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Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics

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Volume 43, Issue 2


Entropy Generation Minimization in Dimethyl Ether Synthesis: A Case Study

Diego Kingston
  • Corresponding author
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ingeniería, Departamento de Química, Paseo Colón 850, C1063ACV, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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/ Adrián César Razzitte
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ingeniería, Departamento de Química, Paseo Colón 850, C1063ACV, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Published Online: 2018-02-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jnet-2017-0050


Entropy generation minimization is a method that helps improve the efficiency of real processes and devices. In this article, we study the entropy production (due to chemical reactions, heat exchange and friction) in a conventional reactor that synthesizes dimethyl ether and minimize it by modifying different operating variables of the reactor, such as composition, temperature and pressure, while aiming at a fixed production of dimethyl ether. Our results indicate that it is possible to reduce the entropy production rate by nearly 70 % and that, by changing only the inlet composition, it is possible to cut it by nearly 40 %, though this comes at the expense of greater dissipation due to heat transfer. We also study the alternative of coupling the reactor with another, where dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane takes place. In that case, entropy generation can be reduced by 54 %, when pressure, temperature and inlet molar flows are varied. These examples show that entropy generation analysis can be a valuable tool in engineering design and applications aiming at process intensification and efficient operation of plant equipment.

Keywords: entropy generation; chemical reactions; optimization; DME synthesis


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About the article

Received: 2017-09-14

Revised: 2018-01-07

Accepted: 2018-02-02

Published Online: 2018-02-16

Published in Print: 2018-04-25

Citation Information: Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 111–120, ISSN (Online) 1437-4358, ISSN (Print) 0340-0204, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jnet-2017-0050.

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