Monitoring acetic acid production

acid storage

The production of acetic acid is a harsh and industrial process. Monitoring this process is a challenge. The current standard method, gas chromatography (GC), is a remote-sampling technique with a few disadvantages including expense, user knowledge and delays in results.

The Keit IRmadillo™ is a robust, rugged and vibration-resistant FTIR spectrometer designed for the process environment. It can stand up to the aggressive environment present in acetic acid production. As an easy to use, in situ instrument, it enables real-time analysis and control of the manufacturing process.

IRmadillo & use in homogenous catalysis processes

The IRmadillo FTIR spectrometer is an effective tool for monitoring homogenous catalysis processes such as in the production of acetic acid. As an in situ instrument, the IRmadillo is inserted directly into the production lines enabling real-time, hands-off analysis.

The  innovative instrument has a much wider spectral range over standard fibre-based probes. A spectral range of of 800 – 4000 cm-1 allows direct observation of metal carbonyl bands present in expensive rhodium (Rh) and iridium (Ir) catalysts (used in Monsanto and Cativa processes). This is a great advantage for more efficient resource monitoring.

IRmadillo spectral guide
Figure 1: Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral bands of interest in the production of acetic acid. The IRmadillo monitors information beyond the capabilities of standard fibre-probe instruments.

The IRmadillo can monitor catalyst health and detect catalyst decomposition early on in the process. It can also monitor the production and consumption of intermediates (methyl iodide, hydroiodic acid and acid iodides) and check for contamination.

Overall, the IRmadillo effectively observes the production of acetic acid with the ability to quantify production and quickly check for contaminants for a variety of process monitoring needs.

  • Catalyst health monitoring
  • Reaction monitoring
  • Methanol health monitoring
  • Product quality check
  • Purity check
  • Water content monitoring
Acetic acid process - Keit IRmadillo
Figure 2: A standard rhodium-catalysed carbonylation process for acetic acid production that can effectively be monitored by the IRmadillo.

What about using the IRmadillo for heterogenous catalysis monitoring?

The IRmadillo can analyse nearly any liquid stream.

If you use gas phase process (such as a fluidised bed reactor), then the IRmadillo can monitor your product output.
It can check for product purity, identify and quantify water in your product and also check for catalyst decomposition products – all in real time.

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