Chemical analysis of production of acetic acid
Product and alternative raw materials for acetic acid production including acetic acid, ethylene, acetic anhydride and ethyl alcohol are analyzed.
- With respect to health hazards, acetic anhydride is the most dangerous and ethylene is the least dangerous.
- Acetic anhydride appears in the list of banned chemicals, so, it is not sure if production of acetic acid through this route would be feasible.
- All are reported under physical hazards, with ethylene and ethyl alcohol as the most dangerous, others have caution; ethylene is also listed as compressed gas.
- In terms of environmental hazards, ethyl alcohol is listed as the most problematic.
- Depending on the conversion, reaction conditions, etc., the choice would be between oxidation of ethylene (could be an option if excess ethylene is available), or, oxidation of ethanol (but it is a two-step reaction, ethanol to acetaldehyde and then to acetic acid, thus increasing the cost);
- Acetic acid, ethanol and ethylene are classified as "good" chemicals because of their many favorable properties, but they need to be used with caution and operations need to be carefully monitored.
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