Novel process window for the safe and continuous synthesis of tert.-butyl peroxy pivalate in a micro reactor

T. Illg, V. Hessel, P. Löb, J.C. Schouten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, the two step synthesis of tert.-butyl peroxy pivalate using two different flow regimes is introduced, in particular the use of "segmented flow" and the concept of "dispersed flow". The use of the segmented flow process, in this case, is challenging due to the very low interfacial tension of 4 mN/m at room temperature between potassium tert.-butyl peroxide and pivaloyl chloride, which causes an unstable fluid interface and results in a broad segment length distribution. This low interfacial tension is further decreased by the heat of reaction (126 kJ/mol pivaloyl chloride [1]), which is partially released at the contacting point of both fluids. It is investigated to compensate the occurring instabilities by dilution of both fluids, resulting in a more regular droplet formation. The applicability of the dispersed flow concept employing a mixer-tube set-up to create a large interfacial area for the synthesis of tert.-butyl peroxy pivalate is discussed together with the influence of increased process temperature, as a Novel Process Window, on the reaction performance. An approximate benchmark against two processes described in a patent [2] is given to point out the benefits obtained, e.g. higher space time yield, using a pre-stage micro-reactor device.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume167
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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