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.