Sustainable design and operation of a reactive distillation system used for the production of cosmetic ingredients

E. Zondervan, A.D. Bojarski, A. Espuña, L. Puigjaner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this work a framework for the combined assessment of economic and environmental impact was developed for an industrial application. The method was tested for a reactive distillation (RD) process that is used for the production of fatty acid esters. The method integrates three stages, first the optimization goals are set and the system is modeled accordingly, secondly a sensitivity analysis is performed, the collected data is lastly interpreted using Pareto analysis and rank and proximity criteria. For the RD case study the sensitivity analysis showed that the catalyst requirement influences the economic impact and that the impact of wastewater treatment is the key component for the environmental impact. From the Pareto analysis recommendations concerning the design of the column can be made (in terms of operational pressure and number of stages), where the economic and environmental impacts are balanced.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability of Products, Processes and Supply Chains : Theory and Applications
EditorsF. You
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic) 978-0-444-63472-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1570-7946


  • Life cycle assessment
  • Multicriterion decision-making
  • Process design
  • Process intensification
  • Reactive distillation
  • Sustainability metrics


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