Core Technologies

Dehydrogenation

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Dehydrogenation

Dehydrogenation is a reaction that removes hydrogen (H2) from a molecule (i.e. it is the reverse of hydrogenation).

While various dehydrogenation pathways exist for different compounds, JM Davy’s technology focusses on alcohol dehydrogenation to yield an ester product.

Our technology is not restricted to ester production, however, as the alcohol dehydrogenation process route may also be used as a step to yield other carbonyls including aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids.

In Context

Our ethyl acetate process dehydrogenates ethanol in a two-stage reaction:

Dehydrogenation big equation1

Dehydrogenation big equation2

Dehydrogenation Flowsheet

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Process Description

The Davy dehydrogenation system is based upon a simple reaction vessel containing multiple catalyst beds.

Liquid alcohol feed, which has been purified, vaporises as it passes through a heat exchanger system which includes heat integration with crude product.

The reactants are superheated before they enter the catalyst at the top of the vessel where some of the feed reacts to achieve partial dehydrogenation.

The reactants continue downward through the catalyst beds to complete the dehydrogenation process, being re-heated along the way. This heat input is necessary as the alcohol dehydrogenation process is endothermic, and so requires additional heat to drive the reaction forward.

The hot vapour product stream, containing unreacted alcohol, crude product, by-products and H2, exits the reactor’s base and cools by heat exchange with the liquid alcohol feed stream.

The crude product stream then undergoes further cooling until it becomes a liquid, facilitating its separation from the H2 gas.

Crude product polishing by hydrogenation then converts carbonyl by-products to alcohols before product separation by distillation.

 

+ Process option: H2 export and recycle

It is possible to purify and compress the H2 by-product from the dehydrogenation reaction, for use in any downstream polishing stages, or for export in its own right.

The JM Davy Advantage

Davy dehydrogenation technology forms the cornerstone of our ethyl acetate licensed process, the details and many advantages of which you can find here.

In its own right, Davy dehydrogenation offers several advantages, first among which is the production of bio-H2:

+Bio-H2:

  • The dehydrogenation reaction produces hydrogen in abundance which can be purified and compressed for export as a valuable feedstock/commodity in its own right.
  • Among other uses, hydrogen serves as the ultimate clean fuel.
Related Processes & Core Technologies

Davy dehydrogenation technology drives our ethyl acetate licensed process. Learn more here:

We also license technology for the reverse process of dehydrogenation, which usually involves the addition of H2 across a reactant’s double-bond. Learn more about our hydrogenation technology here:


Related Processes

Davy dehydrogenation technology drives our ethyl acetate licensed process. Learn more here:


Core Technologies

We also license technology for the reverse process of dehydrogenation, which usually involves the addition of H2 across a reactant’s double-bond. Learn more about our hydrogenation technology here: