Project Synopsis

Perform a technical feasibility study, best technical alternatives evaluation, and a preliminary process design for the production of benzoic acid in a new greenfield plant.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, an international EPC firm, to perform a technical feasibility study for the production of benzoic acid by examining multiple process options.  The production areas evaluated were Toluene Oxidation, Product Purification, and Catalyst Recovery.  Several reactor configurations and catalyst options were evaluated based on the client’s production requirements.  Distillation and crystallization were considered as the purification options.  The purpose of this study was to identify the best technologies for the client’s specific production, purity, and site requirements.

PROCESS performed the following tasks in support of this effort:

  • Developed a process simulation model of a baseline benzoic acid production process using PROCESS‘ licensed commercial process simulation software, CHEMCAD.
  • Developed a process flow diagram (PFD) with mass and energy balance (MEB) stream tables based on the CHEMCAD model calculations.
  • Developed preliminary sizing information for various process equipment options in order to establish equipment layout alternatives that could be considered by the client.
  • Conducted an extensive literature review of the various oxidation and purification technologies for producing benzoic acid.
  • Based on client’s desired purity and production requirements, developed a qualitative economic evaluation that ranked the technology alternatives based on economic viability.
  • Summarized the evaluation results and recommendations in a report to the client.

Industry Type

  • Chemical Process Industry

Utilized Skills

  • Feasibility study
  • Process alternatives evaluation
  • Preliminary process design

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