as the recovery zone of the column. A mixture of methyl acetate and methanol (75:25 by weight) was fed to the bottom of the reaction zone at a rate of 89 g/h and water was fed to the top of the column at a rate of 89 g/h. When all the condensed top vapor was recycled at a rate of 254 g/h, the concentration of methyl acetate in the resulting reaction mixture discharged from the bottom was practically negligible.
The reactive distillation column can be incorporated into the process of hydrolysis of methyl acetate for recovery of acetic acid and methyl alcohol. The advantages of the new process are the elimination of two columns in the conventional process and reduction of the heat requirement of the total process. The decrease in heat requirement is estimated to be about 50% that of the conventional process.