High-temperature epoxidation of soybean oil in flow : speeding up elemental reactions wanted and unwanted

B. Cortese, M.H.J.M. Croon, de, V. Hessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


The soybean oil epoxidation reaction is investigated theoretically through kinetic modeling of temperature effects enabled through flow processing under superheated conditions. Different from previous studies on such processing, here a complex reaction network superimposed by multiphase transport is considered; with one elemental step—the hydrogen peroxide decomposition—which can defeat the much boosted product formation. For such a delicate reaction network, the accessibility of accurate and reliable kinetics is absolutely essential, especially when exploring this completely new temperature range. Initially, an overview of the actual kinetic models is given, this gives rise to implications for the study developed here considering high temperature flow processing, heat removal efficiency, hotspot formation, and the effect of different hydrogen peroxide decomposition kinetics. Subsequently an optimized process involving the use of microreactors at different temperatures is proposed for the process management of the reaction heat and to yield a commercial grade product under notably intensified conditions. The results are then benchmarked with quantitative, challenging process improvement criteria set by an industrial partner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1689
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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