Effect of the design and technological parameters of a linear alkylbenzene sulfonation film reactor on the formation rate of by-products using the mathematical modeling method

Ivanchina E.M., Ivashkina E.N., Dolganov I.M., Solopova A.A., Dolganova I.O., Pasyukova M.A.

(National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University) E-mail: anastasiasolopova@ro.ru


Влияние конструкционных и технологических параметров пленочного реактора сульфирования линейного алкилбензола на скорость образования побочных продуктов с применением метода математического моделирования

Keywords: sulfonation, linear alkylbenzene, alkylbenzenesulfonic acid, multi-tube film reactor, tetralines, sulfones, mathematical modeling.

Abstract: In this paper we analyze the influence of the structural parameters of a multi-tubular film reactor for linear alkylbenzene sulfonation (LAB) on the formation of such by-products as tetralins and sulfones applying the method of mathematical modeling. The content of tetralines and sulfones in the product mixture negatively affects process, because these substances form a highly viscous component that degrades the properties of the product. Moreover, highly viscous component accumulates on the inner surface of reaction tubes and other structural parts of the reactor. To eliminate these negative effects, the reactor is washed. To achieve greater economic efficiency of the process, as well as reduce environmental load it is necessary to achieve the maximum duration of the reactor operating period and the minimum number of reactor washes. As a result, the optimal design of the sulfonation reactor was determined. The most optimal reactor consists of 40 tubes with the diameter d = 43 mm. It is shown that with a change in the LAB flow rate in the reactor tube, an increase in the mass transfer coefficient occurs. So, at a LAB volume flow rate per tube V = 0.95 ∙ 10-5 m3 / s, the mass transfer coefficient is 1.73 ∙ 10-2, and at V = 2.86 ∙ 10-5 the coefficient is 2.08 ∙ 10-2.


1.         Zuev V.А., Platonov V.V., Ivanchina E.D., Ivashkina E.N. Increasing in efficiency of multistage production of alkylbenzol sulfonic acid at LAB-LABS plant. Oil Processing and Petrochemistry, 2016. No. 3. pp. 33-38.

2.         Ivanyakov S. V., Konygin S.B., Kryuchkov D.A. Hydrodynamics of apparatuses with free flowing liquid film]. Samara, 2007, 24 p.

3.         Konobeev B. I., Malyusov V. A., ZHavoronkov N. M. The study of film absorption at high gas velocities. Russian Chemical Industry, 1961, no. 7, pp. 475-481.

4.         Dolganova I. O., Dolganov I. M., Bunaev A.A., Pasyukova M.A. Nature of highly viscous component in the alkylbenze sulfonic acid technology and its influence on the process efficiency. Petroleum and Coal, 2019, Vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 25-31.

5.         Dolganova I.O., Dolganov I.M., Ivanchina E.D., Ivashkina E.N. Alkylaromatics in Detergents Manufacture: Modeling and Optimizing Linear AlkylbenzeneSulfonation. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2018, Vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 175-184.

6.         Robert A. Meyers Handbook of Petroleum Refining Processes. 3rd ed. 2003. 900 p. (Russ. Ed.: Glagoleva O.F., Lykov O.P), Saint-Petersburg, “Professija” Publishing House, 2011. 944 p.

7.         Ivanchina E.D., Ivashkina E.N., Dolganova I. O., Platonov V. V. Effect of Thermodynamic Stability of Higher Aromatic Hydrocarbons on the Activity of the HF Catalyst for Benzene Alkylation with C9–C14 Olefins. Petroleum Chemistry, 2014, Vol. 54, no. 6, p. 445.

8.         Roberts D.W. Optimisation of the Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonation Process for Surfactant Manufacture. Unilever Research and Development. 2003, no. 7 (2), p. 172.

9.         Attar M. B. Production of Linear Alkybenzene Sulfonic Acid (LAS) at High Pressure in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Medium: the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2010, 115 p.

10.       Borovinskaya E.S. et al. Kinetic study and modeling of the Rh-catalyzed hydrosilylation of acetophenone in a batch reactor and in a microreactor. Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis, 2011, Т. 104, no. 2. p. 345.

11.       Roberts D. Optimisation of the Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonation Process for Surfactant Manufacture. Organic Process Research & Development, 2003, no. 7, pp.172−184.

12.       K. MoleverMonitoring the Linear AlkylbenzeneSulfonation Process Using High-Temperature Gas Chromatography. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 2015, Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 199-202.

13.       J.A. Torres Ortega, Sulfonation/Sulfation Processing Technology for Anionic Surfactant Manufacture. Advances in Chemical Engineering, InTech, Rijeka, 2012.