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Production of type a zeolite in pilot scale from a alternative source of aluminium and its aplication as a water adsorption for anhydrous ethanol production

Grant number: 14/22798-7
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2015 - July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Inorganic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Rodrigo Altoe
Grantee:Rodrigo Altoe
Company:Produtos Químicos Guaçu Indústria e Comércio Ltda (PQG)
City: Estiva Gerbi
Co-Principal Investigators:Marcos Antonio Santana Andrade Junior


Based on all knowledge acquired at laboratorial scale in a previous study, as well as on the potential market of type A zeolites applied, for example, in ethanol dehydration, the present project propose the scale up of zeolite 4A synthesis using an industrial residue (solução aluminosa-Alcoa, SAA) as an alternative aluminum source for pilot scale production. The most commonly zeolites used in ethanol dehydration processes are the types 3A and 4A, whose porous sizes corresponds to 3 Å e 4.1 Å, respectively. In these materials, the porous size and the structural stability are related to their molecular sieve property. Specifically for the case of ethanol dehydration, the water molecule (Øágua = 2,8 Å) shows adequate molecular diameter to be adsorbed by zeolites 3A and 4A, while the ethanol molecule has a molecular diameter higher than zeolites porous sizes (ØetOH = 4,4 Å). The cited molecular sieves have water adsorption capacity of approximately 22% based on its own mass. Considering the general aspects of this project, the proposed objectives include four fundamental points: 1) to adjust the synthesis parameters for pilot scale; 2) to produce 3A zeolites from 4A zeolites applying ion exchange procedures; 3) to produce supported zeolites using a binder in order to obtain a final product composed by granules with uniform shape and size and 4) to evaluate the efficiency of the produced molecular sieves in ethanol dehydration process. The synthesis of zeolite 4A will be adjusted for the use of industrial reagents and solvents, and for a pilot plant scale (stainless steel reactor with 540 L of internal volume with stirring and heating systems). The zeolites obtained will be characterized in order to evaluate their crystallinity, structural homogeneity and chemical composition using X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) techniques. Granulation/pelletizing procedures will be standardized at PQG with support of Laboratory of Geotechnology and Geomaterials/UFMG, and in addition, pelletizing procedures will be tested in Polymeric Nanocomposites Laboratory located at Macromolecules Institute/UFRJ. The efficiency in ethanol dehydration of the produced type A zeolites will be evaluated in laboratorial and/or pilot scale tests. For this purpose, experimental setups will be developed at PQG and Laboratory of Molecular Sieves and Micro and Mesoporous Materials/UNICAMP. At the end of this project, it is expected that the achieved results present conditions and procedures that lead to type A zeolites production in pilot scale, with adequate product specification, allowing the application in industrial processes of ethanol dehydration. (AU)