Design and control of di n-pentyl ether process

Ahtesham Javaid, Costin Sorin Bildea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recycle of un-converted reactants is a common practice in industrial chemical processes. However, the material recycle induces a non-linear behaviour of the plant which often manifests as high sensitivity of the recycle flow rates with respect to disturbances such as changes in raw material quality, production rate and uncertain design parameters. This non-linear behaviour of the system is often the source of control difficulties. Thus the importance of appropriate control structure in reactor-separation-recycle is evident. The case study of di n-pentyl ether production illustrates two control strategies that can be applied to processes involving one reactant and one recycle. The strategy based on self-regulating reactant inventory uses the plant-inlet flow rate as the dominant variables which significantly affects the production rate. The strategy based on inventory feedback control uses the reactor inlet flow rate, the reactor holdup or the reaction temperature / pressure as throughput manipulator. For the di n-pentyl ether process, both strategies are applicable, as demonstrated by rigorous dynamic simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalPeriodica Polytechnica: Chemical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Di n-pentyl ether
  • Non-linearity
  • Process control
  • Process design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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