Residue Curve Computation for Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Chemistry

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The following reaction is used to produce methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE): isobutene+MeOH ⇄ MTBE. The reacting mixture contains -butane, an inert component, in addition to methanol (MeOH), isobutene, and MTBE.


Azeotropes between MeOH and isobutene and MTBE and MeOH are reacted away. The azeotrope, A, between MeOH and -butane is shown in the figure with a red dot. This azeotrope is an unstable node and contains 2.21 mole% MeOH.

This Demonstration plots the residue curve passing through a user-specified location in the triangular diagram. The and axes of the figure are related to liquid phase compositions by the following relations:

and ,

where , , and are the mole fractions of isobutene, MeOH, and MTBE, respectively.

The position of pure MTBE, shown by a green dot in the diagram, is given by .


Contributed by: Housam Binous and Ikbel El Glaoui (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




Wikipedia, "Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether".

M. Niang and P. Mikitenko, "Analyse de Faisabilité d'une Distillation Réactive par la Méthode des Courbes de Résidus," Revue de l'Institut Français du Pétrole, 53(4), 1998 pp. 439–462.

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