Energy efficiency analysis of styrene production by adiabatic ethylbenzene dehydrogenation using exergy analysis and heat integration

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Styrene is a valuable commodity for polymer industries. The main route for producing styrene by dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene consumes a substantial amount of energy because of the use of high-temperature steam. In this work, the process energy requirements and recovery are studied using Exergy analysis and Heat Integration (HI) based on Pinch design method. The amount of steam plays a key role in the trade-off between Styrene yield and energy savings. Therefore, optimizing the operating conditions for energy reduction is infeasible. Heat integration indicated an insignificant reduction in the net energy demand and exergy losses, but 24% and 34% saving in external heating and cooling duties, respectively. When the required steam is generated by recovering the heat of the hot reactor effluent, a considerable saving in the net energy demand, as well as the heating and cooling utilities, can be achieved. Moreover, around 68% reduction in the exergy destruction is observed.

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